FAIRFIELD - For the second consecutive week the Central Connecticut State football team relied on its running game and for the second consecutive week it came out with a win.
Cameron Nash rushed 21 times for 157 yards, Drew Jean-Guillaume accounted for two touchdowns in the first half and the defense forced five turnovers as the Blue Devils beat Sacred Heart 26-15 in their Northeast Conference opener Saturday night.
Jarrod Cann intercepted a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown. Overall, CCSU ended the game with three sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries as the defense held the Pioneers to 15 points, their second lowest total of the season.
CCSU (2-3, 1-0) took an early lead after Jean-Guillaume ran for a 6-yard score with 5:23 left in the first quarter, capping a three-play drive that was set up by a blocked punt from D.J. Exilhomme. The junior tailback then scored on a 70-yard pass from Jacob Dolegala towards the end of the second quarter to give the Blue Devils a 16-3 lead at the half.
Dolegala finished his afternoon 9-of-21 for 209 yards and no turnovers.
In between the Jean-Guillaume touchdowns, were a pair of field goals. Frankie Palmer hit a 20-yard field goal for CCSU with the Pioneers kicking one on the drive after.
The Blue Devils lead extended to 19-3 on Palmer’s second field goal, this one from 28 yards, to start the second-half scoring.
The lead reached 19-3 on a 28-yard field goal from Palmer with 4:53 to play in the third quarter.
Sacred Heart managed to cut the lead to 19-9 with 12:18 on the clock on a 13-yard scoring run from quarterback Kevin Duke, but failed on the 2-point conversion.
CCSU stretched the lead to 26-9 when Cann intercepted another Duke pass, his second of the day, and ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown. Cann ended the game with a game-high 13 tackles, eight solo, to go along with his two interceptions.
Sacred Heart scored a final touchdown with 43 seconds to play but failed on its onside kick attempt was no good, allowing the Blue Devils to run out the clock.
CCSU will next host Penn on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.