Owls upset Division I Central in football
Bancroft Nicholson – Contributor
The Southern Connecticut State University Football team has not played a game since November of 2019. They returned with a bang, toppling former rival Division 1 Central Connecticut State University 28-21.
The Owls were down 7-0 after a quarter as a result of Central quarterback Romero Williams completing a 42 yard pass to wide receiver Kenyata Huston with a minute and 41 seconds left in the 1st quarter.
The Owls eventually got on the board around the 11 minute mark when defensive back and team captain Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre forced a fumble on defense. The Owls recovered it and quarterback Jackson Ostrowsky completed a 17 yard pass to tight end, Timothy O’Shea Jr.
The Owls would later go up seven after a 19 yard completion from Ostrowsky to wide receiver Tye Hodge.
With 11 seconds remaining in the first half, Central scored on a 13 yard completion from Williams to wide receiver Everett Wormley to tie the game at 14 apiece right before halftime.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair with both teams getting defensive stops and the score still tied at 14 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was one for the ages. The Owls came out and made plays capped off with a 90 yard interception return for a touchdown from linebacker Richard Willams Jr. to put the Owls up 21-14.
“As soon as it caught in my hands it was over from there, straight to the house,” said Williams, who also had 9 tackles to go with his pick six.
Wide receiver Izaiah Sanders came up big in the fourth quarter with a spectacular catch. After the ball was tipped by a Central defensive back. Sanders hauled it in and ran into the end zone to complete a 51 yard touchdown that put the Owls up 28-14.
“I’m just happy I could put on for my teammates, for my brothers, that’s all I wanted to do,” Sanders said. “I wanted to make plays for my brothers and I did.”
Sanders had 3 catches for 109 yards receiving.
Central tried to mount a comeback after a touchdown by wide receiver Tyshaun James, cutting the Southern lead to 28-21, but the Owls defense was too much to handle. On 4th down with little over a minute left in the game, Southern’s defense ended Central’s comeback attempt emphatically with a sack, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Owls completed the upset victory over Central 28-21.
“It’s just a great game for the state of Connecticut, we’re so excited for our players we can’t say enough about how they played and stayed with everything all the way through”, said Southern Head Coach Tom Godek.
After the game, players were overcome with joy and emotion after having to sit out a year and then coming back and beating a Central Connecticut team who won the NEC championship in 2019.
“It felt surreal, surreal is the only word you could describe it with,” said Delgado-McIntyre. “We put in a lot of work especially in the beginning of the season last year getting ready to play and our hearts just get broken and tell us we can’t play.”
Friday’s game was the first time SCSU and CCSU locked horns on the gridiron since Central’s 35-21 victory in New Britain on September 3, 2011. Ten years to the day. Now, Division 2 Southern has some bragging rights.
“Coming out here we acted a little out of character, but it’s because it’s a lot of built up testosterone basically so it feels surreal,” Delgado-McIntyre said. “Surreal is the word for it.”
It was an emotional win for the Owls Friday night and they obviously earned the right to celebrate, but according to captain Delgado-McIntyre they are ready for the next challenge.
“Stonehill, that’s the only game,” Delgado-Mcintyre said. “This game’s over, Stonehill is next.”