The Central Connecticut football team won its Northeast Conference opener on Saturday, topping St. Francis University 38-29 in front of over 4,000 fans on Homecoming. The win pushes the Blue Devils to 2-4 overall and 1-0 in NEC play. St. Francis U falls to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the league with the loss.
Sophomore quarterback Nick SanGiacomo finished the game 18-for-29 for 242 yards and three touchdowns in the home victory. He had missed the last two games due to illness.
Junior running back Rob Hollomon rushed 24 times for 123 yards and a pair of scores. Junior wideout Tyrell Holmes caught five balls for 153 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Central sacked St. Francis quarterback Max Ward five times in the game, including two from sophomore Elijah Yopp. They allowed only 146 yards passing.
Central used a dominating first half to climb out to a 28-3 lead at the break. Four scoring drives of at least 52 yards helped Central climb out to its biggest halftime lead of the season.
Hollomon's first scoring run, from five-yards out, capped a nine-play, 64-yard drive on the first possession of the game for CCSU. It was 7-3 after a field goal from Lance Geesey for the Red Flash to open the second quarter.
SanGiacomo found junior tight end Thomas Tarantino with a three-yard pass to push the lead to 14-3 with 6:27 to play in the second quarter. A 66-yard pass from SanGiacomo to Holmes made it 21-3 just over two minutes later.
The third scoring pass of the second quarter for SanGiacomo, this time to senior Nick Bacarella, made it 28-3 just before halftime.
The Red Flash, however, didn't go away and cut the lead to 28-23 with 2:10 left in the third quarter. Kyle Harbridge ran in from eight-yards out for the first touchdown of the game for the Red Flash, and then Ward found Matt Valenzuela with a five-yard scoring pass following a Central turnover to make it 28-16. Harbridge scored for the second time with 2:10 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to five.
Junior Steven Calitri kicked a 26-yard field goal for the Blue Devils to push the lead to 31-23 to start the fourth quarter. The Red Flash answered again, this time on a pass from Ward to Anthony Bowman to cut it to 31-29 with 11:02 to play in the game. The Red Flash went for two but were unsuccessful.
Central scored the game's final touchdown, the second for Hollomon, with 2:20 left to ice their first home victory of the season.
The Blue Devils had 442 yards of total offense in the win. They held SFU to 307 total yards, but Harbridge had 179 on the ground and his two touchdowns.
Central rushed for 200 yards and threw for 242 more in the win. Hollomon had 123 on the ground and 64 more on returns to post 187 all-purpose yards on the day.
Sophomore C.J. Morrison had a team-high nine tackles, including a sack, in the game. Senior Antwione Reese added seven and Yopp had four and his two sacks. Senior Chris Linares had a sack, interception and a pass break-up.
The Blue Devils return to action next Saturday on the road at Sacred Heart. The game will kick-off at 1 p.m.