NORTHFIELD, Vt. – November 15, 2008 - Junior fullback Baldwin Cunningham rushed for a career-high 192 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman quarterback Josh Carter accounted for 133 yards of total offense and two scores to lead Springfield to a 28-16 victory over Norwich in an Empire 8 football game Saturday afternoon at a rainy Sabine Field. Springfield thus finished on an upbeat note, winning its final two contests of the 2008 season.
It was the last Empire 8 football game that Norwich University would play. The Cadets are moving on to a new conference in 2009.
In today's contest, Springfield outgained Norwich, 543 yards to 209. In rushing yards alone, it was SC's 471 to NU's 76. SC led 15-0 after three periods, and led 28-8 when it scored with 3:23 remaining.
Springfield (4-6, 2-4 Empire 8) opened the scoring on the first play of the second quarter as freshman Giuliano Pizzo connected on a 33-yard field goal. The Pride added a touchdown to their lead later in the second stanza as Carter rushed for a six-yard score. Richard Cumby blocked the extra point, and Springfield settled for a 9-0 lead at the half.
The Pride extended its lead to 15-0 as Cunningham ran for a 38-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
Norwich (2-8, 0-6 Empire 8) sliced the Springfield lead in half early in the fourth quarter when sophomore QB Zach Angelos hooked up with sophomore WR Emilio Martinez on a 43-yard touchdown pass. Angelos hit senior TE Adam Orfield on a perfectly executed tight end throwback pass on the two-point conversion making the score 15-8 with 14:07 to play.
Springfield re-established its two touchdown advantage less than two minutes later as Carter ran for a one-yard score at the 12:27 mark. Cunningham registered his second touchdown of the game with 3:23 to play to make it 28-8.
Norwich put together one final scoring drive. The Cadets’ 10-play, 66-yard march was culminated in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Angelos to senior WR Nate Stroffoleno. Angelos hit Martinez on the two-point conversion to pull NU to within 28-16.
But Norwich’s final onside kick attempt was covered by Springfield, and the Pride ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Norwich senior RB Darnell Jackson broke the school’s career rushing record on a 45-yard rush early in the fourth quarter. Jackson, who finished with 68 yards on the day, closed out his career with 3,045 yards.
Angelos finished the day with 128 passing yards and two touchdowns. Stroffoleno led the NU receiving corps with four catches for 59 yards.
Defensively, Norwich was led by freshman DB Charles Stiles, who made a game-high 16 tackles. Junior DE Reza Afsarmanesh added 14 stops for the Cadets, who forced one turnover on the day. Freshman DE Chris Kulcsar led the Pride defensive attack with six tackles. Springfield held nearly a 2:1 advantage in time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes compared to Norwich's 20 minutes of possession.