SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- October 18, 2008 -- Freshman quarterback Josh Carter ran for 94 yards and one touchdown, and passed for 161 yards and two more scores, to lead the Springfield College football team to a 43-23 non-conference victory over Mount Ida College this afternoon on Homecoming Day at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.
With the victory, Springfield raised its record to 2-4, while Mount Ida fell to 2-4.
Springfield led 7-6 at the end of one quarter, 22-16 at the half, 30-16 at the end of three quarters, and led by as many as 43-16 with under a minute to go in the game.
Yet three of the first four scores in this contest were produced by the Mustangs of Mount Ida. In the first quarter, Mount Ida opened the scoring with an 18-yard run by freshman QB Tony Tokarz (Holden, Mass.). The kick was blocked, but the Mustangs led 6-0 with 11:21 left.
Carter then led the Pride down the field on a 9-play, 52-yard march, culminated by a 9-yard TD pass from Carter to senior WR Jason Hurlock (East Lyme, Conn.). The extra point by freshman Guiliano Pizzo (Methuen, Mass.) was true, giving SC its first lead of the day with 6:36 left.
But Mount Ida then scored on a 23-yard field goal by freshman kicker Bobby Hemmann, giving the Mustangs a 9-7 advantage with 14:21 left in the second period. Less than four minutes later, Tokarz fired a 37-yard TD bomb to junior WR Kyle Watkins (New Haven, Conn.), giving Mount Ida its largest lead of the day at 16-7.
On the next possession, Springfield was faced with a third-and-11 on its own 32 as things were looking their bleakest on the Pride's afternoon. But Carter found junior FB Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) on what may have proven to be the biggest play of the game. The successful 38-yard swing pass allowed the Pride to reach the Mount Ida 30. A horse-collar tackle and penalty added another 15 yards to the play, and SC had a first down at the 15. Carter then sprinted up the middle for the 15-yard score. Pizzo's extra point cut the lead to 16-14 with 8:34 left in the second.
With 39 seconds left in the half, freshman HB Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) took a pitch and scored from two yards out. When a two-point conversion was added by junior HB Jared Livingston (Seattle, Wash.), SC led 22-16 at the half.
Springfield then received the second half kickoff and began an 8-play, 55-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard plunge by sophomore FB Justin Fuller (Berkley, Mass.). When Safer added a second straight two-point conversion, the Pride led, 30-16, with 11:12 remaining in the third quarter. All 55 yards on that march came on the ground. That ended the third period scoring.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Springfield took advantage of a short punt. On a first down play, Carter found Hurlock all alone behind the secondary for a 33-yard TD reception. Pizzo's kick made it 37-16 with 14:44 left.
Later in the quarter, Pizzo found success when he booted home field goals of 36 and 41 yards with 6:48 left and 3:12 left in the game. That made it 43-16.
Mount Ida then took advantage of a Springfield miscue on a punting situation with less than a minute remaining. Senior RB Mark Skehan (Irvington, N.Y.) ran one in from 20 yards out to close out the scoring with 42 seconds left.
For Springfield, Carter led all rushers with 94 yards and one TD on 15 carries. Fuller added 47 yards and one TD on 11 rushes. Carter played the vast majority of the game, completing six of eight pass attempts for 161 yards and two TDs. He was not intercepted, but was sacked once. Senior QB Rob Orrok (Point Pleasant, N.J.), who normally sees action only as the team's holder on special teams, did not throw a pass, but did run for 11 yards on three carries towards game's end. Sophomore WR Tim Brady (Southbury, Conn.) caught three passes for 81 yards. Hurlock caught two passes, both for touchdowns, for 42 yards.
For Mount Ida, Tokarz rushed for 59 yards and one TD on 11 carries. Freshman TB Johrone Bunch (Meriden, Conn.) rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries. Tokarz completed 11 passes in 25 attempts for 153 yards and one TD. He was intercepted twice. Hemmann also came in to play some quarterback towards the end. He was two-for-five for -11 yards and one interception. Watkins caught seven passes for 101 yards and one TD. Watkins now has scored nine touchdowns on the season.
On defense, Springfield was led by freshman LB Brenden Moore (Jamesville, N.Y.) with a team season-high 17 tackles. He also had 1.5 tackles-for-loss, one interception (which he returned for 22 yards), and one pass deflection. Senior OLB Sean Richey (Setauket, N.Y.) followed with 11 tackles. Senior captain Tom Caporale (Closter, N.J.) also had 10 tackles and one pass deflection. The interceptions were produced by three freshmen -- Moore, DB Phil Davis (Windsor, Conn.), and free safety James Kikel (Glendale, N.Y.).
Pizzo had a great day kicking, going 3-for-3 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goals. Pizzo is now 6-for-6 on extra points in the past two games.
For Mount Ida, sophomore safety Emmanuel Sanchez (Miami, Fla.) senior DE Nick Ferrante (Patchogue, N.Y.), and freshman LB Theo McCummings (Natick, Mass.) all had eight tackles. Ferrante also had a sack.
Next Saturday, Springfield will travel to St. John Fisher in Pittsford, N.Y. for an Empire 8 conference tilt at 1 pm.