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Saturday's State College Football Games

manthony@courant.com

The Central football team looks to rebound from a rare shutout loss with a nonconference game Saturday against Holy Cross in Worcester. Kickoff at Fitton Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., Central's first day game of the season.

The Blue Devils (1-1) are coming off a 19-0 loss in their home opener to Albany, a game that was delayed at halftime for nearly two hours because of lightning.

Holy Cross (1-1) defeated Morgan State 29-26 at home last week. The Crusaders lost to Albany 14-13 in crushing fashion in Week 1, as Albany's Neil Morrison returned a fumble 79 yards for a touchdown with 44 seconds remaining.

Central senior running back Rob Hollomon had just 33 rushing yards last week, after 161 in an opening victory at Towson, and now has 2,750 in his career. He trails only Stan House (3,347) and James Mallory (3,245) on the program's all-time list.

Holy Cross defeated Central last season in New Britain 52-21, the first meeting between the programs.

Other state games:

Southern Connecticut (0-1) vs. St. Anselm (1-0), noon: Kayjuan Bynum and Brian Wilcox each had 10 tackles last week but the Owls lost their opener at Gannon 23-7, allowing 17 points in the second quarter. This is the first home game as a head coach for Tom Godek, who is familiar with Jess Dow field as a Southern alum (Class of 1988) and an assistant coach the past 13 years under Rick Cavanaugh. Southern leads the all-time series with St. Anselm 12-2, and won last season's matchup, 42-20. This is the Northeast-10 opener for both teams. St. Anselm won its opener for the first time since 2005, defeating Bowie State 23-22 despite trailing 22-7 with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Southern quarterback Brandon Basil was 15 of 31 for 181 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions last week.

Western (0-1) vs. Nichols (0-1), noon: Western is coming off a 43-38 home loss to Hartwick that took two days to complete. Western led 31-20 when the game was halted because of lightning Saturday, but was outscored 23-7 after the game resumed Sunday. The Colonials allowed two touchdown runs by Hartwick's Greg Bell in the final 5:54, capping 20 unanswered points by Hartwick to finish the game. Western quarterback Will Arndt was 20 of 38 for 297 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions last week, and Tory Mack rushed for two touchdowns and 101 yards on 18 carries. Connor Falaguerra had five receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns. His second gave Western a 38-20 lead. Nichols lost its opener at Westfield State, 30-22.

New Haven (0-1) at LIU Post (0-1), 1 p.m.: This is the Northeast-10 opener for both teams. Having to replace six starters on both offense and defense, New Haven had a decent showing in its opener and coach Chris Pincince's debut last week, a 35-30 loss to No. 10 West Chester. LIU Post lost to East Stroudsburg, 43-35. New Haven quarterback Joey Bradley, making his debut, was 32 of 48 for 311 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He completed passes to nine receivers. The Chargers had just three plays of more than 20 yards last week and might hope for the big play against an LIU Post defense that allowed four touchdowns of 20-plus yards last week. LIU Post leads the all-time series 4-1. New Haven won last season's matchup, the first with LIU Post a member of the Northeast-10, 48-23.

Coast Guard (0-1) vs. Merchant Marine (1-0), 2:30 p.m.: The annual rivalry matchup for the Secretaries Cup. Merchant Marine has won three in a row and five of six over Coast Guard and leads the series, which began in 1949, 28-13. Coast Guard lost last week at home to St. Lawrence, 45-14. The Bears had possession for only 14:33, compared to 45:27 for St. Lawrence, and was held to 141 yards (74 rushing, 67 passing). St. Lawrence had 458 yards. It was the most lopsided season-opening loss for Coast Guard, which converted just one of nine third downs, since a 53-14 loss to RPI in 1993. Merchant Marine is coming off a 23-19 victory over The Apprentice School.

Sacred Heart (2-0) vs. Assumption (0-1), 6 p.m.: Sacred Heart, continuing a four-game homestand, is 2-0 for the second season in a row. The Pioneers actually began last season 5-0, losing to Wagner in the Northeast Conference opener, and went on to win the NEC. Sacred Heart leads the series 8-3 after winning the last meeting 42-21 in 2008. The Pioneers have allowed just 21 points in two games, and that 10.5 average is eighth in the FCS. Their total defense (235 yards a game) is ninth. Gordon Hill leads the way with 14 tackles. TaMaric Wilson was NEC defensive player of the week after making nine tackles last week in a 27-14 victory over Lafayette. Assumption lost its opener last week to American International 27-25, gaining 400 yards on offense but allowing 445.

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