Springfield, Mass. - November 20, 2010 - Austin Bateman ran for 141 yards and one touchdown, Alex Mendez ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and Scott Christy produced a game-high 14 tackles and was named the game's Most Outstanding Player as the Springfield College football team defeated Mount Ida College, 26-17, this afternoon in the ECAC Division III North Atlantic Championship Bowl game at SC's Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.
With the win, Springfield raised its record this season to 9-2, while Mount Ida finished at 6-5. For the Pride, it was the sixth time in its history that it had won as many as nine games in a season. SC also won as many as nine games in 1965 (9-0), 1998 (9-2), 2000 (11-2), 2003 (10-1), and 2006 (10-2).
It was the second straight ECAC Championship Bowl victory for Springfield, and raised its record to 4-0 all-time in ECAC post-season playoff games (1995, 2004, 2009, 2010).
Bateman, a freshman quarterback from Ganesvoort, N.Y., rushed for a game-high 141 yards and one touchdown for the Pride. He also completed one pass in three attempts for 23 yards. Bateman finished the season 5-0 as a starting quarterback, including winning the last four games in a row.
Mendez, a junior fullback from Cranston, R.I., had a great first half as SC controlled the action for a 19-3 lead. Mendez rushed for 122 of his 128 yards and both touchdowns (of 4 and 24 yards) in the first 30 minutes.
Christy was one of several shining lights for the Pride on defense. A junior linebacker from Monroe, Conn. Christy ended with 14 tackles , including 1.5 tackles-for-loss for five yards, and one pass break-up, and was named the game's Most Outstanding Player.
The game started almost too easily for the Pride. Springfield received the kickoff and marched 56 yards on six plays for the game's opening touchdown. Mendez ran up the middle, bulling his way in from four yards out. Sophomore kicker Ricky Peacock (Tucker, Ga.) made it 7-0 with only one minute 36 seconds ticked off the clock.
Springfield got the ball back and was smartly marching again when it fumbled in Mount Ida territory. That's when the Mustangs first began to show signs of life. Mount Ida marched 54 yards in 11 plays, with freshman Jake Lawrence (Middleton, Mass.) booting home a 29-yard field goal with 3:05 left in the first quarter to make it 7-3.
But SC then quickly marched 60 yards in just five plays with Bateman running around left end for 28 yards to make it 13-3, Springfield, with 1:32 left in that first period. The extra point was blocked.
Springfield scored again fairly early in the second quarter and it appeared a rout was in the making. Mendez culminated a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown scamper around the right side. The extra point failed, but SC was leading 19-3 with 9:03 left in the second stanza.
But the game started to make a subtle change at this stage. The Mustangs were able to control the ball more readily as sophomore quarterback Scott Dosendahl (East Aurora, N.Y.) began to assert himself with his passing game. It remained 19-3 until the intermission.
By the half, Drosendahl had completed 14 passes in 26 attempts for 151 yards. In that half, junior wide receiver Nick Lynch (Hampton Bays, N.Y.) had caught four passes for 26 yards. He had needed just 14 yards receiving to become the first receiver in Mount Ida history to compile 1000 yards receiving in one season.
Despite the dominating score for SC, it was Mount Ida that led in time of possession, 18:33 to 11:27. And SC led in first downs by just one, 14-13.
In the third quarter, after neither team could initially move the ball, it was Mount Ida that struck rather suddenly with 7:31 left in that period. Drosendahl found senior RB Paul Shaughnessy (Malden, Mass.) on a slant for a 49-yard score. A two-point conversion pass to Shaughnessy made it 19-11, and the home crowd grew a little uneasy.
In the next series, SC gained one yard in a three-and-out situation, and Mount Ida began another drive at its own 25 yard-line. It took 11 plays and 5:15 off the clock for Mount Ida to score a touchdown following a 75-yard march. Drosendahl hit Lynch from three yards out, and it was suddenly 19-17. A two-point conversion rush attempt failed, with Christy making the all-important stop at the one-yard line. There was 39 seconds left in the third quarter.
Mount Ida had the ball one time in which it could have taken the lead, but SC forced a punt. With a first-and-10 on its own 35, Bateman completed a pass to senior RB Joe Myhren (New Hampton, N.Y.) for 23 yards. Bateman then ran the ball on the next four carries, gaining 21 yards. That set up a fourth-and-three from the Mount Ida 20, and SC decided to go for it. The ball went to sophomore fullback Mike Davis (Madison, Conn.), who burst through the line and then into the end zone for one of the game's biggest plays with 8:39 left. Peacock's extra point made it a two-score game at 26-17.
Mount Ida had the ball three more times, but could advance it no further than the Springfield 35.
Besides Bateman's 141 and Mendez' 128 yards, Davis also rushed for 47 yards and one TD, and junior RB Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) rushed for 22 yards on just one carry.
For Mount Ida, Shaughnessy rushed for 44 yards on 21 carries. Drosendahl completed 34 passes in 57 attempts for 373 yards and two TDs. He was not intercepted and was sacked just once. Lynch caught 12 passes for 86 yards and one TD. Shaughnessy caught 11 passes for 142 yards and one TD. Matt Valentini caught seven passes for 107 yards.
On defense, Christy led SC with those 14 tackles. Junior SS Matt Ramos (Milford, Conn.) had 13 tackles, including 11 unassisted, plus one tackle-for-loss. And senior ILB Ken Goodwin (Foxboro, Mass.), who was named First Team All-Empire 8 just two days ago, had 11 tackles, one sack for 11 yards, and one pass break-up.
For Mount Ida, senior safety Julien Baptiste (Greenlawn, N.Y.) had 11 tackles, including seven solos. Senior DE Sean Simmons (Schenectady, N.Y.) ended with nine tackles.