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Football's 2019 Campaign Begins on Saturday at Western New England In Pynchon SAW Game

Football's 2019 Campaign Begins on Saturday at Western New England In Pynchon SAW Game

 Springfield, Mass. – September 5, 2019 – The Springfield College football team will begin the 2019 season versus crosstown rival Western New England University on Saturday, September 7. Despite being located just three miles apart, this marks just the seventh-ever meeting between these two squads.

A Season Ago…
Last season, in front of a crowd of 5,000 people, the Pride defeated the Golden Bears for the first time on Stagg Field and for the second-straight year since the two teams started competing. The 42-21 victory for the Pride evened the series between the teams at three wins apiece. Chad Shade, rushed for 247 yards over 22 carries, averaging 11-yards per carry and scored all six of the Pride's touchdowns. Fullback Jashua Thomas aided the effort adding 96-yards on 11 carries for the Pride. The Pride out rushed the Golden Bears 445-134.  Springfieldls defense was on the playing field for a total of 80 plays on the night highlighed by AJ Smith's career-high 11 tackles. Kyle Niehr produced eight tackles and was credited with a critical fumble recovery in the third-quarter. 

New Chapter to the Rivalry...
The WNE-Springfield football showdown is named the "Pynchon SAW Game" and is derived from city founder William Pynchon (pin-chin), who established Springfield in 1636 along with a company of six men from Roxbury for the purpose of establishing a strategic trading and fur-collecting post. In 1641, the town of Springfield, named in honor of Pynchon's English birthplace, was incorporated. Springfield officially became a city in May of 1852. "SAW" is an acronym for the first initial of both schools, Springfield And Western New England.  Through six meetings, each team has won three times.

First Six Meetings...
In 2013, the teams ushered in the first installment of the rivalry, and it didn't disappoint.  Played in front of nearly 3,500 fans at Golden Bear Stadium, there was no shortage of offense, as the teams combined for 1,015 yards as the Pride rallied for a 49-40 victory.

In 2014, Springfield put together a furious second-half comeback before letting an 11-point fourth-quarter lead slip away as Western New England rallied for a 38-34 victory in the Pynchon SAW Game in front of 4,067 at Stagg Field.

In 2015, the host Golden Bears scored 24 unanswered points over a 30-plus minute span en route to besting Springfield by a 34-14 margin.

In 2016, Springfield dropped a 26-10 decision to visiting Western New England in front of 5,000 fans at Stagg Field. 

In 2017, Springfield erupted for 28 points in the third quarter and never looked back as it stormed past Western New England, 35-21, in front of over 5,000 fans at Golden Bear Stadium. Springfield handed Western New England its first regular-season loss in 22 games and marked the Golden Bears first loss at home since October 26, 2013, a span of 17 home contests.  The Pride outgained Western New England 531-305 and racked up 435 yards on the ground as it dominated the time of possession by having the ball for over 40 minutes in the contest.  The Pride ended the game with 28 first downs and went 12-for-21 on third-down conversions.

In 2018, Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) put together a remarkable showing as the junior quarterback rushed for 247 yards on 22 carries, averaging over 11 yards per carry, and scored all six of Springfield's touchdowns as the Pride pulled away with a 42-21 win in front of 5,000 fans at Stagg Field

Leading the Attack…
The offense returns two lineman Nick Bainter and David Mikos who earned all-conference honors last season as well as halfback Hunter Belzo, and fullback Tim Callahan who also earned All-conference honors.  Under center for the Pride will be junior Chad Shade, who has totaled 977 yards on the ground and 14 rushing touchdowns throughout his first three seasons while producing an impressive 6.8 yards per carry.  Protecting Shade will be a veteran group of four lineman who return, including Bainter, Jeremy LipskyJohn Cox, and Mikos.

 On the Defensive...
Following a dominant 2018 defensive effort lead by standout Nick Giorgio, Springfield's defense returns three starters in Jack Pavelchak, AJ Smith and Michael Mancuso, two of which garnered post-season accolades last year. Chaz Ruffin and Grayson Hayward both enter their senior campaigns on the defensive line. 

 At the Helm…
Head Coach Mike Cerasuolo is entering his fourth season at the helm for Springfield. After 15 seasons as the offensive coordinator, the former two-time Division II All-New England offensive lineman standout at Springfield went 5-5 in his inaugural head coaching campaign in 2016 before a historic 2017 season.  In 2017 Cerasuolo was tabbed the NEWMAC Coach of the Year and the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston's Division II/III New England Coach of the Year as Springfield set a number of single-season program records, including team rushing yards (4,787), team total offense (5,170), total points (480), and total points allowed (132) and had the top rushing offense in all of college football, averaging over 435 yards per game on the ground. In 2018, Cerasuolo guided Springfield to a New England Bowl title and produced a pair of D3football.com All-America honorees for just the second time in program history. Springfield had a Gagliardi National Player of the Year Semifinalist for the second-straight year, while Nick Giorgio '19 was invited to the New Orleans Saints Rookie Minicamp. 

Center of Attention...
Springfield College's Nick Bainter (East Bridgewater, Mass.) was named to the D3football.com Preseason All-America First Team, featured in College Football America 2019 Yearbook on the Starting Lineup, and nominated to the 2019 Allstate/American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. In 2018, Bainter was honored to D3football.com Preseason All-America Third Team as well as to Lindy's Preseason All-Division III Second Team.  Last season, the NEWMAC All-Conference member started all 11 games and helped direct one of the top offenses in all of college football.  A D3football.com All-East Region Second-Team selection two seasons ago, he was a key component of an offense that produced to most rushing yards in college football, nearly 4,800 rushing yards, as the Pride averaged 435 yards per game on the ground.  Springfield would own the seventh-best scoring offense in the country (43.6 ppg), while their 19.15 passing yards per completion was the fourth highest in the nation. 

About the Golden Bears…
Last season, Western New England went 8-3 (5-1 CCC Football) and made its fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament after capturing two straight CCC Football titles. After the innagural season for head coach Jason LeBeau, 16 student-athletes earned All-CCC Football honors for their performance on the field.