The Central Connecticut football team won its third straight game to open the 2019 season, winning on the road at Valparaiso on Saturday, 42-13. Sophomore Keonte Lucas had a huge day on offense for the Blue Devils, rushing 10 times for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His two scores came from 75 and 85-yard out, and were the longest scoring runs for the Blue Devils since last season's huge game from Aaron Dawson vs. Wagner on Arute Field. The defense posted five interceptions in the victory, including one for a touchdown in the third quarter.
The win gives the Blue Devils a 3-0 start to the season for the first time since the 2006 season (Marist, Georgia Southern, Southern Connecticut) and just the second time since 1973. Central finished with 315 rushing yards in the game on 38 carries, good for an average of 8.3 yards per carry.
Senior quarterback Aaron Winchester was 11-of-15 for 147 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed seven times for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Score: Central Connecticut 42, Valparaiso 13
Records: CCSU (3-0), Valparaiso (0-2)
Location: Brown Field | Valparaiso, IN
- Kendall Coles returned an interception 30 yards for a score in the third quarter to give CCSU a 28-13 lead. It marked the third defensive touchdown in as many games for CCSU. It was one of five interceptions on the day for CCSU.
- After falling behind 6-0, the Blue Devils scored 42 of the final 49 points in the game, including 28 straight in the second half. The 42 points are a season-high.
- Central was 3-of-3 in the red zone on offense and allowed only one red zone touchdown on defense.
- The Blue Devil posted five interceptions in the game, one each from Coles, redshirt freshman Marlon Brown, Jr., senior Tajik Bagley, Dexter Lawson, Jr. and sophomore Jahlil Brown.
- "A win is a win. We started very slowly, but we eventually found our way in the third quarter," head coach Ryan McCarthy said. "The defense did a great job of creating turnovers and the offensive line and running backs asserted themselves in the third quarter. What's disconcerting is the fact that we have not corrected our mistakes from the previous two weeks and we have yet to put together a complete game in all three phases."
NUMBER TO KNOW
3 – The Blue Devils scored a defensive touchdown for the third straight game to open the 2019 season.
- Today marked the first-ever meeting between Valpo and CCSU. Valpo will play in New Britain next season.
- The last time CCSU started a season 4-0 was 1970 (third 3-0 start since 1973)
- The Blue Devils score 40+ points in back-to-back games for the first time since last season vs. Robert Morris and Bryant.
- Lucas led the Blue Devil rushing attack with his 190 yards. It was the most yards in a game for CCSU since Dawson rushed for 361 against Wagner last season.
- Lucas's 75-yard score was the longest scoring run for CCSU since Drew Jean-Guillaume ran 76-yards for a touchdown vs. Bryant on 10/21/17. His 85-yard TD was the longest run from scrimmage for CCSU since Jean-Guillaume posted an 84-yard rush vs. Bryant last season, and was the longest scoring run for CCSU since Rob Hollomon rushed 94 yards for a touchdown vs. Salve Regina in 2013.
- Central had 300+ rushing yards for the first time this season, but over 250+ for the third straight game to open 2019. They have 844 yards in three games this season.
- The Blue Devil defense allowed just one score in the game. The other Valpo touchdown came on a punt block and return.
- The defense allowed just 67 rushing yards in the game and has allowed only 76 yards on the ground in the last two games.
The Blue Devils continue their road trip with a game at Eastern Michigan next Saturday.