BANGOR, Maine, October 7, 2006 – The Springfield College football team broke open a close game with three touchdowns in the last nine minutes to win 43-16 over Husson College in a non-conference game at the John Winkin Complex this afternoon in Bangor, Maine.
With the victory, Springfield ups its record to 5-0, while Husson falls to 3-3.
Sophomore fullback Andrew Jackson (Pennsville, N.J.) had three touchdowns to pace Springfield. His touchdown runs were of three, six, and 21 yards.
Springfield got on the board first with 5:38 to go in the first quarter on a six-play, 63-yard drive, capped off by a 24-yard run by junior halfback Derron Walker (White Plains, N.Y.). The drive was set up with an interception by junior cornerback Joe Harasymiak (North Branford, Conn.), who picked off a David Chase pass three yards deep in the end zone and returned it out to the 37-yard line. It was Harasymiak’s sixth interception of the season. Harasymiak was tied for second in the nation with 1.3 per game in that category entering the game.
On its next possession, Springfield would settle for a 27-yard field goal by junior Joe Czarnecki (Shelton, Conn). Junior quarterback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) connected with senior wide receiver Brian Rose (Franklin, Mass.) on a 34-yard pass to set up the field goal. It looked as though it was going to be an easy victory for the Pride, but Husson would answer.
Darren Gauthier hit a 33-yard field goal with 4:37 to go in the half to cut the score to 10-3. Springfield then marched down the field to the Husson 19-yard line with 1:52 to play in the half. After a timeout, Bryan Biggers picked off a Sharpe pass at the Husson 10 and returned it 74 yards to the Springfield 16-yard line. Three plays later, Chase would find Jeremy Shorey down the right side where Shorey made a beautiful one-handed catch for the 20-yard touchdown pass. Gauthier would miss the extra point but Husson had cut the lead to 10-9.
In the third quarter, Springfield would get its run option going. On its second possession, Springfield found the end zone on three plays. Senior halfback Aland Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) found an open hole and rushed for 23 yards. Jon Tefft then tackled Walker for a six-yard loss, but on the next play, Joseph took the ball down the right side 63 yards for a touchdown, making the score 16-9. Czarnecki missed the extra point.
After forcing a Husson punt, Springfield would again score on three plays. Starting at its own 34-yard line, Sharpe would carry for 29 yards, junior halfback Tim Brouillard (Plymouth, Mass.) added 34 yards on the next carry, and then Jackson would get his first touchdown from three yards out. Czarnecki added the extra point, extending the Springfield lead to 23-9.
The Eagles showed they still had life. After three plays and a Jon Tefft punt, Springfield took over at its own 34. Ramael Barton would force Joseph to fumble the ball as Springfield tried to convert a third down and five. Brandon Harris recovered the fumble, setting up Husson at the Springfield 31.
It looked as though the drive would stall with Husson facing a fourth down and five at the Springfield 26, but Chase again hooked up with Shorey for a 20-yard pass over the middle to the six-yard line. Bryan Ferguson would finish the drive off on a four-yard run up the middle and a Gauthier extra point was good to cut the lead to 23-16. There were just over 12 minutes to play.
Springfield would then score two touchdowns in less then five minutes. On the ensuing kickoff, Springfield scored on an eight-play, 76-yard drive to answer the Eagles’ touchdown. The big play on the drive was a fourth-down conversion at the Husson 25. Sharpe used a play-action fake to set up a 19-yard pass to senior tight end Tim Fledderjohn (Sherborn, Mass.), who took the ball to the Husson six for the first down. Then Jackson ran up the middle six yards for his second score. Czarnecki’s extra point was good, pushing the lead to 30-16.
Husson would turn the ball over on its second play of the very next drive. Senior strong safety Kevin Fessette (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) forced his way into the backfield and jarred the ball loose from Ferguson. Senior defensive end Mike Nicol (Hopkinton, Mass.) recovered the fumble at the Husson 21. Springfield needed only one play to convert the turnover, as Jackson scored his third rushing touchdown from 21 yards out. Czarnecki missed the extra point, and the score remained 36-16.
SC senior defensive back Lucas Maciarello (Stillwater, N.Y.) then picked off a Chase pass, and returned it 20 yards to the Husson 37. Sharpe would find Rose down the right side for a 39-yard touchdown pass on a third down play to cap off the scoring. Czarnecki’s extra point was good to make it 43-16.
Springfield finished with 467 total yards of offense, including 373 on the ground. Jackson led the way with 94 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, followed by Sharpe, who had 79 yards on 14 carries. Sharpe, who led the nation in rushing (183.8 ypg) and scoring (21.0 ppg) entering the game, was held scoreless for the first time this season. Joseph finished with 63 yards on just three carries and one touchdown. Walker and Brouillard added 62 and 60 yards respectively. Sharpe was 3-for-6 throwing for 94 yards and one touchdown.
Husson had 261 yards in total offense, paced by Ferguson with 67 yards on 23 carries. Chase finished 13-of-27 throwing for 152 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Shorey had eight catches for 114 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Springfield was led by Fessette and Nicol with seven tackles each. Maciarello and sophomore linebacker Tom Caporale (Closter, N.J.) both chipped in with 6.5 tackles. Husson was paced by Biggers with 7.5 tackles, while Ross Salovitch had six tackles and Shane Rogers finished with five tackles.
Husson next travels to SUNY Maritime, while Springfield will host Brockport State in a Homecoming Day contest next Saturday afternoon, October 14th. Both games will start at 12 noon.