The Pioneers are now 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference, while the Pride improved to 2-2 and 1-1 in conference.
Erich Timmermen (Middletown, N.Y.) returned the opening kickoff 82 yards to give the Pride an early 7-0 lead. Timmerman, a senior wide receiver, was returning the first kick of his four year career. Timmerman caught the ball toward the left sideline, scampered up the middle, weaved his way to the right sideline, and suddenly beat everyone after barely staying in bounds.
The Pioneers opening drive ended in a failed 42-yard field goal attempt by sophomore kicker Casey McNulty (Red Hook/Red Hook). Pride sophomore fullback Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) fumbled on the ensuing possession after a hit by UC senior linebacker Corey Jure. Senior free safety Marcus Maroney picked up the fumble and returned it 47 yards for their first touchdown since week one. McNulty pushed the extra point wide right and the Pride led 7-6 at the eight minute mark of the first quarter.
Springfield answered back less than six minutes later after a nine-play 46-yard drive was capped by a Derron Walker (White Plains, N.Y.) one yard touchdown run. Sophomore kicker Chris Bush (Fly Creek, N.Y.) knocked home the extra point to give the Pride a 14-6 lead.
The Pioneers went three and out to start the second quarter. UC punter Ben Atwood kicked a line drive 38 yard punt that was fielded by Jarred Burrell (Cranston, R.I.). Sophomore Peter Vano (Mahopac/Mahopac) laid a big hit on Burrell and caused a fumble that was picked up by Pioneer strong safety Bryan Johnson. Ten plays and 20 yards later McNulty redeemed himself with a 28-yard field goal making the score 14-9.
Springfield marched down the field on the ensuing possession and Sharpe, the Melberger Award winner in 2006 (NCAA Division III Player of the Year), capped a five-play 56-yard drive with a two yard touchdown run. Sharpe then added his second touchdown of the day with one minute remaining in the first half. The Pride entered halftime in control with a 28-9 lead.
Springfield amassed 253 first half yards on 34 plays, compared to the Pioneers' 139 yards of total offense on 37 plays. The Pride threw just four passes in the first half.
Utica opened the second half scoring when McNulty knocked down a 27-yard field goal less than four minutes into the half to cut the Springfield lead to 16 points.
The Pride scored the game's next two touchdowns and led 42-12 with 5:04 left in the third quarter. Sharpe tallied his third touchdown of day on a 34-yard scamper up the middle untouched. He now has 10 touchdowns on the year. Sharpe rushed for 69 yards on 12 carries and also threw for a career-high 149 yards on 4-of-6 passing.
UC quarterback Greg Pinelli closed out the day 17-for-33 for 159 yards passing, while James Proniewych caught a game-high seven passes for 66 yards.
Safety Jason Antonucci (Londonderry, N.H) recorded 12 tackles on the day for the Pride, while Sean Richey (Setauket, N.Y.) added six.
Springfield will finally play its first home game of the 2007 season when it takes on visiting Husson College next Saturday at 1 p.m.