Springfield, Mass. -- September 25, 2010 -- Freshman tailback Austin Dwyer (Arkport, N.Y.) rushed for 168 yards, scoring three touchdowns overall, and sophomore tailback Chris Lopez (Rochester, N.Y.) scored a touchdown with 38 seconds remaining to lead No. 23-ranked Alfred University to a pulsating 35-28 victory over Springfield College today on a pleasant afternoon at SC's Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. Alfred is now 3-0, while Springfield's record falls to 3-1.
Alfred won an Empire 8 co-championship a year ago, and is off in the right direction once again this season. Today's contest was the first Empire 8 game played this year.
The Saxons led 14-7 after one quarter, but it was 14-all at the half. It was 21-all after three periods, and 28-all well into the fourth quarter. Alfred had the better of it statistically, outgaining Springfield, 468 yards to 340 overall. The Pride's vaunted running attack had the avantage 309 yards to 233. But in the passing game, Alfred outdistanced Springfield 235 yards to 31.
Springfield had tied the game at 28-28 with 8:04 left on a four-play, 61-yard drive when junior fullback Alex Mendez (Cranston, R.I.)'s 54-yard run set up a 4-yard TD rush up the middle by junior QB Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.). Carter had been hurt earlier in the fourth quarter, and kept on coming in and out of the game at that point, adding to the drama.
Each team then was forced to punt one more time. But Alfred took over at Springfield's 45-yard line with 4:21 left. Seven plays later, Alfred set up for a fourth-and-10 at SC's 33-yard line. The game's biggest play turned into a bonanza for the Saxons as junior quarterback Tom Secky (Bemus Point, N.Y.), given ample protection by his offensive line, finally hit sophomore wide receiver Andre McCloud (Bath, N.Y.) over the middle for a 28-yard gain to the five-yard line. Lopez then bulled his way up the middle for what proved to be the winning score with 38 seconds left.
Springfield did its best to make it interesting in those final 38 seconds. SC took over on its own 46-yard line after a short kickoff with 34 seconds still on the clock. Carter completed a pass to Mendez for five yards, with Mendez stopping the clock by going out of bounds. After an incompletion, Carter ran for six yards and a first down. A Carter pass was completed to senior wide receiver John Schmaltz (Cromwell, Conn.) to the Alfred 25 with seven seconds left. A Carter pass intended for senior wide receiver Tim Brady (Southbury, Conn.) was overthrown, leaving one more second on the clock and one final play. But Carter's final attempt was picked off by Alfred senior Ryan Thon (Victor, N.Y.) directly in the middle of the end zone to complete the game.
Dwyer rushed for a game-high 168 yards and two TDs on 22 carries, including a 56-yard touchdown on Alfred's first offensive play from scrimmage in the first quarter. Lopez added 65 yards and his one huge TD on 11 carries. Secky completed 17 passes in 24 attempts for 235 yards and two TDs, although he did have two interceptions. Josh Phillips, a freshman wide receiver from Syracuse, N.Y., had four receptions for 66 yards and one TD, making some big plays when the Saxons needed it most. Dwyer added three more receptions for 32 yards and one TD.
Springfield was led by Mendez, who rushed for 129 yards and two TDs on 21 carries. Carter followed with 63 yards and one TD on 13 carries. Senior running back Joe Myhren (New Hampton, N.Y.) added 54 yards on seven rushes, and senior running back Antoine King (Boston, Mass.) added 40 yards on six attempts. Junior running back Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) scored SC's other TD, rushing for 22 yards on five carries.
Defensively for Alfred, junior linebacker Nick Clark (Canisteo, N.Y.) led his team with 11 total tackles. Junior linebacker Brady Bonacquisti (LeRoy, N.Y.) had 10 stops, including four solos, and one forced fumble. Sophomore defensive tackle Mike Raplee (Dundee, N.Y.) made nine tackles, and senior linebacker Chad Pieri (LeRoy, N.Y.) had eight more stops, including two tackles-for-loss for seven yards.
For Springfield, senior linebacker Ken Goodwin (Foxboro, Mass.) had a stellar game with a game-high 12 tackles, plus one tackle-for-loss, one fumble recovery, and one interception for 48 yards which set up SC's second TD. Junior linebacker Scott Christy (Monroe, Conn.) had 10 tackles, plus his team's other interception for three yards. Sophomore strong safety DeAndre Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) and sophomore cornerback Niall Murphy (Boston, Mass.) had nine tackles apiece, each with seven solos.
Next Saturday, SC steps out of conference to host Kings Point at 4 pm .