Springfield, Mass. - November 3, 2018 - Senior fullback Joshua Thomas (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) rushed for three touchdowns to lead the Springfield College football team to a dominating 44-7 win over Maine Maritime in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play at Stagg Field on Saturday afternoon. Prior to Saturday's game, the Pride recognized the 26 members of it's senior class.
With the win, the Pride improves to 7-2 on the year and 5-1 in conference play, while the Mariners fall to 0-8 overall and 0-6 against league opponents. Springfield College's offense produced 387 yards of total offense, as it was led by 108 yards on 18 carries from junior Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.), while Thomas collected 75 yards on 14 attempts with three scores. Mikey Dragone (Harrison, N.Y.) was effective as well at the fullback position, as he produced 80 yards on 13 carries and recorded his first-career touchdown with the maroon and white. Defensively, Springfield College was led by the efforts of Tom Casey (Tewksbury, Mass.) and AJ Smith (Rahway, N.J.), who notched seven tackles apiece, while Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) had a team-best four tackles-for-loss, including two sacks, as well as a forced fumble, and fumble recovery on the afternoon.
The Mariners were led offensively by Cooper Chiasson (Carthage, Maine), who had 17 yards on nine carries, while Maine Maritime's lone touchdown came from Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine), who finished with four catches for 42 yards and one score. Defensively, the Mariners was led by Justin Pinard (New Boston, N.H.), who finished with 11 tackles, while Maxwell Horton (Eliot, Maine) had 10 stops in the setback.
Springfield College opened the day's scoring on its third possession of the game when the hosts pieced together a 14-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run from Thomas, before Blake Heller (Bellmore, N.Y.) converted the point-after attempt to give the Pride an early 7-0 advantage with 3:23 to play in the first quarter. After forcing the Mariners to go three-and-out on its next possession, the Pride geared up for another long drive, this one lasting 4:59 as the maroon and white went 49 yards on 11 plays, before Belzo capped the drive with a four-yard rush for his first touchdown of the day. Following another extra point from Heller, the Pride took a 14-0 lead with 11:57 to play in the first half.
On Maine Maritime's next drive, Casey forced a fumble on the Mariners' 30-yard line, which was controlled by Giorgio, setting up a 27-yard touchdown pass on the next play from Belzo to Steve Comee (Agawam, Mass.). The touchdown pushed the Pride's lead to 20 before Heller converted his third-straight point-after attempt to make it 21-0 Springfield College with 10:16 to play in the second quarter.
Once again, the Pride forced Maine Maritime to punt after three plays, setting up another scoring drive from Springfield College which went for six plays and 41 yards. On the drive, Isaiah Cashwell-Doe (Woburn, Mass.) broke off a 10-yard run to put the Pride in the red zone, before Thomas had back-to-back runs of four and eight yards to register his second touchdown of the day, before Heller drilled another extra point, granting the Pride a 28-0 lead with 5:57 on the clock.
Both teams traded possessions, resulting in the maroon and white entering the halftime break with a 28-0 lead.
Opening the second half, Springfield College forced the Mariners to punt, before the Pride gained possession on its own 37 and rattled off a scoring drive that lasted eight plays and went for 63 yards. On the third play of the drive, Belzo picked up a 27-yard run up the left sideline, setting up an eight-yard touchdown run for Thomas to make it 34-0, Pride. From there, another three-and-out for Maine Maritime resulted in Dragone getting his first touches of the game, as he ran for 25 yards on the scoring drive, and punched in a five-yard score to make it 37-0, Pride, with 1:22 to play in the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Mariners showed signs of life as Maine Maritime pieced together a 16-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 8:20, which was capped off by a touchdown pass from Bailey Sawyer (Westbrook, Maine) to Casale from five yards to make it 37-7 with 8:08 to play. From there, Springfield College was able to seal the win on its last drive of the game, which was a 12-play drive, going for 66 yards, and was finished on a one-yard score from Dragone to complete the 44-7 victory.
Up next, Springfield College will travel to Cambridge, Mass. for its regular-season finale against MIT. The game is set to begin at 12 p.m.