The Central Connecticut football team dropped to 0-2 on the season after a double overtime 51-44 loss on the road at #19/23 Lehigh on Saturday afternoon. Junior running back Rob Hollomon rushed for three touchdowns, but the Mountain Hawks overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to win their season-opener.
Sophomore Nick SanGiacomo got the start at quarterback for the Blue Devils and finished the game 20-for-32 for 225 yards and three touchdowns while throwing one interception.
Hollomon finished the game with 160 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. He carried the ball 35 times. Teammate Darius Lee had carried 17 times for 80 yards as Central Connecticut rushed for 258 yards in the game.
Central let a 20-point second half lead slip away as the Mountain Hawks put together three scoring drives that lasted less than a minute to tie the game at 37-37 with under four minutes to play in the game. The Mountain Hawks had a chance to take the lead but missed the extra-point.
The Blue Devils got the ball back on offense, but a 40-yard field goal attempt from junior Steven Calitri went wide in the final seconds and the two teams went to overtime.
In overtime, the Blue Devils scored first on a touchdown pass to junior Tyrell Holmes from SanGiacomo. Lehigh scored on their first play of overtime, and then again on their next possession to take a 51-44 lead. The Blue Devils could not score on their second possession and the Mountain Hawks held on for their first victory of the season.
Central led 21-10 at halftime, but Lehigh scored quickly to open the second half and make it 21-17. The Blue Devils would score the next 16 points, but an extra-point on the second touchdown of the half was blocked. Calitri kicked his first field goal of the game to make it 37-17 in favor of the visitors.
But the field goal would be the final points of regulation for CCSU, as Lehigh scored 20 unanswered to send it to overtime. They scored 27 second half points in the win, and an additional 14 in the two overtime periods.
Central was solid on offense all day long, posting 483 total yards and 44 points. Junior Scott Benzing had 73 yards receiving and a touchdown. Hollomon added 69 receiving yards to his 160 on the grounds. Senior Denzell Jones had three receptions, including a touchdown, and Holmes adding a scoring catch.
Defensively, the Blue Devils forced a pair of turnovers as freshman Jevon Elmore and sophomore Elijah Yopp each had an interception in the game. Yopp's came off a deflection from junior teammate Josh Alaeze. Freshman Austin Wezenski led the way with seven tackles, including five solo. Sophomore Josh Celerin added six stops, as did sophomore C.J. Morrison and junior David Rose. Yopp also had a sack.
Hollomon had 24 return yards in the game giving him 253 all-purpose in the game. It was the second time in his career that he has rushed for three touchdowns in a game.
SanGiacomo's three touchdown passes match his career-high, which he set last season against Sacred Heart.
The 44 points are the most points ever scored in a loss for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils will host Holy Cross (0-2) in their home-opener next Saturday nigh at 6 p.m. at Arute Field in New Britain. Fans can buy tickets online by visiting www.CCSUTickets.com.