SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – October 6, 2007 – Senior All-American quarterback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Springfield College football team to a 42-28 victory over Husson College this afternoon in a non-conference game at Springfield’s newly-renamed and newly-resurfaced Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.
It was Springfield College’s first home football game of the season following four opening road games. With the win, SC is now 3-2, while Husson drops to 4-2.
Springfield led 7-0 after one period, and 28-14 at the half. SC eventually led by as many as 21 points, 42-21, in the fourth quarter before Husson tacked on one more score with 1:10 remaining.
Sharpe, the 2006 Melberger Award winner (Division III National Player of the Year), also passed for 55 more yards, completing three of seven attempts. He was not intercepted. Both of his TD runs came from two yards out. Sophomore fullback Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) ran for 104 yards and two more TDs of nine and 38 yards. Junior fullback Andrew Jackson (Pennsville, N.J.) also had a good day with 78 yards rushing and one TD of nine yards.
Springfield began the scoring in the first quarter with a 9-play, 56-yard opening drive, culminated by a 7-yard TD run by senior HB Derron Walker (White Plains, N.Y.) with 10:08 left. Sophomore Chris Bush (Fly Creek, N.Y.) booted home the extra point (he was 6-for-6 on the day). The next score came early in the second quarter (14:15 left) when Sharpe scored on a two-yard run. That ended a 9-play, 82-yard drive.
Husson closed the gap to seven points with 10:23 left in the second period when sophomore RB Julius Williams (Boston, Mass.) tallied on a 4-yard run. Husson had scored on a 9-play, 73-yard drive. Junior kicker Darren Gauthier (Durham, Me.) was 4-for-4 in booting home points-after. Then with 7:52 left, Cunningham scored the first of his two TDs from nine yards away, giving SC a 21-7 lead.
In a near instant replay, Husson closed the gap to seven points once again with 3:23 left in the half on another 9-play march, again on a four-yard run by Williams, this time in 65 yards.
But a huge play then occurred on the ensuing kickoff as sophomore free safety Jarred Burrell (Cranston, R.I.), who had a great day as a kick returner (43 yards on 2 punt returns, and 142 yards on 3 kickoff returns) brought one back 84 yards before he was tripped up at the Husson two. Sharpe then scored on one play to make it 28-14, SC, at the half. The Pride had scored just 18 seconds after Husson’s TD.
In the second half, the Eagles tallied first when senior QB Jonah Chappell (Fryburg, Me.) cut the score to 28-21 with a 9-yard run up the middle after he had been flushed out of the pocket. That came with 12:19 left in the third. Husson had traveled 71 yards in just five plays.
But Springfield countered again when Jackson matched that with a 9-yard TD run of his own with 7:12 left in the third. That drive took 9 plays and went 50 yards.
The score remained 35-21 for about a quarter’s worth of time before Cunningham broke loose for the day’s longest TD score of 38 yards with 6:17 left in the fourth. Chappell’s three-yard run on a fourth down finalized the score at 42-28 with 1:10 remaining.
Both teams really moved the ball. Springfield rushed for 354 yards, while Husson passed for 243. Overall, Springfield gained 409 yards (5.8 yards per play), while Husson gained 391 yards (6.3 yards per play). Springfield finished with 21 first downs to the Eagles’ 16. Time of possession was 32:42 to 27:18 in favor of SC.
For Husson, Chappell completed 13 passes in 27 attempts for 243 yards (he was intercepted once and sacked once). He also ran for 42 yards and scored 2 TDs. Williams wound up with 64 yards rushing and 2 TDs (averaging 6.4 yards per run). Sophomore RB Bryan Ferguson (Norwich, Conn.) added 44 yards rushing. Husson’s leading receiver was junior WR Andre Wildman (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) with four receptions and 71 yards. Freshman WR Victor McKenzie (Manchester, Conn.) had two catches for 93 yards, including a long of 59.
Springfield’s leading tackler on the day was junior ILB Tom Caporale (Closter, N.J.) with 13 (including 6 solos). Junior OLB Sean Richey (Setauket, N.Y.) had eight tackles, including one sack, plus one fumble recovery and one pass deflection. Sophomore ILB Jeff Creeden (Mansfield, Mass.) also finished with eight tackles, including one tackle-for-loss. For Husson, senior LB Ross Salovitch (Hampstead, N.H.) led with 12 tackles (6 solos). Senior DE Shane Rogers (Bridgeport, Conn.) and sophomore LB Bobby Gilbert (Beaver Cove, Me.) had nine tackles apiece. Gilbert included one sack of eight yards.
Next week (Oct. 13), Springfield will travel to Brockport State for a 1 pm encounter. Husson will host New York Maritime at the same time.