SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - September 13, 2008 - The Springfield College football team fell behind 14-0 by the end of the first half and couldn't complete its comeback as it fell in its home-opener to Union College, 24-14, in front of 1,824 fans at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field on Saturday evening.
With the loss, the Pride drops to 1-1 on the season, while the Dutchmen improve to 1-0.
The Dutchmen outgained Springfield, 380 yards to 252, overall. But every bit as important was the fact that Union outrushed the Pride, 204 yards to 202. A week ago, in a 55-27 victory at Fitchburg State, Springfield rushed for 541 yards, and finished with 638 yards overall. In tonight's contest, Union also had 20 first downs to 14 for Springfield, and averaged 5.5 yards per play to the Pride's 4.1.
Union took a 14-0 lead at the half. With 7:11 remaining in the first quarter, sophomore running back Chris Coney (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) ran one in from four yards out to give the Dutchmen a 6-0 lead. Senior kicker Ben Rapple (Queensbury, N.Y.) made the first of three extra points. Coney's run capped a 12-play, 94-yard drive.
In the second quarter, with 4:13 left, Springfield took over on its own 28-yard line and was hoping to mount a game-tying drive before the half. But a fumble was recovered by Union senior linebacker John Peters (Clarks Summit, Pa.) at the SC 30, and the Dutchmen took full advantage. In one play, junior QB Andrew Catellier (Voorheesville, N.Y.) found a streaking junior wide receiver Jared Gourrier (New Orleans, La.) straight down the middle in the end zone for the 30-yard strike with 3:59 left. That made it 14-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Union took the second half kickoff and drove 68 yards in 11 plays, kicking a 20-yard field goal by Rapple to make it 17-0 with 10:28 left.
Finally, SC came to life on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 5-play, 51-yard march in a span of 1:56. The touchdown was scored by freshman halfback Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) with 8:32 left in the third quarter. The extra point, his first of two, was booted home by sophomore Gordie Barr (Carolina, R.I.), making it 17-7, Union.
Springfield then had an opportunity to cut it to 17-10, but a 34-yard field goal attempt went wide left in the fourth quarter.
With 3:30 remaining in the game, sophomore running back Kyle Holmes (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) made it 24-7 by scoring on a four-yard jaunt. Union had traveled 63 yards in just four plays.
Springfield finished up the scoring with 1:47 left on a 22-yard pass play from freshman Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.) to sophomore wide receiver Tim Brady (Southbury, Conn.).
Coney led Union by rushing for 156 yards and 1 TD on 28 carries. Holmes finished with 39 yards and 1 TD on six carries. Cattelier completed 15 passes on 26 attempts for 176 yards and 1 TD. Senior TE Josh McKelligan (Canton, Mass.) caught six passes for 70 yards. Meanwhile, for Springfield, Carter ran for 70 yards on 9 carries. Junior fullback Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) finished with 58 yards rushing on 14 carries. Carter completed six passes in 13 attempts for 50 yards. He had 1 TD and 1 interception.
On defense, Springfield was led by senior linebacker Tom Caporale (Closter, N.J.) with 11 tackles, including 1.5 tackles-for-loss for 2 yards. For Union, senior DB Kevin Rautenstrauch (West Seneca, N.Y.) finished with 10 tackles, including 1 tackle-for-loss, plus 1 pass deflection.
Springfield returns to action on September 27 when it hosts Alfred in the Pride's Empire 8 Conference opener. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 pm.
Photo courtesy of Roy Chambers.