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Football Downs WPI, 35-21, In Regular-Season Finale

Springfield, Mass. - November 16, 2013 - Led by sophomore quarterback Jonathan Marrero (Boston, Mass.) with 17 carries for 131 yards, the Springfield College Football team coasted past Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), 35-21 on Senior Day, in Liberty League Football action on Saturday afternoon at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.

With the win, Springfield improves to 6-3 overall, and 3-3 in conference, while the Engineers fall to 3-7 overall, and 2-5 in the Liberty League.

After a series that resulted in a missed 30-yard field goal from freshman Blaine Bursey (Middleburg, Fla.), Marerro and company took over at their own 20-yard line attempting to put up the first points of the day.

Just 9:58 into the contest, Marrero pitched the ball to freshman running back Christian Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J.) from eight yards out, who broke a few tackles and crossed the goal line after an impressive diving effort to stay inside the pylon. Tyler Rouse (Hagaman, N.Y.) nailed the extra point to give Springfield a 7-0 lead.

After a strong defensive showing from the Pride, forcing the Engineers to punt, Marerro cruised down the center of the field untouched from 58 yards out with 1:43 remaining in the first quarter to extend Springfield’s lead to 14-0.

With 10:26 remaining in the second quarter senior quarterback John Antonopoulos (Cambridge, Mass.) sparked the Engineer sideline when he tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Brian Marsh (Wynantskill, N.Y.), allowing for WPI to narrow the Springfield lead to seven points.

Following the score, freshman Joe Festo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) showed off his speed and cruised down the Springfield College sideline, returning the ensuing kick-off 95 yards to make the score 21-14 with 10:14 left in the second quarter.

With 57 seconds remaining in the half, Antonopoulos found senior wide receiver Ehab Hamden (Revere, Mass.) in the back of the end zone to once again narrow the Springfield College lead to seven points, going into halftime with a score of 21-14.

Late in the third quarter, Louis Fenaroli (Newtown, Conn.) took a hand-off from Marerro with 1:26 to play and carried the ball 14 yards and into the end zone to give the Pride a 28-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

With 11:08 remaining in the game, Antonopoulos called his own number, carrying the ball into the end zone from 1-yard out, making it a 28-21 contest heading into the final minutes.

After a strong defensive stand led by senior free safety Sam Weiss (Glasser, N.J.) in which Antonopolous was unable to connect with Hamden twice in four downs, the Pride took over on their own 16-yard line.

On a third down play, with 1:58 remaining in the contest, the Pride drew up a double-reverse which turned loose senior wide receiver James Poggio (East Granby, Conn.) for a 79-yard touchdown run, icing the 35-21 victory for the Pride.

Senior Patrick O’Connor (Sayville, N.Y) led Springfield defensively, registering seven tackles and an interception, while Weiss attributed six tackles and a game saving play where he ripped the ball out of Hamden’s hands in the end zone to preserve the Pride’s 14-point lead.

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Head Coach Mike DeLong

Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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