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Smith Wins NEC Rushing Title As Career-Day Propels Football To Win

Nas Smith (left) rushed for a career-best 218 yards behind Craig Wood (right) and the offensive line on Saturday to win the NEC rushing crown. (Photo: Steve McLaughlin)
Nas Smith (left) rushed for a career-best 218 yards behind Craig Wood (right) and the offensive line on Saturday to win the NEC rushing crown. (Photo: Steve McLaughlin)

Nasir Smith rushed for a career-high 218 yards and secured the Northeast Conference rushing title in the Central Connecticut football teams 39-13 win over Stonehill on Saturday.

Smith carried 29 times for 218 yards, a 7.5 yard per carry average, and four touchdowns. The effort moved him into 10th place in Blue Devils rushing history, with 1,826 yards, as he posted 1,219 rushing yards this season – the seventh-best single-season effort in program history.

Smith's 1,219 rushing yards is the most for any NEC running back this season and his 110.8 yards per game is also the most in the conference. He finished with 14 total touchdowns, tied for tops in the NEC, with his 13 rushing scores the most in the league.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: CCSU 39, Stonehill 14
Records: CCSU (2-9; 2-5 NEC); Stonehill (4-5; 2-5 NEC)
Location: W.B. Mason Stadium | North Easton, MA

KEY MOMENTS 

  • Stonehill took the opening kickoff 75 yards, over 14 plays and 7:06, scoring on an eight-yard pass for the 7-0 lead
  • Shon Mitchell connected with Erik Surratt for a 17-yard gain on second and 19, that helped extend the opening drive that Smith capped with a 30-yard touchdown run
  • Stonehill converted 4th down
  • Isiah Williams made a diving catch in the back of the end zone, and held on to the 26-yard pass, with 6:40 to play in the first half, giving the Blue Devils a 12-7 lead
  • Joe Basante put the Skyhawks back on top with a three-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left in the first half
  • Smith, with some help from his friends, took the ball 15 yards for the go-ahead score, a play after converting a fourth down
  • After the defense got a stop on the ensuing drive, Mitchell wasted no time, finding Surratt in stride for a 70-yard touchdown and a 25-14 advantage
  • Stonehill drove into CCSU territory on the next drive before Isaiah Greene intercepted a pass from Ashur Carraha to give the Blue Devils the ball back
  • Smith scored his third TD of the game, from 10 yards out, capping a 90-yard drive that put CCSU in front 32-14
  • Greene came up with his second pick of the game with 8:19 to play, this one in the endzone to turn away the Skyhawks
  • Smith scored his fourth touchdown on a 30-yard run, on fourth down, and eclipsed 200 yards rushing for the game to wrap up the scoring

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Mitchell completed his first seven passes, including a TD throw and finished 13-15 for 235 yards and two touchdowns
  • The Blue Devils had a rusher and receiver eclipse 100 yards in a game for the second time this season, with Smith (218 rushing) and Surratt (132 receiving) accomplishing the feat
  • Chizi Umunakwe finished with 12 tackles, his sixth game with double-digit tackles this season and finished the year with 94 total tackles – tops in the NEC
  • Surratt's 132 yards receiving, on seven catches, is a career-high
  • Smith holds two of the top-three single-game rushing totals this season in the NEC

NUMBER TO KNOW

218– Smith's career-high rushing total that secured the 2022 NEC rushing title

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NEW BRITAIN, CT 06050

(860) 832-BLUE

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