That's your final

38-20 Central wins. I have to go do postgame fun now, back later tonight.

Never mind!

Central gets 3 sacks in four plays to put the game away.
Their ball near midfield, still up 38-20, 4:20 left.

Well, hang on a minute

High snap on what was supposed to be a pooch punt by Gunnar Jespersen on 4th down, and Wagner has it inside the Central 40 with 6:32 left. IF they were to score quickly here, it could get interesting.

Garbage time

Wagner scores after another long drive, but it appears too late. 38-20, nine minutes left.

That was fast

Josue Paul took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a score. 14:47 left, 38-13.
And there were no flags on the kick or the XP.


Doscher scores from a yard out. Wagner went 80 yards on 10 plays. The kick failed, and after three it's 31-13.

I hate to say it

But I'm predicting a brawl before the end of this one. Central was called for a personal foul earlier in this Wagner drive, and teh Seahawks have ruined the stat I was about to give you.
Before a second ago, Wagner had more penalty yards than offensive yards. They'll need four more personal fouls now to make up the difference, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Benjamin walks in

After Lorenzo Baker got the fumble, Benjamin scampered in.
And guess what? On the XP, Wagner got called for a personal foul. CCSU coach Jeff McInerney went nuts after, apparently (and I'm just speculating) wanting the refs to do something about this before a big fight breaks out. Central has had one dumb retaliation call, but you have to think more are coming, especially now that the score is out of hand.

A chance to end it

Wagner just fumbled again deep in Central's end.
Devils ball near the 20 with 4 minutes left in the third.

This could get ugly

Our first real scrum of the day occurred on the second try on the XP. Central's Anthony Julbes had to be dragged off the field by teammates and coaches after it was broken up. He's still storming around the sideline. Wagner has now been called for a handful of personal fouls, so you can't blame the Devils for having enough, but nothing good comes from retaliating, ever.
24-7 6 minutes left in the third.

And that should do it

Chris Tolbert's second score of the day makes it 23-7, xp pending, with 6:51 to go. It was a 12-yard run.

Forget about that

Gunnar Jeserpsen got picked off right after that flag. Wagner ball again, but wait, as I was writing that, they fumbled.
Central has it!
1st and 10 CCSU at the Wag 12!

I didn't forget about you

I had to do a radio hit (thanks as always to Marc Robbins for making me sound good) and write up the first half.
You've missed almost nothing interesting here in the third, though Wagner did just get called for its fourth (at least) personal foul of the day. Central has it at the Wagner 21 with nine minutes left in the half.

Halfway home

CC up 17-7 at the break, RMU just went up 14-3 on the Dukes.

eh, I understand at least

After another personal foul had CC kicking off from midfield, they failed on an onside kick attempt. Wagner was pinned either way, taking over near its 40, so it's not like they gave up field position. Since that's the case, I don't mind trying it.

A couple of things

Ok, important thing first. Joe Izzo short FG, 17-7 CCSU with 3:44 left in the half.
Central didn't get anywhere on a 3rd and goal, but Wagner got called for a personal foul that gave Central an automatic first down, which turned into 3 points.
Now for your rule question of the week: Central was at the 22 at the time of the penalty with a 3rd and goal. The flag gave them half the distance and an automatic first down. But they were given 1st and goal at the 11.
Didn't matter, but we think up here it should have been 1st and 10.


Central went for it on 4th and 3 near midfield and made it on the pitch left to Benjamin that worked at Albany on the 2-pt try.
Now a 33-yard pass to Richie Martin, Central in business midway through 2nd!

Anything you can do

Well, not so fast. Central tries its own aerial assault, but can't do anything with it. Good punt this time though.
Wagner ball, 12:26 left in the half, still 14-7.

Don't go to sleep yet

Wagner has a couple of decent passes on the way to a 50-yard scoring drive. It's 14-7 with 12:06 left in the half.

Easy does it

Benjamin caps an 82 yard drive with a 4-yard TD run.
Central up 14-0 with 41 seconds left in the quarter on two drives of more than 80 yards. Benjamin has 65 yards in the quarter, Central has 163.
Wagner has 6 plays for 3 yards.

RMU is on

If you want to watch that one while listening to CCSU (and following the blog of course) in preparation for next week's showdown, go to and you should find it.
Central driving by the way, more to come after this drive.

Special struggles

Central bobbles the punt after Wag goes 3 and out, but the Devils hold onto this kick. It wasn't incredibly windy while I was outside, so not sure what's going on with the catching on specials.
Wagner penalty, they'll rekick, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway, but still.

Quick response

Central, led by freshman Chris Tolbert and big back Everette Benjamin, goes 83 yards on 12 plays, eating 4:46 off the clock. Tolbert's 6-yard score capped the drive, with Benjamin and Tolbert splitting the work and an 11-yard pass to Josue Paul and a 20-yarder to Tolbert by Gunnar Jespersen highlighting the drive.
And, after my longest sentence of the season, CC is up 7-0 with about 8 minutes left in the first.

Bullett avoided

After Central holds, Wagner lined up at least for a 50-yarder, but a false start knocked them back and they punted. The conventional wisdom up here is that they never would have tried it.
CC now at its own 17 or so.

Interesting start

ok, let's get right into it this week.
Central fumbles the opening kickoff, but gets a sack on first down.
Wag now has 3rd and long at CC's 36

Reminder, we'll be blogging

I'm going to blog live from the game Saturday, so please keep it up and check it out!

Busy weekend ahead

Checking in after one of my longest days in a while. Five stories in the paper in the morning, including the ones you guys will care about, the big football preview and a women's soccer story.
The football team doesn't HAVE to win today, but it would keep the margin for error in the NEC race. Plus you want to have all the momentum you can get heading into next week's huge one.
It's a battle of two ball-control offenses, so the margin for error is small. The team that turns it over the least wins. I bet it's CCSU.
Women's soccer won a HUGE one yesterday, and has its biggest senior day game in years. Win or tie and they go to the NEC tourney. Lose and they likely miss. Game time is 1 p.m. on Arute, with the ceremony, without a question the best senior day ceremony by any Central team, will be a few minutes beforehand.
Should be a fun day.

An easy one this week

Me: "Where do you stand with the depth chart. Anyone out this week."
Jeff McInerney: "No one's out."
Me: "Anyone..."
Mac, cutting me off: "We're good. Everyone's got some bumps and nicks this time of year. It's foootball. But we're good. No one's out."

So I'm going with no one's out for Wagner.

Thoughts and a request

First, off, I need help from my loyal blogging buddies here. In yesterday's post I accidentally posted my personal email address [I've since corrected it] But if you could do me a favor and write me at, I'd appreciate it. It helps keep my work life and real life separate and keeps my inbox a little cleaner. Thanks.
And don't worry, those who emailed me at home, you were just doing what I told you to.
In fact, I will reward one lucky reader with a quick mailbag answer. Football stuff tommorow after I check on injuries and such.

I was asked if Devan Bailey is really going to be pushed out of the lineup by a gentleman named Matt, who obviously is brilliant judging by that name!
While I have to preface this by saying the usual "I'll know more later in camp", etc., I will say that I think the freshmen will be more complimentary types. Coach Howie Dickenman has said that he expects them to contribute, but I can't imagine Bailey not getting the bulk of the minutes, especially with so many vets around him.
He has, as I was asked, reworked his shot [you probably read that from me!] and I expect him to be more of a dual threat on offense this year, especially with defenses keying on Shemik Thompson and Ken Horton.
As for my top six in minutes: Shemik, Ken Horton, Robby Ptacek, Joe Efese, and Vince Rosario.
But I reserve the right to change my mind about all of this in the next three weeks.
Good night kiddies.

A couple of thoughts

Before I go to bed on a night I am up way too late again.
I've been feeling old lately as my birthday has passed, but now I feel VERY old. Just wrote a nice thing about the seniors on the soccer team (men) and realized that the tournament run was four years ago.
I'll never forget that run. I'm still livid about the goal Central had taken away at FDU, not because it was against Central but because the referees on the field were overruled days after the fact. I still say that policy could end sports as we know them, but thankfully it hasn't been used too much since.
But I'll never forget the run it started, either. An, ahem, angry, Central team went on to win for six straight weeks, including two straight wins over nationally-ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament.
I remember Harvard being stunning in person. I'd seen it many times (I went to school in Boston) but never had been inside the place. The media availability was in a building adjacent to the football stadium, and we walked along a balcony outside and took in the view.
I remember the final seconds of the Harvard game. Central had built the lead, but Harvard scored on a PK then I think hit a post in the final seconds. It was extremely dramatic.
From there they went to Tulsa, ranked ninth in the country. I was at Central for a hoops game, and watched the end of the soccer game from Tom's office and did some interviews by phone. Leaving the building very late that night, I could hear students celebrating a soccer score, something I never thought I'd hear.
I made the trek to UMass for the Sweet 16 game. I've been colder just once in my life, at a Thanksgiving football game where it rained so hard I was shaking. But that game was memorable. The background of the field was such that it seemed small, and the stands were right on top of the field. A great atmosphere, and more than 1,000 were on hand. Not bad for soccer in New England in December.
When I say the field was icy, I mean it literally. I couldn't get any traction with my tires, and experienced as close as I ever will to skating whenever I ventured from the press table.
I remember Central trying to change shoes, eventually borrowing sneakers from the crowd during an hour-plus delay after the referee, the only person with any sense it seemed, stopped the game, only to be overruled by the NCAA.
Now make no mistake, I'm not making excuses for the Blue Devils. UMass, at least on that day, was a far better team and would have won on ice, grass, turf or blacktop. But what I remember most about that day is that Central's run shouldn't have ended like that. The NCAA Tournament was reduced to a circus and it made for a disappointing, disjointed end to the run. UMass deserved to win, but the teams, the fans and the sport of college soccer deserved better.
I wrote something to that effect, ticking off the NCAA weeks after I'd told the NEC how blatantly wrong they were. Go me!
Maybe in March I'll get to cover another NCAA Tournament. And the best part about basketball? An ice storm won't play havoc with the game.
Football thoughts at some point Tuesday, injury report Wednesday. Taking your emails at
As the soccer boys say, all the best to ya laddies.

Story's up

Full game story now up on the Herald site. I'm going to watch the rest of this on TV then call it a night. I have Plainville football then office duty Saturday, so I might not get to this, though I'll try and look for comments or emails. Check in at with any of those. There's MUCH to discuss.
Good night my faithful blogging buddies.

I'm back

Sorry, I desperately had to finish my desk job for the night before I could blog again. Watching the replay now to have a better feel for the game, but I just got off the phone with coach McInerney. I'm going to update the story on our website for you guys to read in the morning, or if you're still up now.
Let me give you some quick thoughts before I settle down and watch the madness.
First, Mac said the team did not panic at halftime. He said they were calm and believed they would come back if they just played their game. (Just to be clear, I'm paraphrasing all this for now, I'll have quotes on our site). He said the first half problems were that they didn't score in the red zone in the first half and the defense just wasn't tackling well. He didn't sound like he thought a lot of strategic adjustments were necessary, just that they had to execute. Though he did mention that Albany using Leathley at QB was a surprise and it took time to adjust to him.
He said he was "trying to win the game" by going for it the first time on two, and that they ran the same play both times. On the second one, QB Gunnar Jespersen just read it correctly.
Crazy stuff. thanks for those who stuck with the blog all night. I'm going to do some writing now.


GIANT win. more to come I promise.

I should have guessed

CCSU and ALbany comes down to a 2-pt try in the last minute. Again. Wow.

Half a stop at least

Central holds the Danes to 3, and gets the ball back down 27-19 with 2:07 to go.
And here's why you don't chase: Mac was right to kick at 24-18, since going for 2 that time would still have them down 4. But if he'd just kicked the first time, it would be 27-20 right now and you wouldn't NEED the two if you score here.
Just saying.

Staying alive

Everette Benjamin's huge day continues as Central pulls within a score. 24-19 UA with 5:38 left. Can CCSU get a big stop? It has the whole 2nd half, but now is when it matters.

Good and bad

Good news: CCSU gets some mojo, cuts it to 24-12 with 7:02 left in the third.
The bad: I really don't like going for two that early. Just no need to chase yet.

2 quick points

1) HUGE drive, gave them a chance to get back in this thing.
2) If they go for 2 here, it's a big mistake. I wanna say that before I see if they made it or not (if it happens). Don't chase until you have to!

A half to go

Down 24-6 at the half, here's a quick Blue Devil Breakdown
What Worked
Running game: Everette Benjamin has 90-plus on the ground.
Kicking game: Joe Izzo's big year continues
Hope: 2 years ago, Central trailed 24-9 in the fourth and had a two-point conversion try to tie the game with a minute left.

What needs work
Run defense: There isn't any.
Quickly!: UA has caught up in T.O.P, a telling stat. If Central isn't controlling the ball, the defense is on an island, and not a good one like Derelle Revis.
Next score is big: Central might not win if it scores the next TD, but it will lose if it doesn't.


The stats would say Central should be even, if not ahead. But nope. Time of Possession doesn't matter much if you give up touchdowns quickly.
Bad signs, but plenty of time for the Blue Devils to rally. We'll see what kind of mettle they truly have now, down early on the road.

Checking in

I don't have a ton of time to blog live tonight, doing a ton of office stuff, but I'll try and check in as the game goes along.
First off, has a gamecast if you can't find it on TV and are searching for live stats. Go to their site, CFB scores, the NEC, this game, then click gamecast and you get close to live stats and play-by-play.
Dissapoiting field goal there as the Blue Devils commit a costly penalty for the millionth time this year, but they're on the board. 7-3 UA 4:07 left in the first.

As promised

A couple of soccer notes. It's a huge doubleheader for the soccer teams Sunday in New Britain. The women are playing their final three games at home, and need a lot of the available points to make the NEC tournament.
The standings are too jumbled for me to do the "if this then this" thing, but suffice it to say the Devils can use some wins. The women have been drawing bigger crowds than I've ever seen in my six or seven years covering them, which is great to see. Hope for their sake it happens again Sunday. At the very least, you should come just to see the football team's antics during those games. It's funny.
The men are playing their final home match, and it's the last chance to see the remaining players from the 2007 team. There's some young talent around, too. It's a tough defensive team that just hasn't figured out a way to score goals, leading to a lot of 1-0 losses and 0-0 ties. I'd be lying if I said it was always riveting to watch, but I'm sure folks who know the game better than I do can appreciate the defensive effort more than I can.
Anyway, should be a good cap to a busy weekend for yours truly.

Albany thoughts

First off, you can find my game preview online this week. Go to and it's in the sports section. Hope you'll check it out.

No changes to the depth chart this week, so I've been told.
All week Central has been trying to downplay the significance of this one. Coach Jeff McInerney tried to insist that he was treating this one like every other game, and I think he has attempted to do so in practice. But the kids understand the significance of this game.

It's not even so much the NEC implications as it is the rivalry. The two football games that stand out to me the most over the years I've been covering this team are the loss at Albany a couple of years ago when a rushed Hunter Wanket didn't see the open man in the end zone on the two-point conversion try in the final minute that would have tied the game and the shellacking Central took a year earlier at home with the NEC crown on the line.

My point is this: If I remember those games well, so do the older players on this team. Certainly at least the 24-22 game. They also have confidence from beating Albany last year, ironically on a missed UA 2-point try in the final minute. The Blue Devils know the history of this sereis and want badly to add another positive chapter to it.
Throw in the NEC implications, and I believe there's zero chance Central lays an egg. I can't guarantee you the Devils will win, but there's no chance they come out "flat" as they say. Now that doesn't mean they'll play well right away. Too often people think a slow start means a team is "flat," when it's often just either poor execution or the other team outplaying it. Energy doesn't equal success.

So what will equal success tonight? The fact that Albany isn't as good as it's been in recent years. They don't move the ball well at all. They do stop teams fairly well, so I don't expect Central to romp. But I think the Devils eventually will wear the Danes down and score enough to put it away.

The big key will be, can they avoid a letdown NEXT week?

As always, questions or comments, shoot them to me at And let me know what you think of the chat idea from the last post!

Answer and Question

Got an answer to a question I got last week:
Brian Fowler DID decide to come back next year, so he redshirted. He'll be back next year. Not surprising, but sometimes guys decide to just be done, and since you asked, I double checked. He'll be back.

Now a question for you. I've been asked a couple of times about a live chat again. It went really well last year, so I'm all for it. It'd be hoops, football, or whatever else you guys want to talk about involving CCSU.
Who's interested?

Catching up

It was a bye week for me too it seems, since there wasn't a football game to cover and it was my birthday, I was running around a bit. I did hit the men's soccer game, I think I'm going to blog some soccer tomorrow.
But we're back with LOTS of football stuff to get to. I'm working on the preview now, so I'll come back here with more after I organize my thoughts. Just wanted to tell you guys to check this thing for the next couple of days.

Running men

Just got back a bit ago from the Blue Devil run. Some nuggets for you:
Some first notes before I go sit down to write.
I saw Justin Alexander for the first time up close. I thought to myself, really, he's not taller than Ken Horton, who was standing a few feet away. Then I realized that Kenny was standing on the edge of a hill. Alexander also seems to be bonding well right away, laughing with the coaches and having a good time. He strikes me as someone who will be well-liked.
Now the question is, can he play basketball, or is he just very tall?
The freshmen all did well and appear to be in good shape. Howie Dickenman is pleased with the way they're progressing, saying he likes their attitude. The extra practice rules have helped, clearly.
Robby Ptacek and Vince Rosario were held out of the run by the training staff as they ease back in from injuries, neither are expected to miss anything important. Chris Baskerville's groin injury could be more problematic, we'll have to wait and see. But it's still October. There's 4 weeks until the trip to Mohegan Sun. I refuse to get panicky about injuries this early unless someone has a cast or crutches.
Talked to Devan Bailey, who told me he has completely reworked the form on his jump shot. He also wants to be more vocal.
Shemik Thompson is coming off some back soreness, but hasn't had surgery this offseason, which is a plus. He looks like he's still getting over the back a little bit, but he ran, so clearly it's not too bad. He seems to be relishing his role as a senior leader. I expect him to have a really big year.
I talked to Kenny, who reports himself to be in fine health. I was struck by how much older he looks, maybe just because I'm getting old and can remember him as a freshman, when he looked like he was still 12. I wouldn't say he's notably bigger, however.
Joe Efese did appear bigger, I'm going to ask how his offseason went when I get the chance. Kenny assure me he and Joe can play together, and Horton is excited about getting to play more on the wing again.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I'll listen to my quotes and have more as we go along here.
Practice starts for real Friday. Then it will be basketball season.

Mail time!

It must be October, I'm getting mail again!
You know the drill. You ask, I answer. Remember the thoughts on here are mine and not anyone at Central's unless noted otherwise. And if you have questions, fire them off to me at You can also comment on here, but sending me the email is easier for me.
Now, before I get to a ton of hoops notes, let's go.

Q: Will Brian Fowler be back next year after a medical redshirt in 2010?
A: I would fully expect that to be the case, to the point where I didn't even ask. I will, however, just to double check. On rare occasions people decide to leave when they're done with school and give up the extra year.

Q: Any news on 2011 OOC (football) opponents in football next year? We have heard about JMU but are there any others yet? Also, the CSU site has the Arute project being completed in Summer of 2011. Will CCSU be dedicating the new stands next season and if so any rumors as to who the big opponent will be for this big event?

A: I did the digging you requested on the schedule for next year, and they're waiting for some contracts to be finalized. For now I'll say that there's supposed to be a typical money game, one should be nearby.
As for the stands, last I asked everything was on schedule. The stands I think are last on the list, so I don't know if next year is in the cards for the football project to be done. I think you'd start seeing bigger teams agree to come to NB after the stands are up, not right away.

Q: Any news on David Simmons? He is no longer on the roster posted on
A: He's not on the roster because he's not on the team right now. Howie told me he could be reinstated for the next semester, so I think he COULD be back around the start of NEC play.
A comment that was sent to be more than a question:

"I see the Blue Devils having a rough go of it the rest of the way with their run defense. I'm looking at loses to UA, RMU, and Monmouth, a tough ride against Wagner, and I even think SFPA will get fired up for the game and give the Blue Devils a run for their money. I figure the best we can hope for is 3-2 the rest of the way, probably more like 2-3 with loses to the "big three" (as I referred have always referred to RMU, UA, and MU) as they continue to be thorns in Coach Mac's side."

A: I can't argue too much with this, though I think they thrash SFPA at home if the NEC is on the line. If the one win over that 3-game stretch is over RMU and CCSU gets some help, well let's just say I have Ralph's email at the NEC ready because I expect to be asking a lot of questions about tiebreakers.

Quick notes

First the Blue Devil run is Wednesday, so check the blog for some hoops notes this week.
I'm not going to lie, I'm ready for basketball season. I don't mind football, but I'm a hoops guy first and foremost. Exciting stuff.
Also, I have a piece in Tuesday's paper about Josue Paul's return I think is interesting reading. But I'm biased, I know the author.

Catching up

Howdy my blogging buddies. Just checking in.
First off, I agree with J.J., the fake FG wasn't necessary. My fear with those kinds of things is that you risk giving up too much of a swing in momentum. I'd rather pooch punt if you don't want to go for it.
Now in coach McInerney's defense, Central has been really good at those over the years, I just think it's a risk-reward thing.
I'll say this though: I don't agree that the Blue Devils let up Saturday. I think this team just can't stop the run, and they cheated up to try and slow Larry McCoy down and that let the Dukes hit a couple of deep ones. How many times has Central won a game late with that same plan? Remember 19-0 here against Monmouth?
I also don't blame Central for trying to run the ball down the stretch there. One of the best running programs in all of FCS couldn't get 10 yards on 3 plays. That doesn't make it a bad set of play calls, especially since throwing it stops the clock if you don't convert.
As for the penalty, I think it was the right call. The ref had it all the way, he threw his hat down well before the ball was caught.
Did Central get lucky? A little. But you need a little luck along the way.
That said, now comes the big stretch. Can Central win the league now that it got through the first portion of the league schedule unbeaten? Absolutely.
Will they? I'm not ready to say that. Not when I truly believe the other team can run it at will.
Of course, so usually can the Blue Men Group.

To review

Central led 31-16 with 2:07 left, then avoided OT when the Dukes were called for an illegal touch (the receiver who caught it had been out of bounds on his rout).
Mac gave Duquesne "all the credit in the world" and said he didn't see the kid go out of bounds, but Dominique Rose said he saw it right away.
Central got so focused on the run that, Rose admitted, they wanted to cheat up a bit and that might have helped some of the late passes get there.
I have to go write now, and hopefully eat, so I'm gonna shut this off for now.


Dave Williams catches a TD pass with no time left on the clock, they catch the 2-point conversion, but Akeem Moore, who caught the try, was out of bounds on his route, meaning he can't be the first player to catch the ball after he comes back in bounds. WOW. Central SURVIVES 31-29.
Much more in the Herald over the next few days and on here ASAP.
Thanks as always for being a part of the blog.


another long one to the CCSU 5, then a spike 2nd and goal 8 seconds left


The Dukes keep going deep, and they're at the CCSU 35 with 15 to go

Maybe I should shut up

Central goes 3 and out and the Dukes do get it back, though without any timeouts.
Duquesne ball on its own 11 with 1:37 left.

THAT should do it

Dominique Rose makes a nice catch on the onside kick, Central ball, though the Dukes have 3 timeouts left.

I might have spoken too soon

The Dukes score ona short TD pass, trail 31-23 with 2:07 left.
Onside to come.

Done and done

Eric Richardson from a yard out, icing the game with 3:50 left. It's 31-16.

That was quick

Just like that, Central holds, gets the ball back and drives. 3rd and 1 at the D 17 or so. Less than 6 to go in the game....and he gets it.
1st down, not gonna be goal to go, but it should be enough to ice this one.

missed chance

a fumble leads to a CCSU punt, Dukes get the ball back. They're deep in their own end, but they're very much alive.

3 is better than 7

Again, Central holds the Dukes to a FG. It's now 24-16 early in the fourth. Still a one score game, however, don't go away yet.

And it turns back

The Dukes are inside the CCSU 10 after another long run by McCoy, who might surpass Youngstown State's total of 322 rushing yards as a team from earlier this year.
All the stuff we said about Central's run defense improving is officially out the window.

And it turns

4-yard pass to Eric Richardson on a nice rollout right, kick good, Central up 24-13 with 3:41 left in the quarter.

Turning point?

Central holds deep in the Dukes' end, takes over near midfield, and starts to drive.
Now have it 1st down at the D 19. Devan Baker a big catch on this drive. About 5 minutes left in the third, Central about to take momentum back, at least it seems that way.

A cover!

Well that should be a stat anyway. Matt Tyrell with a good hit on what might have been Central's best coverage of the season. Dukes ball on their own 22, midway through the third, still 17-13 Central.
The tide, however, has drastically change from early in the game. This definitely feels like the Devils are trying to hang on now, not win.
I'm not saying they're not trying to win, just that they're in survival mode as the Dukes start to get control.

Now it's a game

So before I'm even settled for the second half, the Dukes get a long TD run and Central's Everette Benjamin fumbles.
17-13 and the Dukes are driving.

Another key hold

The Dukes get only 3 from that drive and Central leads 17-6 at the break. The Dukes picked it up in the second quarter, ending the half with 177 yards on 29 plays.

Finding their way

The Dukes are driving, really for the first time all day, and are at the CCSU 14. McCoy is starting to get running room.
A team running against the Blue Devils? Stunning.


The Dukes get a FG out of that long run. 17-3. Central already near midfield

I'm Larry

Larry McCoy just went 54 yards for the Dukes to get to the CCSU 14. That one play accounted for half of their yards so far.


Central's fake FG, well let's just say it didn't work. P.J. Borawski had all day to throw without being rushed (literally, no one tried to get to him) the one receiver on the play was triple covered.
Still 17-0

I hit send too soon

The long pass to Paul makes it 17-0 early in the second.
Central held, now driving again, a 49-yard pass to a wide open Chris Tolbert puts them at the D 19.

D holds again

The Dukes for for it on 4th down at the CCSU 36 early in the 2nd, and the Devils hold. They must not trust their kicker from that deep. CCSU wouldn't, either.
Anyway, early 2nd, CCSU ball in its own end up 10-0. The Dukes had one play that nearly went to the house, but Dominique Rose broke it up.
And as I write this, Josue Paul 64 yards for a score.

Stat of the year

Central goes 13 more plays, getting a gimme field goal by Joe Izzo to make it 10-0 with less than three minutes left in the half.
Central has run 25 plays to 3 for the Dukes. TOP: 10:54 to 1:08.

Position battle

Central forces a quick punt, takes over at the 40. Driving again. Another Gunnar-Richie Martin connection. 1st and 10 at the Dukes' 30

That was fast

Central goes 12 plays, 60 yards, including 57 on the ground, for a TD to open the game with a 5:10 drive. Dominant start. 7-0 CC.

Up and running

First off, fulfilling a promise I made last night, I must thank the lovely and talented Julie Olson for helping us with our high school coverage last night.
To that end, my apologies for not blogging about my preview, I wrote five stories and took phone calls last night, including an early start at the soccer game here.
Huge win for them by the way.
Anyway, hopefully you read the preview. Josue is dressed, we'll see how much he's used. I'm still thinking it's just a special teams appearance today. I don't see Nate Pagan, but that doesn't mean he's not down there. I'll keep you posted. Everyone else, I'm told, is a go.
The Dukes win the toss and defer.
Time to play the game.

Triumphant return!

Ok, I'm really back. I'm sooooooooooo sorry to have missed my blog duties last week. We're exceptionally short-handed at work and I've been trying to help do a million different things.
I promise to be a good little blogger as time allows.
First off, we WILL BE LIVE BLOGGING THE GAME SATURDAY. So if you can't make it to Arute, come here.
Not much to report from practice this week. A couple of guys questionable, the biggest name being Nate Pagan, but the big news is that Josue Paul is not only eligible to return this week, but will in fact play.
Coach McInerney wasn't sure today how much he'd use him yet. I'd expect to see him return some kicks and play in some 4-wide sets, but I think Richie Martin will still be the main offensive threat, at least in the passing game.
The big theme this week is avoiding the dog days. We're past the time where the season is young and exciting, but still a ways from the stretch drive, where a title is in sight.
How the Blue Devils survive this stage will be key. They are already farther along than I thought they'd be, so let's see what happens.
More throughout the week I promise.