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Football Prepares For NCAA Division III Championship First Round Showdown With Husson

Football Prepares For NCAA Division III Championship First Round Showdown With Husson

Springfield, Mass. - November 16, 2017 - The Springfield College football team will host Husson in the NCAA Division III Championship First Round on Saturday afternoon when it squares off with the Eagles in the national tournament at 12 pm. for the first time since 2013 on Saturday, November 18 at 12:00 pm in the first round of NCAA.

Last Week...
The Springfield College football team put together a dominating effort on both sides of the ball to cruise to a 43-7 victory vs. MIT in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Saturday afternoon. Springfield totaled 390 yards of offense, all of them coming on the ground as it averaged 8.0 yards per rush. The Pride's defense forced three turnovers, produced three sacks, and forced the Engineers to punt on nine of their 14 drives.

Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was once again marvelous in the backfield for the Pride as he totaled 221 yards on just 18 carries and found the end zone three times.  Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.) had nine touches in the contest, racking up 50 yards and two touchdowns, while Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) totaled 71 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Luke Jiminez (Waldwick, N.J.) and David McMullen(Warwick, R.I.) each tallied an interception for the pride while senior Jack Hammond (Cranston, R.I.) blocked a punt just over a minute into the second quarter.

Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) had a game-best ten tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss and McMullen notched six stops to go along with a forced fumble and an interception. 

Inagural NEWMAC Champions
Springfield finished the regular season undefeated to collect the first ever NEWMAC Championship. The Pride bested WPI 42-10 in their first ever NEWMAC contest followed by a 42-3 victory over Norwich the next week. Springfield then took to the road, beating Coast Guard 38-7 and Merchant Marine 35-13. In weeks seven and eight, the Pride really hit their stride, beating Catholic 68-20 and then Maine Maritime 62-0. In the final NEWMAC game of the year, the Pride came out on top of MIT 43-7 to complete its incredible season and earn them a bid into the NCAA tournament.

Raking in the Honors...
The Pride earned four major NEWMAC awards this season, having junior defensive end Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) named Defensive Athlete of the Year, senior fullback Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) chosen as the NEWMAC Offensive Athlete of the Year, freshman defensive back Mackenzie Allioth (Middleboro, Mass.) tabbed the rookie of the year, and head coach Mike Cerasuolo named the NEWMAC Coach of the Year.  

In addition to Wilcox and Giorgio, senior offensive lineman Christopher Hayden (Madison, Maine), senior linebacker Dominic Traversa (Pittsfield, Mass.), junior defensive back Marlowe Scott (Dorchester, Mass.), senior tight end Chula Loomis (Milton, Mass.), senior quarterback Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) and sophomore offensive lineman Nick Bainter (East Bridgewater, Mass.) garnered NEWMAC All-Conference First Team honors.

Earning second recognition for the Pride included senior halfback Tyler Hyde (Plantsville, Conn.), sophomore halfback Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.), junior offensive lineman Brennan Fleming(Mechanicville, N.Y.), senior defensive lineman Joel Sodeinde (Dartmouth, Mass.), senior defensive lineman Joe Chaves (Cromwell, Conn.), senior linebacker Christian Zotti (Newington, Conn.), junior defensive back Josh Corporan (Lincoln Park, N.J.), and senior defensive back Jonny Bianchi (Pittsfield, Mass.).

What A Year ...
For the first time since 2003, Springfield went 10-0 in the regular season.  For a program that dates back to 1890, Springfield's impressive season continues, as it has now started the season 10-0 for just the second time in program history. Springfield's 10-0 start makes them one of just 12 teams in Division III who are undefeated, and one of 26 who have yet to suffer a loss this year in all of college football.

In 2000, Springfield started the off year 9-0 and finished 11-2, the most wins in program history.  The 2003 squad went 10-0 during the regular season before bowing out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the 1965 teams is the only undefeated and untied team in program history, as it went 9-0.

Season for the Record Books...
Springfield is on pace to establish a number of single-season program records... 

Name of Record Year Accomplished Previous Record This Season
Rushing Yards 2006 4496 4523 
Total Yards 2006 4972 4906
Total Points 2003 466 459
Opp. Rushing Yards 2004 907 876
Opp. Total Yards 2001 2385 2203
Opp. Points 2001 150 109

About the Matchup...
This is Springfield's ninth ever meeting with Husson.  The winner of today's matchup will move on to play the winner of Delaware Valley and Western New England in the secod round of the NCAA tournament. The Pride owns a 7-1 record against the Eagles from has they played every season from 2006 to 2013.

2006: Springfield: 43   Husson: 16 - En route to a 27 point victory, the Pride amassed 467 total offenseive yards, including 373 on the ground. Andrew Jackson rushed for 94 yards and a game-high three touchdowns.

2007: Springfield: 42   Husson: 28 - Springfield had a big day on the ground against the Eagles as Chris Sharpe and Baldwin Cunningham combined for 237 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Pride jump out to an early 21-7 lead. On the defensive side of the ball, Tom Caporale totaled 13 tackles to help anchor the teams defensive unit

2008: Husson: 39      Springfield: 21 - The Eagles used a balance attack as six different players scored touchdowns in the 39-21 victory. Husson controlled the line of scrimmage, racking up 372 yards of offense and managed to limit the Pride to 172 total yards.

2009: Springfield: 39   Husson: 14 - Sophomore QB Josh Carter ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 98 yards and one more TD in leading the Springfield College football team to the non-conference victory. Springfield, which was ranked #1 in Division III in rushing with 402.2 yards per game entering the contest, rushed for 315 yards, while allowing 119.

2010: Springfield: 51   Husson: 0 -  Antoine King rushed for 125 yards, including a 91-yard romp for a score, and the Springfield College football team exploded for 24 points in the third quarter, giving the Pride a 51-0 victory over the Eagles. It was the Pride's first shutout since the last game of the 2006 regular season, when the Pride blanked Norwich University, 35-0. 

2011: Springfield: 63   Husson: 19 - Seven different players scored touchdowns as the Springfield College football team defeated Husson University, 63-19. Senior quarterback Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.) led the Pride with 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He also completed three passes in seven attempts for another two touchdowns.

2012: Springfield: 36   Husson: 2 - The Springfield College football team racked up 538 yards of total offense, including 457 on the ground, as it toppled host Husson University, 36-2. For Springfield, a total of 11 different players had at least one carry on its way to 457 rushing yards.

2013: Springfield: 36   Husson: 0 - the Springfield defensive unit buckeled down, giving up just 166 total yards for the shutout win. It was the first time that Springfield had held its opponent off the scoreboard since October 2, 2010, when it defeated King's Point, 64-0.

 In the Rankings...
After a 10-0 start to the season, Springfield College is the only team from New England to be receiving votes in the National Poll and one of only 37 programs out of the 249 Division III football programs in the country to be mentioned in the poll. Currently with the 19th most votes in the country, this is the highest Springfield has been ranked this season.

In the American Football Coaches Association Division III Coaches' Poll, Springfield is currently ranked 21st in the nation. From a regional standout, Springfield is the top ranked team in New England according to the latest New England Football Writers Grinold Chapter Division III Poll, garnering 14 out of a possible 15 first-place votes. 

National Leaders...
The Springfield College football team has the best rushing offense in all of college football, which consists of 661 teams, as the Pride is averaging 452.3 yards per game.

Springfield is fourth in third down conversion percentage (.511) and seventh in scoring offense (45.9), while defensively Springfield is 14th in the country in red zone defense (.579), sixth in third-down conversion defense (.243), while also ranking seventh in total defense (220.3) and 12th in scoring defense (10.9). Individually, Jordan Wilcox leads tha nation in rushing yards per carry (8.13) and is for fourth in the nation in total rushing yards (1,675), is seventh in rushing touchdowns (19), and is fourth in rushing yards per game (167.5). Defensively, Nick Giorgio is 2nd in the nation in tackles for loss, averaging 2.4 per game. 

Both Sides of the Ball...
Springfield has been getting it done on both sides of the ball this year, ranking tied for 12th in scoring defense (10.9 points per game) and seventh in scoring offense (45.9 points per game). Among the 249 Division III football teams, Springfield is one of just five programs to appear in the top 15 in these categories, along with the likes of Mount Union, St. Johns, St. Thomas, and Mary Hardin-Baylor.

About Husson…
Husson is 9-1 on the season, including 7-0 in conference play. The Eagles are averaging 447.2 yards of total offense a game, including 273.2 yards per contest on the ground. Defensively, they are surrendering 217.4 yards per game and 11.2 points per outing to their opponents.  The Eagles have the top rusher in all of Division III in their backfield, as John Smith has 1,917 yards.