Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fifteen years (and three days) ago: Hofstra 62, CCSU 7

This poor guy wasn't smiling Oct. 7, 1994.

Editor’s note: “Fifteen years ago today…” is a feature we’ll be running all fall at Defiantly Dutch as we look back on how the unforgettable 1994 football season unfolded. I’ll add quotes to note and other random memories of the games as well. The first three entries are as follows:

Win over Lafayette:

Today: A recap of the 62-7 win over Central Connecticut State Oct. 7.

Oct. 7, 1994
Hofstra 62, Central Connecticut 7

Beating nationally ranked New Hampshire wasn’t enough to get the Flying Dutchmen into the top 25. But the voters would have no choice after the Dutchmen authored one of the most dominating victories in program history.

QB Carlos Garay threw for two TDs and rushed for two other scores, Nick Johnson and Jeff Yeakel scored twice apiece and the Dutchmen outgained Central Connecticut 554-126 in a rout of the Blue Devils. With the win, the Dutchmen surged into the top 25 for the first time ever at no. 22.

The Dutchmen, who hadn’t scored in the first quarter since the season opener against Butler, were up 14-0 (on a one-yard run by Severin Cornelius and a five-yard run by Garay) before CCSU even recorded a first down. Johnson’s five-yard TD run and a pair of TD passes by Garay—a 29-yarder to Johnson and a 25-yarder to Michael Wright—gave the Dutchmen a 35-0 lead at halftime. Joe Gardi pulled his starters after the Dutchmen expanded the lead to 45-0 midway through the third quarter, but David Ettinger kicked his second field goal and Yeakel scored both his TDs in the fourth quarter.

Central went three-and-out or turned the ball over on nine of its 15 possessions and crossed midfield just twice, including once as time expired in the first half. The Blue Devils managed to avoid the shutout when a pair of Hofstra third-stringers—QB Michael Doto and RB Mike Gambelunghe—collided on a handoff and Herb Johnson picked up the loose ball and ran 63 yards for the score with 5:21 left.

The Dutchmen could have scored even more points: Doto took a knee at the Blue Devils’ five-yard-line on the final snap of the game. Cornelius had 173 yards rushing in his first collegiate start to lead a rushing attack that racked up an incredible 344 yards rushing—a mere 329 more than Central.

The Dutchmen set I-AA-era records for most points and largest margin of victory in the win (both marks were broken in a 68-0 win over Delaware State in 1998). It was only the fifth time in school history the Dutchmen exceeded 60 points in a game.

Quotable: “We needed to earn respect and get into the top echelon. If that meant scoring a lot of points, that’s what we had to do. I got word from a lot of people [who] count around here that we should do it.”—Gardi

“We had to win big. This game was about getting respect.”—Garay

“We thought we should have been ranked after being the 21st-ranked team in the country. We figured we had to blow out Central to get some respect.”—Cornelius

Other random memories: The Dutchmen’s debut in the top 25 was front page news at The Chronicle. Of course, as I’ve noted here before, the sports-mad editorial board didn’t exactly need its/our arms twisted to splash sports atop the fold on the front page, but it didn’t hurt matters that the other lead story was the gubernatorial debate between George Pataki and Mario Cuomo scheduled for Oct. 27 at Adams Playhouse. It ended up not happening, presumably because it was too late to begin a year-long program called “Educate ’94.”

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