The Central Connecticut football team won a four overtime thriller on Saturday night on the road at Wagner, 51-45, and on Monday a pair of Blue Devils were honored by the Northeast Conference. The win pushes the Blue Devils to 4-3 overall and they've now won four straight games heading into this Saturday's home contest vs. Bryant. Junior Tymir Hinton and senior Frankie Palmer were named the Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week on Monday.
Hinton spearheaded a defensive effort that allowed CCSU to outlast Wagner on the road in four overtimes. Helping the Blue Devils to a fourth consecutive victory, the veteran safety recorded a team-leading nine tackles, broke up two passes and denied Wagner at the doorstep with an interception that he proceeded to return for a touchdown. Hinton showed his versatility with CCSU protecting a 20-7 midway through the second quarter. He stuffed the Wagner ball carrier for no gain on the first play of the possession, but the Seahawks eventually moved down to Central's 17-yard line where they faced a 2nd-and-8. On what was the eighth snap of the drive, Hinton snatched an errant pass near the front of the end zone and turned on the jets for a NCAA record-tying 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Hinton delivered a pair of pass break-ups during overtime play, the second of which denied Wagner on a third-down attempt and forced a field goal try in the second extra period.
Palmer's placekicking perfection and effective punting proved to be key components in the victory. He scored 13 points for the Blue Devils, going 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and making all four of his extra-point tries in the four-overtime triumph. Palmer, who averaged 63.0 yards per kickoff and blasted two for touchbacks, also effectively handled the punting duties to the tune of a 45.4 yards per kick average. Three of Palmer's seven punts travelled more than 50 yards.
Two of his boots came during the final 3:00 of regulation and helped prevent Wagner from breaking a 27-27 tie. Punting from his own 27-yard line with under 1:00 remaining, Palmer sent a 64-yard blast that was downed at the Wagner 9. Only a few minutes earlier, he flipped the field on Wagner by booming a 51-yarder from his own 10. Palmer opened the game's scoring by nailing a 31-yard field goal with 6:02 left in the first quarter. His subsequent 37-yarder boosted CCSU's lead to 13-0 early in the second. Later, Palmer forced a third overtime session by nailing a 22-yard field goal that tied the score at 37-37.
The Blue Devils will host Bryant on Saturday at 12 p.m. looking for their fifth straight victory.