NEW BRITAIN - Running back Cameron Nash and quarterback Jacob Dolegala have both had crucial roles in the CCSU football team reaching the FCS playoffs with an 8-3 record.
Both reached impressive feats in the 42-14 win over Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon in front of the home fans.
Nash reached 1,000 yards rushing for his senior season, and did so with a big performance.
He had 140 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He finished the regular season with 1,003 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
“He’s just one heck of a player,” Dolegala said of Nash. “He’s just Cam. He makes plays out of nowhere and he’s a really tough football player.”
“It means a lot,” Nash said. “The guys up front, I couldn’t have done it without them. We had a young group last year and we built that bond together and it’s showed this year. For me to get to 1,000 yards, it shows what kind of work they’ve been putting in and I’ve been putting in.”
Getting Nash to that 1,000 yard mark was a goal for the team coming into the game and once he reached that mark with a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter, he came out for the rest of the game and was congratulated on the sidelines by his coaches and teammates.
“We wanted to get Cam to 1,000 yards,” CCSU head coach Pete Rossomando said. “That was the main focus today and the guys up front really wanted it for themselves as a group and Cam’s been a warrior for us all year.”
While still a junior, Dolegala became the school’s all-time leading passer with a 182-yard passing performance and three touchdowns against the Colonials.
Dolegala had his two best games of the season over the past two weeks. In the two weeks combined he has thrown for 458 yards with five touchdown passes and no interceptions.
He had just five passing touchdowns in the five games prior to playing Duquesne.
“What he’s been doing the past couple of weeks has been very crucial,” Nash said of Dolegala. “He’s playing his best football at the right time and we need that rolling into the playoffs. We wouldn’t be here without him.”
To become the all-time leading passer for the school as a junior isn’t an individual accomplishment for Dolegala, but rather a reflection of those who have helped him develop along the way.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the other guys,” Dolegala said. “The coaching staff put me in the right place and whatnot and I just gotta give the credit to them.”
“I think I’ve gradually improved in every aspect of my game,” Dolegala said. “And that’s just coaching. They’ve really developed me into the player I think I’m able to be.”
Most of the success this season has come without a couple of his major offensive weapons.
“I know we’ve got him for another year, but it’s just awesome to have a guy like that,” Rossomando said. “To say we were going to do what we were going to do without our two top offensive weapons in K.J. Smith and Joey Fields, I think Jake’s really carried the load for us throughout the entire season.”
After starting out 0-3 and then reeling off eight straight wins, the Blue Devils hope that the tough non-conference schedule to start the year is something that can help them make a run in the playoffs.
“I told them right away that we don’t want to play teams that we can beat automatically,” Rossomando said. “We want to play teams that are going to challenge us at the next level and obviously Syracuse is way above us, but to play Youngstown [State] and Fordham, [which] was a great team, those are big games for us and they got us ready for the season.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @OrencoleDan