Springfield, Mass. - October 30, 2010 - Freshman quarterack Austin Bateman ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns to lead his Springfield College football team to a 39-20 Empire 8 victory over Hartwick College tonight at SC's Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. The Pride scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:04 late in the third and early in the fourth quarter to break the game open.
With the win, Springfield ups its record to 6-2 overall, and 2-2 in the Empire 8. Hartwick falls to 2-5 on the season, and 0-4 in the conference.
Springfield had the better of it, but it took quite awhile before it established dominance. SC finished with 26 first downs to Hartwick's 17. The Pride finished with 462 yards rushing to the Hawks' 13. In total offense, SC ended with 522 yards to Hartwick's 280. SC had 83 plays to Hartwick's 67. SC's average gain per play was 6.3 yards to its opponent's 4.2.
Bateman, who made only his second collegiate start, ran the ball 30 times for those 121 yards and two TDs. The native of Ganesvoort, N.Y. also completed three of five pass attempts for 60 more yards.
Right behind Bateman in rushing totals was junior halfback Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) with an even 100 yards rushing and one TD. It was Springfield's most spectacular play -- a pitch around left end in which he dashed 55 yards for the score with 1:37 left in the third quarter. That opened the difference to 18-7, and came less than two minutes after Hartwick had cut the margin to 12-7 with a TD of its own.
Also contributing greatly to SC's vaunted ground attack were junior fullback Alex Mendez (Cranston, R.I.) with 75 yards and one TD on 20 carries, senior halfback Antoine King (Boston, Mass.) with 63 yards and one TD on seven carries, senior halfback Joe Myhren (New Hampton, N.Y.) with 50 yards on six carries, and sophomore fullback Mike Davis (Madison, Conn.) with 37 yards and one TD on four carries.
For Hartwick, two quarterbacks threw the ball a total of 50 times. Junior Dan Brainard (Oswego, N.Y.) threw 49 of those passes, completing 18 for two TDs and 267 yards. He also had two interceptions. Senor Kyle Morenus (Sidney, N.Y.) also played quite a bit, going 0-for-1 in the passing department, and running the ball three more times for -3 yards.
Junior running back Anthony Casiman rushed for 20 yards on eight carries. He also had the game's longest play, returning a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown with 2:37 left in the game to close the scoring.
For Springfield, senior inside linebacker Ken Goodwin (Foxboro, Mass.) had a great game. He led the Pride with 11 tackles, including seven solos. He also had one fumble recovery, one forced fumble, one pass break-up, and one interception. He also had another pass interception for a long touchdown that was called back because of a penalty. Also playing very well for SC on defense was senior defensive end Cody Flanigan (Auburn, N.Y.) with six tackles, including 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.
For the Hawks on defense, sophomore ILB Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, N.Y.) and junior ILB Jordan Spirou (Westbury, N.Y.) each had 18 tackles and one forced fumble. Spirou also had a fumble recovery.
After a scoreless first quarter, Springfield finally scored when Mendez ran one in from one yard out with 5:21 left in the second period. The kick was blocked by sophomore DL Jim DeRosa (Centerreach, N.Y.), but SC led 6-0. And that was the score at the half.
Then with 8:14 left in the third stanza, Bateman scored the first of his two TDs on a two-yard run. A two-point conversion failed, and it was 12-0, SC.
With 3:22 left in the third, Brainard found junior WR Jordan Wilkins (Portsmouth, N.H.) in the end zone for an 8-yard score. The extra point made it 12-7, but now it was a game.
But 1:45 later, Safer produced his score. His 55-yard TD culminated a 5-play, 88-yard drive, and momentum quickly reverted to SC. Another one minute, 26 seconds later, King scored on a 7-yard scamper around left end. And it was now 25-7. Early in the fourth quarter, Bateman capitalized on a fumble recovery, scoring on an 18-yard run with 12:21 left in the contest. That made it 32-7 in favor of SC. And SC had its run of three touchdowns in a span of 4:04.
Three more TDs were destined to be scored, all in a span of one minute, 47 seconds in the games' final 4:24. With 4:24 left, Brainard hit Wilkins for a 16-yard score for Hartwick. Then Davis ran one in from 14 yards out with 2:52 left, making it 39-13 for the Pride. Casiman then returned his kickoff 86 yards with 2:37 left to close out the scoring.
Springfield next Saturday travels to St. John Fisher for its final Empire 8 game of the season. SC plays the Cardinals at 12:00 pm.
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