MOON TOWNSHIP, Penn. - The defending NEC champions made sure to let everyone know their conference games would be a lot different than the results of their non-conference slate.
The Central Connecticut State football team set both a school record and Northeast Conference record with 699 yards of total offense, scored nine touchdowns, including six rushing, to beat Robert Morris on the road 56-35 Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Devils (3-3, 1-0 NEC) have now won seven straight against NEC opponents dating back to last season.
It short, it was an offensive clinic for CCSU and the Colonials (1-4, 0-2) didn’t have many answers to stop an offense that hadn’t scored more than 24 points outside of Week 2 against a Division II opponent.
The Blue Devils rushed for 358 yards and passed for 341, scoring eight touchdowns in the victory. The 56 points were the most in an NEC game for CCSU since it scored 62 in a victory over St. Francis (Pa) in 2006.
Drew Jean-Guillaume rushed for a career-high 157 yards and three touchdowns in the game - all in the first quarter - while adding another 82 yards receiving. The junior tailback crossed the goal line from 23, 15 and 25 yards out. Jean-Guillaume was one of two backs for the Blue Devils to hit the century mark. Aaron Dawson carried the ball 10 times for 102 yards.
Jacob Dolegala finished the game 19-for-22 for 341 yards to match his career-high and two touchdowns. CCSU’s senior quarterback also rushed for 67 yards and a score on seven carries. Courtney Rush was the leading receiver. The senior had six catches for 167 yards and came down with both of Dolegala’s touchdown passes. Rush also rushed for a score himself.
A back-and-forth game for the first 15:04, Enyce Walker gave the Blue Devils the lead for good on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter. The run capped off a 6-play, 54-yard drive to make it 28-21.
Dolegala then hit Rush from 23 yards out on the team’s following possession to give CCSU a two-touchdown lead heading into the half.
But Robert Morris was determined to stay in the game and the two teams traded scores once again early on. The Colonials opened up the second half with an 8-play, 83-yard scoring drive with Alijah Jackson finishing with a 35-yard run. Jackson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.
The Blue Devils responded to increase their lead back to 14 on Rush’s 8-yard run with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
Robert Morris then put together a 10-play, 79-yard drive on its ensuing possession to cut the lead to 42-35. Quarterback Jimmy Walker threw his second touchdown of the game to Matt Gonzalez to cut the lead back to seven at 42-35.
Walker completed 24 of his 36 throws for 268 yards and an interception. But that was as close as the Colonials got.
Dolegala’s 9-yard touchdown run pushed CCSU’s lead to 49-35, while his 20-yard completion to Rush with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter brought the game’s final score.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org