Springfield, Mass. - October 15, 2016 - Totaling 624 rushing yards on the afternoon, the Springfield College football team cruised to a 70-47 win in Liberty League play on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field. As part of Homecoming Weekend at Springfield College, the Pride played Saturday's game in front of a crowd of 3,023.
With the victory, the Pride is now 4-3 on the year, with a 3-1 mark in league play, while the Yellow Jackets are now 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the Liberty League.
Springfield College's 624 yards on the ground finished just 52 yards shy of the program record, as the Pride rushed for 676 yards in a 64-0 win over Kings Point on October 2, 2010. Additionally, Springfield College's 70 points is the fourth-most in program history, as the record for total points scored in a single game is 82. The last time the Pride scored 70 or more points was in a 73-14 win over Norwich in 1997.
Today's shootout did go down as the most points combined in a game in Springfield's storied history, which dates back to 1890. It eclipsed the total of 107 points that were scored in the 56-49 win over WPI in 1997.
Springfield College's rushing attack featured four student-atheltes breaching the 100-yard plateau, as the group was headlined by junior Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), who had a career game on the ground for Springfield College, as he totaled a career-high 174 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries. Additionally, freshman halfback Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.) ran for a career-best 160 yards and two touchdowns, as he posted a 91 and 69-yard touchdown runs on the afternoon.
Junior quarterback Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) finished with 117 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, while senior fullback Drew Brown (Barrington, R.I.) ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Defensively, senior linebacker Kenny Calaj (Everett, Mass.) tied his career high with 12 tackles on the afternoon, while junior captain Christian Zotti (Newington, Conn.) registered nine tackles, including three for loss. Junior defensive end Joe Chaves (Cromwell, Conn.) picked up his first-career interception in the win.
For Rochester, junior quarterback Daniel Bronson (Lockport, N.Y.) was sensational on the day, as he completed 22 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns, while he spread the ball all around to nine different receivers. Bronson was also the Yellow Jackets' leading rusher on the day, as he totaled 136 yards on 24 attempts. Defensively, Ricky Simcic (Geneva, Ohio) led with six tackles, as Justin Warner (Fishkill, N.Y.) and Adam Schempp (Webster, N.Y.) both had five tackles apiece.
Rochester marched down the field to start the game for the game's first score with a 13-play, 74-yard drive that last nearly six minutes. Bronson zipped a pass to Emanuel Calmar (Stonington, Conn.) for a 10-yard strike on 2nd-and-Goal to put the Yellow Jackets up, 7-0, with just 2:52 into the game.
Springfield College answered back two plays later as Wilcox found daylight up the gut for a 53-yard scamper to knot the game at seven just 56 seconds later.
The Pride added to its lead 2:05 into the second quarter when Brown tiptoed his way down the left sidelines for a 34-yard score. The five-play drive was all Brown, as he racked up all 58 yards of Springfield College's offense as the Pride doubled its lead.
Chaves got the possession right back for Springfield as he elevated to snag a tipped pass at the line on the Yellow Jackets' first play from scrimmage. Just four plays later, Wilcox punched it in from two yards out as the Pride's lead grew to 21-7 with 11:02 left in the first half.
Showing its resiliency, Rochester would cut its deficit to one score when Bronson connected with Kyle Allegrini (Ringwood, N.J.) for a 40-yard pass-and-catch to make it 21-14, Springfield College, with 7:21 remaining in the second quarter. After forcing the Pride to go three-and-out on its next possession, Bronson went back to work as he found Luke Szumski (Lumberton, N.J.) for a 14-yard pass play, setting up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Nick Perpignan (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to even the score at 21 with 4:16 to play in the half.
On its final possession of the first half, the Pride put together a 7-play, 63-yard drive, resulting in a six-yard touchdown run for Wilcox to make it 28-21 at the break. A seven-yard rush up the left sideline for Tyler Hyde (Southington, Conn.) put Springfield College on the goal line with four downs, but a Rochester stop, followed by a false start penalty put the Pride on the 6-yard line. Eglintine handed the ball to Wilcox on a dive play up the middle, where the junior crossed the plane for his third score of the game.
On the first play of the second half, Belzo bounced a run out towards the sideline, before breaking through a group of Rochester defenders, cutting back to the middle of the field, and finding the end-zone from 69-yards out to make it 35-21, Springfield College.
On Rochester's next possession, Bronson and the Yellow Jackets put together a 10-play, 79-yard drive, which was capped by a 19-yard pass-and-catch from Bronson to Shawn Silleman (Woodland Hills, Calif.), as the ball was deflected by a Springfield College defensive back but hauled in by Silleman to make it 35-28, Springfield College with 11:24 remaining in the third quarter.
Countering quickly, it took only 1:25 for the Pride to answer, as Eglintine busted open a 71-yard touchdown run to push Springfield College's lead back to 14, before the maroon and white extended its lead to three scores when Wilcox found pay dirt for the fourth time on the afternoon with a 54-yard run to make it 49-28 with 7:03 left in the third.
Rochester kept pace with the Pride, as Bronson led a 9-play, 70-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run from Calmar, but the PAT was missed wide to make it 49-34, Springfield College, with 3:26 left in the third.
Following the Yellow Jackets' score, the Pride started a drive deep in its own territory, before Belzo broke loose for another long run, this time a 91-yard touchdown run up the right sideline to make it 56-34, Pride.
Springfield College extended its lead to 29 midway through the fourth quarter when the Pride capped a 5-play, 75-yard drive with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Eglintine to Nick Valles (Danvers, Mass.) to make it 63-34, Pride, with 8:42 to play.
Rochester held tough on its next possesion, as the Yellow Jackets put together a 5-play, 62-yard drive, finished with Bronson's fifth touchdown through the air, as he found David Angie (Webster, N.Y.) in the back of the end zone from 15-yards out to make it 63-40 with 6:49 remaining in the game.
After Brown rushed in from 21-yards out for his second score of the game to make it 70-40, Spirngfield, Rochester scored once again to make it 70-47 when Shane Saucier (Oceanside, N.Y.) found the end zone from 1-yard out, capping an 8-play, 74-yard drive late in the game.
Springfield College was able to run out the clock, sealing the 23-point win for the Pride. Springfield College will continue Liberty League play next Saturday when it travels to face Hobart at 12 pm.