No. 7 Football Wraps Up Fifth FFC Championship
, Nov. 8, 2003 – Springfield College junior fullback Tim Lutgens (Greenwich, N.Y.)
rushed for 185 yards and five touchdowns to lift the seventh-ranked Pride to a 63-32 win over Norwich and the Freedom Football Conference championship on Benedum Field.
The 2003 title is the Pride’s fifth, and SC earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The 28-team field will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.
The ’03 Pride also became the fourth team in 111 years of Springfield College football to start the season 9-0. The Pride will attempt to be the first team in school history to go 10-0 next Saturday, Nov. 15 when it visits Union (N.Y.)
Junior quarterback Ryan Sylvia (Marion, Mass.)
added 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns for SC, which established season highs with 533 rushing yards and 63 points. The Pride entered the game as Division III’s top-rushing team (390.4 ypg) and sixth-highest scoring team (43.5 ppg).
SC all-conference linebacker Jesse Baker (Rutland, Vt.)
led the SC defense with 10 tackles. Senior defensive end Jason MacDonald (Brewster, Mass.)
had four tackles, including 2.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack, and sophomore defensive tackle Nick Burdett (Needham, Mass.)
registered 2.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
Lutgens, who cracked the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,052) scored four touchdowns in the first 24 minutes to stake the Pride to a 42-3 second-quarter lead. The Cadets, however, rallied to score the next 15 points and close the gap to 42-18 at the half.
SC put the game away early in the third quarter. Sylvia raced 34 yards for a score with 8:28 left, and Lutgens added his fifth TD just over three minutes later. In the fourth quarter, sophomore fullback Andre Clayton (Manchester, Conn.)
ran for a three-yard touchdown with 10:54 to play.