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Football's Comeback Falls Short At Utica, 34-33

UTICA, N.Y., October 1, 2005 -- Springfield College sophomore halfback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) rushed for 94 yards and scored three touchdowns (two rushing), but the Pride fell just shy of a 21-point comeback at Utica College on Saturday afternoon, October 1, in Empire 8 Conference action.

The Pride (0-4, 0-2) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on a Sharpe five-yard run with 9:24 to play in the first quarter. Sharpe later put the Pride up 13-0 on a 77-yard carry with 6:05 left in the opening quarter, and the lead remained at 13 through the end of the first.

Utica (3-1, 1-0) shut down the Pride offense in the second quarter, however, as the Pioneers, led by quarterback Nick Martin, tacked on 28 points. Martin threw three touchdowns and ran for one all in the second quarter as the Pioneers took a 28-13 advantage into the break.

The Pioneers added a touchdown on an 11-yard to extend its lead to 34-13 with 5:48 to go in the third quarter.

SC responded to Utica’s 34 unanswered points with a Damian Gunningsmith (Trumansburg, N.Y.) 1-yard touchdown run to bring the Pride within 14 points with 4:37 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter Gunningsmith completed a 64-yard pass to Sharpe with 7:22 remaining, to make it a 34-27 game. With just over 5:00 to go in the game, the Pride forced a Utica punt, which freshman Nick Ford (Laconia, N.H.) returned 49 yards to the one-yard line of the Pioneers. Freshman Andrew Jackson (Pennsville, N.J.) was able to bring the Pride within one point, 34-33, as he rushed in for the score from the one-yard line. On the extra-point attempt, the Pride mishandled the snap as Utica was able to halt SC’s attempt to tie the game.

SC will next host Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) on Friday night, October 7, in a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Benedum Field.

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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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