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No. 25 Football Returns Home To Clash With Union In Non-Conference Finale

No. 25 Football Returns Home To Clash With Union In Non-Conference Finale

Springfield, Mass. – September 13, 2018 – The Springfield College football team will return to Stagg Field this weekend and serve as host to Union College on Saturday, September 15th at 2:00 p.m. in the Pride's non-conference finale.

Last Week...

For the second-straight week, the Springfield College football team put up 42 points and handled host Kean University, 42-0, at Alumni Stadium on Saturday in non-conference play.

The Pride's offense totaled 432 yards of total offense, including 418 on the ground.  Springfield produced 27 first downs compared to just 10 by Kean as the visitors held Kean to just 157 yards of total offense, averaging 3.0 yards per play, and 3-for-12 on third-down conversions.

Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) led an offense that had five players with at least 50 rushing yards as the junior quarterback totaled 116 rushing yards and a score.  Tim Callahan (Enfield, Conn.) found the end zone twice, while Nick Rajotte (North Attleboro, Mass.)Joshua Thomas (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), and Justin Przypek (Stamford, Conn.) each crossed the goal line once.  For the game, the Pride's offense averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

Defensively, Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) was sensational on the defensive line and totaled 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles-for-loss and a sack, a forced fumble, and pass break up.  In his return to the Garden State, AJ Smith (Rahway, N.J.) added nine tackles and 2.5 tackles-for-loss, while Jakai Whittingham (Meriden, Conn.) was impressive in his season debut, averaging over 41 yards on his three punt attempts.

About the Matchup...

For a series that dates back to 1917, Springfield and Union will meet for the 21st time in 2018.  Springfield holds a slight 11-8-1 advantage in the series, including wins in the last three meetings.  Most recently in Oct. 8, 2016, Springfield defeated Union 17-3 in New York thanks to the rushing attack of the Pride, who had 360 yards on the ground. Springfield had 22 first downs for the day, while on defense Dominic Traversa had nine tackles with a big fourth quarter interception, and Christian Zotti made eight stops for the Pride. 

National Leaders...

Category Rank Statistic
Rushing Offense 3rd 413.5 YPG
Third Down Conversion % 8th 60%
First Down Offense 24th 47
Scoring Offense 28th 42.0 PPG
Kickoff Returns 30th 26.67 YPR
Red Zone Defense 31st 50%
Rushing TDs Chad Shade 2nd (7)
Rushing Yards Chad Shade 5th (363)
Rushing Yards Per Game Chad Shade 9th (181.5 YPG)
Rushing Yards per carry Chad Shade 13th (8.85 YPC)
All Purpose Yards Chad Shade 23rd (363 Yds)
Kickoff Returns Ryan McCarthy 26.7 YPR

Back In the Rankings...

After their win over Kean University, Springfield College is ranked 25th in the National Poll. Of the 47 teams who are receiving votes in the poll, Springfield is the only team from New England to appear in the national rankings. Springfield has received votes in every national poll since September 6th, 2017.

Weekly Honors...

Springfield once again collected a handful of weekly honors for their efforts on the gridiron. Of the six NEWMAC weekly honors to be handed out this season, Springfield has captured five of them, as AJ Smith and Chad Shade picked up NEWMAC athlete of the week recognition last week, while this week Nick Bainter was tabbed the conference's offensive athlete of the week, Nick Giorgio was chosen as the defensive athlete of the week, and Jakai Whittingham was chosen as the special teams athlete of the week.  

On a Roll...

Winners of their last 12 regular-season games, Springfield's longest regular-season winning streak in program history is 20 games. That streak spanned from the last five games of the 2002 season until the sixth game of the 2004 season. After the 2002 season ended with five-straight wins before a setback in the NCAA Championship First Round, the Pride won the first 10 games of the 2013 campaign before losing in the NCAA Tournament.  Springfield then rattled off five wins to start the 2004 campaign before it lost on October 23rd in a 45-24 decision to St. John Fisher.

Stagg Success...

Springfield has won its last 10 regular-season home games on Stagg Field, as the Pride's last regular-season loss on at home was on September 10th, 2016 when it fell to St. John Fisher, 35-21.  During that span of 10 games, Springfield has outscored its opponents, 419-146.  In fact, in Cerasuolo's three years as head coach, Springfield is 10-3 at home.

About the Dutchmen...

Union College finished last season at 7-4 under coach Jeff Behrman who is now going into his 3rd year coaching at Union.  Union boasts one of the nation's best passing attacks, as quarterback Will Bellamy is ranked second in the country, averaing 367.5 passing yards per game.  His main target has been first-year Andre Ross Jr., who is averaging 158.5 yards per game and has caught four touchdowns.  Union toppled Husson, 30-7, in their season opener at home before taking it on the road to best Coast Guard, 28-10, last weekend.