SPRINGFIELD, Mass., October 23, 2006 – Earlier today, quarterback Chris Sharpe and defensive end Mike Nicol of Springfield College were named the Empire 8 Football Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.
The awards came as a result of their tremendous efforts in helping the 15th-ranked Pride to a 55-38 victory over No. 9 St. John Fisher College last Saturday in Pittsford, N.Y. With the victory, Springfield raised its overall record to 7-0, and its Empire 8 record to 3-0. By defeating previously unbeaten St. John Fisher at SJF’s Growney Stadium, Springfield becomes the last of the unbeaten teams in the rugged Empire 8.
Earlier today, the Pride moved up in the national polls. SC is now ranked No. 12 by Don Hansen’s Football Gazette (up three spots) and No. 14 by D3football.com (up three spots).
Sharpe, a junior quarterback from Derry, N.H., had a game for the ages. The 5-9, 204-pounder rushed for 280 yards and a whopping seven touchdowns, one shy of the NCAA Division III single-game record. Sharpe did, however, establish one NCAA record and five other Springfield College records. Records set included:
NCAA – MOST RUSHING TD’s BY A QUARTERBACK IN A SINGLE SEASON – 25 -- old record was 20 by Ryan Sylvia of Springfield College in 2003
SC – MOST POINTS IN A SINGLE GAME – 42 - old record was 36 by Ted Alflen vs. Tufts in 1968 (38-year old record)
SC – MOST POINTS IN A SINGLE SEASON - 150 (in just 7 games) – old record was 136 by Jay Miller in 2000
SC – MOST YARDS RUSHING IN A SINGLE GAME – 280 – old record was 268 by Bill Pacitto vs. AIC, Nov. 14, 1987; and by Chris Sharpe vs. Union earlier this year vs. Alfred on Sept. 23, 2006
SC – MOST RUSHING TD’s IN A SINGLE GAME – 7 – old record was 5 by Kevin Cahill vs. SUNY Cortland on Oct. 28, 2000; by Tim Lutgens vs. Norwich on Nov. 8, 2003; and by Chris Sharpe earlier this year vs. Alfred on September 23, 2006
SC – MOST RUSHING TD’s IN A SINGLE SEASON (not necessarily by a QB) – 25 – old record was 22 by Jay Miller in 2000
In the contest versus SJF, in which Springfield never trailed but was never completely in control until the last TD was scored with 1:29 remaining, Sharpe had TD runs of 27, 69, 21, 11, and 38 to go along with two one-yard scores. It is the third time this year that Sharpe has won this award.
Sharpe remained the top Division III scorer in the land. He entered the game averaging 18.0 points per game, and emerged averaging 21.4. He also returned to be the No. 1 Division III rusher overall, a position he had held for six of the past seven weeks. He entered the game second, averaging 158.2 yards per game rushing, and emerged averaging 175.6 rushing ypg.
Mike Nicol, a 6-3, 265-pound senior defensive end from Hopkinton, Mass., also had a great game. Mike was credited with five tackles, all unassisted. But more importantly, he was credited with four tackles-for-loss for 26 yards, three sacks for 25 yards, two fumbles caused, and one fumble recovery. SJF turned it over three times, all fumbles, and Mike had a hand in all three. Springfield is currently ranked second nationally in Division III in turnover margin at +2.1 per game (23 gained and eight lost in seven games).
Nicol moved into the national single-game best statistics from his performance on Saturday. For his efforts against St. John Fisher, he is now tied for third in a single-game best (Div. III) for forced fumbles with two; he is tied for ninth in a single-game best (Div. III) in sacks with three; and he is tied for 13th in a single-game best (Div. III) in tackles-for-loss with four.
Up next, SC will take on a very strong Ithaca College team on the road this Saturday, October 28th, at 1:00 p.m.