The Central Connecticut football team dropped a wild 24-21 road decision to Duquesne on Saturday afternoon, dropping its overall record to 4-7 on the year and 2-3 in Northeast Conference play. Sophomore quarterback Nick SanGiacomo set the single-season school record with three touchdown passes, giving him 19 on the season, one more than Scott Dolch's record of 17.
Central scored first on a 61-yard scoring pass from SanGiacomo to junior Scott Benzing on the first drive of the game. The Dukes answered with 13 straight points before halftime to lead 13-7 at the break.
Central took a 14-13 lead on the record-breaking scoring pass from SanGiacomo to senior Denzell Jones in the third quarter. Duquesne answered with 11 straight points, including a field goal with 3:14 to play in the fourth quarter, to take a 24-14 lead.
SanGiacomo threw his third touchdown pass, this time to senior Nick Bacarella, to cut the lead to 24-21 with 1:19 to play in the fourth. Central could not recover the onside kick but forced a Duquesne punt. Central got the ball back late in the fourth quarter but could not convert and fell 24-21.
After the Blue Devils received the Duquesne punt, they moved the ball up close to midfield. A first down pass to Bacarella ended with one second on the clock and Central appeared to rush up to the line to run a final play. However, the referee came over the microphone and told the crowd that with one second left this was not a possibility.
The group of officials, however, got together a eventually decided to allow one final play to be run by CCSU. The clock started on the referee's whistle and junior center Blaise Rosati snapped the ball to SanGiacomo before time ran out. SanGiacomo attempted a pass to junior Rob Hollomon but it went incomplete, according to one official. The officials debated whether the pass had been thrown forward or backward, and eventually ruled the pass incomplete and the game was over.
SanGiacomo ended the game 17-of-39 for 253 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Hollomon rushed 25 times for just 59 yards and didn't find the end zone.
Junior Tyrell Holmes had three catches for 83 yards and Benzing ended the game with two catches for 65 yards including the first quarter touchdown. Bacarella and Jones each had a scoring catch in the loss.
Sophomore Josh Celerin led the defense with 11 tackles while senior captain Antwione Reese had eight. Senior Chris Linares had seven stops and a pass break-up.
Central will complete the season next week at home on Nov. 23, hosting Bryant at 1 p.m. at Arute Field. The Blue Devils will honor their senior class prior to kickoff.