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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Southern Connecticut State University football shocked NCAA Division I Central Connecticut State, 28-21, in its 2021 season opener at Arute Field in New Britain, Conn., in front of 4,500-plus fans, half of which traveled from New Haven, Conn. The Owls open the year at 1-0 while CCSU starts the season at 0-1.  

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Izaiah Sanders had three catches for 109 yards and a 51-yard touchdown, the longest of his career, while first-year Owl Tylon Papallo had a team-best five catches for 81 yards. Jackson Ostrowsky was 16-for-32 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, Hasan Dominick finished with a game-high 11 tackles, including eight solo take-downs and a sack, while Richard Williams, Jr., had nine tackles and a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown.

How it happened

  • Central Connecticut jumped out to an early lead when Kenyata Huston capped off a 14-play, 87-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown on the Blue Devils first possession of the game.
  • First-year Owl and UConn transfer Timothy O’Shea, Jr found the end zone for the first time in his collegiate career on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Ostrowsky. The Owls capitalized off a fumble caused by a vicious hit by Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre that was scooped up by Cameron Belton. Ostrowsky needed just three plays to tie the game.
  • The Owls took a 14-7 lead after Harrison Smith crushed the Blue Devils’ punter off a botched snap, setting up the Owls’ offense inside the CCSU 20-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Ostrowsky faked the hand-off, pump faked to the center of the field and then found Tye Hodge all-alone in the corner of the end zone for Hodge’s first career touchdown.
  • Central scored with nine seconds to play in the half when Tyshaun James took a pass from Romelo Williams 33-yards to tie the game at 14-14 heading into halftime.
  • With just under 11 minutes to go in regulation, Richard Williams, Jr picked off Romelo Williams on the Owls’ 10-yard line and returned it 90 yards to give the Owls a 21-14 lead.
  • Central answered when Tyshaun James scored on a short pass across the middle to cut the Owls’ lead to 28-21 with 5:29 to play.

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Notes

  • Williams, Jr.’s interception return for a touchdown was the second-longest in Southern Connecticut history behind Rich Falcigno’s 100-yard return on an interception against Geneva in 1961.
  • The last Southern player to return an interception for a touchdown was David Campbell, on a 40-yard return, against Gannon on Aug. 30, 2008.
  • Dating back to the 2019 season, Jackson Ostrowsky has now thrown for three touchdowns in four-straight games.
  • Graduate student Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre finished with eight tackles and a force fumble while first-year Owl Robert Nunez had nine tackles and a sack. Joe DiGello had three quarterback hurries, a sack and also blocked a punt.

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