No. 19 Football Hits The Road To Face Ithaca
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Springfield College Pride (5-1, 2-1 Empire 8) vs. Ithaca College Bombers (5-2, 3-1 Empire 8)
Oct. 30, 2004,
Game Day Quick Facts
What's At Stake:
The Pride looks to stay in the hunt for the Empire 8 Conference championship and earn the league's bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. A win would also bolster SC's case for one of the three at-large (Pool C) berths to the 28-team national tournament.
Ithaca leads the series, 22-8.
The Last Meeting:
No. 14 SC erupted for 28 fourth-quarter points to beat the 13th-ranked Bombers, 51-22, on Benedum Field on Oct. 4, 2003. It was the Pride's biggest win over Ithaca. FB Tim Lutgens rushed for 160 yards and one TD, and QB Ryan Sylvia added 112 yards and two scores on the ground, and threw a 46-yard TD pass.
The Last Time Out:
Then fourth-ranked SC had its 19-game regular-season winning streak snapped at then No. 24 St. John Fisher, 45-24, last Saturday; the Bombers crushed Utica, 52-16.
About Saturday's Game:
The season is on the line as the Pride needs a victory to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive … in SC's last trip to Ithaca, the Bombers jumped out to a 20-0 lead en route to a 44-20 victory on Oct. 5, 2002. The Pride’s last win at Butterfield Stadium was a 55-34 victory on Sept. 30, 2000 ... in the Empire 8, the Pride sits in fourth place with a 2-1 record. The top-3 are St. John Fisher (3-1), Ithaca (3-1) and surprising Alfred (3-1). St. John Fisher owns tie-breakers over the Pride and the Bombers by virtue of its victories over both teams. The Cardinals travel to Alfred on Nov. 13 ... the Pride dropped 15 spots to No. 20 in the D3football.com poll, and from No. 4 to No. 19 in the AFCA poll ... after rushing for a career-high 202 yards at St. John Fisher (Oct. 23), senior FB Tim Lutgens climbed into fifth all-time at SC with 2,654 yards. He is also fourth in rushing TDs with 32 … the Pride leads the E-8 in four offensive statistical categories: rushing (389.5), pass efficiency (165.3), fourth-down conversions (8-10, 80%) and sacks allowed (three) ... the Pride has been extraordinarily efficient in the red zone lately, scoring touchdowns on 23 of its last 25 trips inside the 20-yard line. SC has 26 TDs in 31 trips to the red zone overall.
News & Notes
Something's Gotta Give:
The Pride's dazzling ground game, which leads the E-8 and ranks second nationally at 389.5 ypg, presents problems for any defense. Statistically speaking, however, the Bombers have what it takes to slow SC down. Ithaca allows a league-low 77.4 ypg rushing (15th in D-III) and yields just 2.2 yards-per-rush. The Pride picks up 5.9 yards-per-carry, and seven backs have a rush of 30 yards-or-more.
Senior FB Tim Lutgens and QB Ryan Sylvia are among best backfield combinations in D-III. Lutgens and Sylvia have combined for 22 rushing TDs and 1,298 rushing yards in '04 ... Lutgens ranks second in the E-8 in rushing (114.3, 31st in D-III) and scoring (12.0, 10th in D-III), while Sylvia is fourth in rushing (102.0) and fifth in scoring (10.0, 25th in D-III) … in '03, Lutgens (team-high 1,307 yards) and Sylvia (1,122 yards) became the first D-III duo to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in the same season since 1997 … Sylvia enters Saturday's game with 12-career 100-yard rushing efforts, while Lutgens has 11. Lutgens has three 100-yard games in '04, and Sylvia has two.
Although SC yielded 45 points to St. John Fisher last Saturday, the most it has given up since the 2000 campaign, the Pride's defense has been solid in '04. SC, which has two shutouts, leads the E-8 in total defense (246.3 ypg, 15th in D-III) and opponent first downs (72) ... preseason All-American senior LB Justin Fletcher (40 tackles, 4.0 tfl, 1 int.), sophomore LB Andrew Madigan (33 tackles, 1.5 tfl) and senior DT Brian McLellan (31 tackles, 3.0 tfl, 1 sack) lead the Pride's defense.
SC has rolled up 400+ yards on the ground three times in '04, including a season-best 484 yards against Alfred (Sept. 25). Since the '02 campaign, the Pride has cracked the 400-yard barrier 12 times in 27 games, and is 12-0 in those games ... SC's best rushing performance in this stretch was a 586-yard effort against Union (Nov. 16, 2002) ... the Pride has won three of the last four D-III national rushing titles (2000, '02 and '03). Last season, SC led all D-I, II and III teams at 398.5 ypg.
Movin' On Up:
Senior QB Ryan Sylvia tied the school record for career rushing touchdowns last Saturday, and has several other marks in his sights. Sylvia set a D-III record for most rushing TDs by a QB with 20 in '03. Here's a look where Sylvia ranks on SC's all-time lists:
t-1. Kevin Cahill, 44 TDs
t-1. Ryan Sylvia, 44 TDs
1. Kevin Cahill, 276
2. Ryan Sylvia, 264
1. Kevin Cahill, 4,842 yards
2. Ryan Sylvia 3,962 yards
1. Kevin Cahill, 3,209 yards
3. Ryan Sylvia 2,826 yards
No. 24 St. John Fisher 45, No. 4 SC 24
Pittsford, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2004
Senior FB Tim Lutgens ran for a career-high 202 yards and a touchdown, but it was No. 24 St. John Fisher defeating the fourth-ranked Pride, 45-24, in Empire 8 Football Conference action.
The Pride, which turned the ball over four times, was held to a season-low 276 yards rushing and 347 yards of total offense. St. John Fisher halfback Mark Robinson rushed 41 times for 225 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cardinal attack.
Two SC first-quarter turnovers led to a pair of St. John Fisher touchdowns as the Cardinals (7-1, 3-1 E-8) jumped out to a 14-3 lead with 13:04 remaining in the second quarter. The Pride (5-1, 2-1 E-8) answered with a eight-play, 90-yard drive, capped by a two-yard Lutgens score, to cut the Cardinal lead to 14-10 with 9:28 remaining in the second quarter.
After forcing a Cardinal punt, the Pride took over on its own 22-yard line and drove to the Fisher 34, when senior quarterback Ryan Sylvia threw an interception with 4:17 remaining. The Cardinals capitalized, driving seven plays and scoring a touchdown with :44 remaining to take a 21-10 lead at halftime.
On the first play of the second half, SC junior cornerback Mitch Dupuis recovered a Fisher fumble and returned it seven yards for touchdown, and the two-point conversion cut the lead to 21-18 with 14:44 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cardinals responded by scoring three unaswered touchdowns, however, and opened up a 42-18 lead with 11:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. Sylvia's 44th-career touchdown, which tied a school record, and made the score 42-24 with 5:25 remaining in the game.