SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- (September 8, 2007) -- Senior quarterback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) rushed for 224 yards and touchdowns of 40 and 36 yards to lead the #9-ranked Springfield College football team to a 35-13 victory over Union College in the season opener for both squads Saturday night at Frank Bailey Field. The game featured a one hour, 32 minute delay due to weather.
With his two TDs, Sharpe set the Pride career record for rushing touchdowns with 51, previously set by Ryan Sylvia in 2004. Sharpe led an offense that gained 437 yards rushing and a total offense that amassed 509 yards. The Pride held Union scoreless in the second half after posting an 18-13 lead at halftime. Linebacker Jeff Creeden (Mansfield, Mass.) led the Pride with nine tackles and linebacker Tom Caporale (Closter, N.J.) posted eight tackles, with two interceptions and one tackle for a loss for Springfield.
Union sophomore linebacker John Peters (Clarks Summit, Pa.) set a new school record for tackles in a game with 22 (he had 14 solo hits). The previous mark was held by Dan Lombreglia, set in 2002. Peters broke the mark with 6:27 remaining in the fourth quarter. Senior defensive back Mike Daley (N. Bridgeton, Me.) also had 14 solo tackles and 18 overall. Sophomore Ted Civetti (Wellesley, Mass.) was 8 for 19 for 90 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in his first career start for Union. Senior tailback Zach Tillo (Lancaster, Mass.) had 60 yards on 13 rushes and a TD while junior wide receiver Charles Kaliades (Ridgewood, N.J.) had 48 yards on four receptions.
Tillo gave Union the lead at 8:19 of the first quarter with a two-yard scoring run to cap a 12-play, 50-yard drive. On the ensuing drive, Sharpe found senior wide receiver Kyle Anderson (Providence, R.I.) for a 42-yard touchdown pass, (the kick was blocked), with 6:05 left in the first half. The drive was seven plays, 73 yards and took 2:07.
Springfield took the lead for good in the third quarter when Sharpe broke free for a 40-yard run at 9:59, wrapping up a 10-play, 73-yard drive that consumed 5:02. The run attempt failed and it was 12-7 Springfield.
Lightning in the area forced the game to be halted at 8:01 p.m. with Springfield facing a second-and-10 at the Pride 27 yard line. The game resumed after a 92 minute delay. Senior halfback Derron Walker (White Plains, N.Y.) made it 18-7 on a five-yard run (the conversion pass failed) to cap a nine-play, 73-yard drive in 2:24. Eight plays on the drive came just after play resumed.
Union made it 18-13 when Civetti found tight end Josh McKelligan (Canton, Mass.) for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 2:45 left in the second quarter. Tillo rushed for 28 yards on the seven-play, 60-yard drive that took 2:52.
Due to the delay, the teams took a brief halftime, and the Pride opened it up on the first drive of the third quarter. Sharpe rushed in from 36 yards out just 1:41 into the quarter for a 25-13 lead. Springfield’s Caporale then intercepted a Civetti pass at the Springfield 34 and returned it 10 yards with 11:57 left in the third. Ten plays and 42 yards later, with 5:21 taken off the clock, sophomore Chris Bush (Fly Creek, N.Y.) booted a 31-yard field goal with 6:36 left in the quarter for a 28-13 lead.
Springfield closed out the scoring with a clock consuming drive of eight minutes, 15 seconds in the fourth quarter. The 15-play, 53-yard drive wrapped up on a senior halfback Joe Czarnecki (Shelton, Conn.) two-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left in the fourth.
Up next, the Pride will travel to Montclair State in New Jersey on Saturday (Sept. 15) for a 1:00 p.m. start time.