Owls downed by New Haven in quest to Elm City Trophy
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
The Owls (1-2, 0-2 NE10) came into last Saturday’s matchup with New Haven (2-1, 2-0 NE10) having lost to Bentley at home, 24-22, last week despite holding a 16-0 lead at the half.
And in their matchup with the Chargers, it was more of the same. The Owls got on the board first off a 24-yard Jose Conde field goal before Ryan McCarthy put New Haven on the scoreboard with a 79-yard dart. A little later, the Owls would go up 10-7 thanks to a two-yard rushing score by quarterback Matt Sanzaro but they would not score again until a late-game touchdown connection of four yards from backup quarterback Matt Sapere to wide receiver Julian Chung.
“In the first half we left some points on the board from the offense, for sure,” head coach Tom Godek said. “And you just can’t do that down here. It’s a very good football team we played. Every time we have the opportunity to score touchdowns that’s something we need to do.”
For the second straight game, Sanzaro, who came out late due to injury, struggled through the air, going just 9-for-16 for 111 yards and an interception. He did have some productivity on the ground, though, going for 41 off nine carries and the early touchdown.
After starting the year 1-0 off a signature win at Gannon, where running back Eli Parks totaled a career-best four touchdowns, the Owls have sputtered, falling to Bentley and now the Chargers. However, Godek still has confidence in the team he has out on the field.
“Players are working hard and just trying to grind it out. We’ve got to get the ball in the end zone consistently,” Godek said. “There’s some plays out there, still. We just need to be more consistent and work on our tackling. We had some very costly penalties that kept some New Haven drives alive.”
Last season, the Owls began with a 55-22 blowout loss at home with Gannon before getting on track for a big Week 2 victory over Stonehill, 45-26. They then lost four in a row, to Assumption, American International, the Chargers and LIU Post, before going on a four-game winning streak to end the season at 5-5, during which they defeated the likes of Merrimack, Bentley, Saint Anselm and Pace.
“We’ve just got to finish games out and play all four quarters,” senior inside linebacker Brandon Pelzer said. “We start out fast and then in the second half we slow down or we start off slow and then we finish strong. Our heads aren’t done and we’re gonna come out strong next week.”
For the game against Stonehill (1-2, 1-1 NE10) Saturday night at Jess Dow Field, Godek expects to keep his same starting lineup out there on the field.
“We’re gonna look at the film and make sure the best guys are out there,” Godek said. “We just need to make sure that we continue to execute and not let the other team beat us cleanly.”
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications