Springfield, Mass. -- October 10, 2009 -- Sophomore QB Josh Carter ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 98 yards and one more TD in leading his Springfield College football team to a non-conference 39-14 victory over Husson University this afternoon at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. With the win, Springfield is now 4-1, and has won two straight. Husson, meanwhile, falls to 2-3.
The Pride now leads the series, which began in 2006, by a 3-1 count.
The score was tied 7-7 after one quarter of play. But SC scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead. SC scored 12 points in a span of one minute and four seconds early in the third period to really put some separation between the two clubs. With 11:15 left in the third, it was Springfield 33, Husson 7. SC then took a 39-7 lead with 11:49 left in the fourth period, before eventually winning, 39-14.
Springfield, which was ranked #1 in the nation (Division III) in rushing with 402.2 yards per game entering the contest, rushed for 315 yards, while allowing 119. Overall, the Pride outgained the Eagles, 413 yards to 172, running 82 plays to Husson's 62. SC was 11-of-19 in third-down conversions, while the Eagles were 6-of-14.
Carter, a native of Marlborough, Mass., scored the day's first touchdown on a one-yard run with 9:26 left in the first quarter. That culminated a 14-play, 51-yard drive. Sophomore place-kicker Giuliano Pizzo (Methuen, Mass.) booted home the extra point to make it, 7-0, SC. Pizzo was 4-for-5 on the day in extra points, and also added a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Springfield quickly forced Husson to punt. But on a second-and-three from SC's own 30-yard line, Carter fumbled, and the ball was picked up and returned for a 25-yard touchdown down the right sideline by Husson senior DB Ramael Barton (Danbury, Conn.). The kick by freshman Carlos Romero (Coral Springs, Fla.) tied it at 7-all with 7:18 left in the first. And that's the way it remained through one quarter.
Both teams battled before SC scored on an 8-yard run by sophomore RB Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) with 6:25 left in the second stanza. That drive took seven plays and went 47 yards.
Springfield then took the ball over at its own 15 yard line, and began its most impressive drive of the day. It took 17 plays to march those 85 yards, but the TD, a one-yard plunge by Carter, came with 11 seconds left in the half, giving SC a 21-7 lead at the intermission.
SC took advantage of an interception by senior LB Ryan Gunningsmith (Trumansburg, N.Y.) early in the third quarter. Pizzo kicked his 36-yard field goal with 12:19 left, making it 24-7, SC.
Husson then ran afoul on a bad snap that went over the head of sophomore QB Jack Hersom (Sidney, Me.), who picked the ball up near his own goal line and prudently decided to run it out of his own end zone for a safety. That made it, 26-7, SC, with 11:25 to go. Then after a short kickoff, SC took over on Husson's 49-yard line. And one play later, SC surprised the Eagles when Carter found junior WR Tim Brady (Southbury, Conn.) in the clear in the secondary for a 49-yard TD pass play. And suddenly it was SC leading, 33-7, with 11:15 left in the third.
The teams exchanged TDs in the fourth quarter. Safer ran one in from six yards out with 11:49 left. Later on, with 6:11 left, Husson sophomore DB Kyle Vanidestine (Bangor, Me.) picked off an errant pass by SC freshman QB Brian Staub (Brick, N.J.). The Eagles only had 15 yards to find paydirt, and did so when junior RB Justin Lindie (Winslow, Me.) recovered his own fumble in the end zone for the score.
For Springfield, sophomore FB Alex Mendez (Cranston, R.I.) had a career day with 107 yards rushing on 16 carries. Junior HB Antoine King (Boston, Mass.) followed with 62 yards rushing on just eight carries. Senior FB Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) had 58 yards on 16 carries. Safer had only 19 yards on three carries, but scored two touchdowns. Besides Carter's 62 yards rushing, he went 7-for-13 for 98 yards and one TD through the air. Brady had four receptions and one TD, including that long of 49 yards.
Ironically, senior Jarred Burrell (Warwick, R.I.), ranked #1 in the nation in kickoff returns with his 45.2 yards per return average, will not be listed in that category this upcoming week. He needed one return in order to maintain the minimum number of returns for the season (1.2 per game), but Husson never kicked off deep allowing Jarred the opportunity to field the ball.
For Husson, Lindie led in rushing with 45 yards and one TD on 16 carries. Hersom finished 7-of-16 for 49 yards passing with two interceptions.
Defensively, freshman LB Matt Pieterse (Springfield, Mass.) led the Pride with 13 tackles and a forced fumble. For the Eagles, senior LB Keenan Blindow (Morgan, Vt.) led all tacklers with 17. Senior LB Bobby Gilbert (Beaver Cove, Me.) added 12.