Springfield, Mass. -- November 13, 2010 -- The Springfield College football team scored two touchdowns in the last 4:08 to defeat a stubborn Union team, 26-15, this afternoon in a non-conference game at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. With the win, Springfield upped its record to 8-2, while Union fell to 2-7.
The Pride wil now play a waiting game to see if it will be awarded a post-season tournament berth either from the NCAA or ECAC. That may not be determined for another two days.
All the scores in this contest came either in the second or fourth quarters.
The Dutchmen had leads of 6-0 and then 12-7 midway through the second quarter. The Pride then scored with 6:31 left in the second period to take a 14-12 lead at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Union took a 15-14 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Blaise Ancona with 7:36 remaining in the game. But Springfield then scored the first of two TDs with 4:08 left on a Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) 6-yard run, making it 20-15. The clinching score came on a 62-yard interception return by Matt Ramos (Milford, Conn.) with 2:43 left, making the final, 26-15.
Springfield had 450 yards of total offense, while limiting Union to 249. SC had 348 yards rushing to Union's 207. SC also finished with 102 yards passing to Union's 42. In first downs, SC had 23 to Union's 19.
SC lost the ball once by fumble, but Union lost it twice on interceptions, both in the final 2:43 of the game.
Neither team was able to muster a scoring drive in the first quarter. But Union put together its longest drive of the day, a 15-play, 80-yard march, culminated by Chris Coney's four-yard rushing touchdown with 14:26 left in the second quarter. The extra point went wide, and Union led, 6-0.
Springfield countered with a 12-play, 80-yard march of its own over a 4:11 period, with senior halfback Antoine King (Boston, Mass.) running it in from nine yards out. Sophomore Ricky Peacock's (Tucker, Ga.) kick gave SC a 7-6 lead with 10:17 left in the second.
That lead did not last very long at all. It appeared that Springfield caught a break when Ramos intercepted a ball moments after SC had scored. But a defensive holding call negated that play, and on the very next play, Coney ran around left end, slipped one tackle, and was gone for 52 yards down the left sideline for a 12-7 Union lead. The extra point was blocked. That all came with 9:53 left in the second quarter.
Following that, SC then drove 62 yards in eight plays. The march was culminated by a surprise pass play on a fourth-and-11 from the Union 37. Freshman QB Austin Bateman (Ganesvoort, N.Y.), who was the winner of the prestigious Gold Helmet Award this past week for his efforts against St. John Fisher, found senior wide receiver Tim Brady (Southbury, Conn.) for the 37-yard score. Peacock's kick gave SC a 14-12 edge with 6:31 left, giving the Pride a lead it took right into the half.
It remained that way until the Dutchmen scored on a 34-yard field goal by Ancona (Garden City, N.Y.) with 7:36 left in the game. Union took advantage of a good runback on the kickoff, with an SC penalty added on.
Down 15-14, the Pride did not have much time to play with. But SC then marched 67 yards on 11 plays in a span of 3:48. Midway through that drive, junior QB Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.) came in to run three crucial plays after Bateman was shaken up and forced to come out. With 4:08 left, Bateman pitched the ball to Safer who ran around left end for the go-ahead TD. A Bateman rush for a two-point conversion was stopped short at the one.
Union still had time, but an interception by Ramos with 2:43 left proved to be the Dutchmen's undoing. Ramos caught the ball on the left sideline, dodged several tacklers, and weaved his way all across the field for the day's final score. Another two-point conversion failed.
Finally, junior cornerback Will Turner (Milford, Conn.) picked off another Union pass, and SC was able to run out the clock.
Coney, a senior RB from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had a great game for Union with 192 yards and two TDs rushing on 31 carries. Sophomore FB Tim Hersey (Buffalo, N.Y.) followed with 46 yards rushing. QB Connor Gallo went 4-for-13 for 42 yards passing. He also threw the two interceptions and was sacked three times.
For SC, Bateman ran for 94 yards on 19 carries. Junior FB Alex Mendez (Cranston, R.I.) ran for 78 yards on 24 carries. King had 67 yards and one TD on seven carries. Bateman was 4-for-10 for 102 yards and one TD passing.
Defensively, senior safety Anthony Cassese (Wickliffe, Ohio) led all tacklers with 10 for Union, including nine solos. Freshman LB Jason Green (Newton, Mass.) had nine tackles, including one sack and two tackles-for-loss.
For SC, Ramos had nine tackles, three tackles-for-loss, and the one interception. Junior FS James Kikel (Glendale, N.Y.) had eight tackles.