Northfield, Vt., November 11, 2006 - The Springfield College Pride won the Empire 8 Football Conference regular-season title with a 35-0 win over the Cadets at Sabine Field. Springfield (9-1, 5-1 E8) rolled up 447 yards rushing as junior halfback Derron Walker (White Plains, N.Y.) logged a career-high 160 yards on the ground and two scores. Norwich (2-8, 0-6) defenders held the Pride's NCAA Division III leading rusher, junior quarterback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.), to a season-low 55 yards.
SC opened the scoring at the close of the first quarter when junior halfback Tim Brouillard (Plymouth, Mass.) rattled off a 58-yard touchdown run. Sharpe made good on a two-point conversion and the Pride led, 8-0, following a four play, 79-yard drive that consumed nearly nine minutes.
At the 8:10 mark of the second period, Sharpe recorded his only completion of the day when he tossed a 70-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Brian Rose (Franklin, Mass.) to extend the lead to 15-0.
The Pride's next score didn't come until 3:40 remaining in the third quarter when Sharpe tallied a one-yard touchdown plunge for a 22-0 lead. The score was set up by freshman fullback Bret Manning's (Acton, Mass.) 71-yard scamper to the Norwich six.
With seven seconds remaining in the third, Walker delivered his longest run of the day when he scored on a 93-yard rush, the longest run from scrimmage for Springfield this season. The PAT failed and the Pride lead remained at 28-0.
Walker closed out the scoring nearly two minutes into the fourth quarter on a 34-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-0. The scoring drive was set up when Norwich RB Kevin Ober threw an interception to Pride senior strong safety Kevin Fessette (Plattsburgh, N.Y.).
With the win, Springfield recorded its 500th win in program history.
The Pride finished with 517 yards of total offense, while holding the Cadets to 196 total yards. Norwich totaled 77 yards rushing, with Darnell Jackson leading four runners with 42 yards. Norwich quarterback Marcus Adames closed out his collegiate career 15-34-0 for 92 yards. Wide receiver Eric McCree led seven NU receivers with four receptions for 40 yards.
On defense, Dan Wilde of Norwich led all tacklers with 8.5 stops, while Greg Abell added seven tackles. Fessette led the Pride with 5.5 tackles with junior linebacker Brian Hess (Kingston, Mass.) and senior linebacker Andrew Madigan (New Britain, Conn.) each adding 4.5 tackles.
Springfield will find out on Sunday, November 12th who its opponent will be in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.