Football Looks to Wrap-UP FFC Crown At Norwich
Springfield College Pride (6-1, 5-0 FFC)
at Norwich Cadets (4-4, 2-2 FFC)
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002 • 12 p.m. • Northfield, Vt.
The Pride leads the all-time series, 18-2.
The Last Meeting:
Norwich defeated SC, 14-13, on Nov. 3, 2001. The victory snapped SC's 16-game winning streak over the Cadets that dated back to 1942.
Last Time Out:
The Pride beat WPI, 31-22, on Oct. 26; Norwich topped Mount Ida, 21-14, last Saturday.
About the Pride:
The Pride is 7-0 all-time at Norwich ... SC is climbing in several polls. The Pride is listed under 'Others Receiving Votes' in the latest American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll. The Pride and Alma (Mich.), which both have 69 points, trail No. 25 Hobart (107 points). In the Division III New England Poll, the Pride is ranked second behind top-ranked Westfield State for the third consecutive week. SC is sixth in the ECAC Lambert Division III Poll, which ranks the top 10 teams in the East region ... SC's defense has yielded just 108 points so far. Since the Pride moved to Division III seven seasons ago, the least amount of points SC allowed was 138 in nine regular-season games in 1995 ... SC is ranked in the top 40 nationally in six statistical categories, and is third in the nation in rushing (346.3 ypg). The Pride ranks at the top of the FFC in 11 categories ... SC's efficiency in the red-zone has been a major reason why it leads the FFC in scoring (38.4 ppg). SC has scored 19 of 23 times in the red zone (82.6%), which is the best in the conference. Of the 19 scores, 16 are touchdowns and three are field goals. The Pride has outscored the opposition, 103-16, in the first quarter.
SC wrapped up a share of the Freedom Football Conference championship in its 31-22 win over WPI (Oct. 26). The Pride can clinch the FFC championship outright with a win over Norwich on Saturday ... SC has all ready earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament because it wins all FFC tie-breaker scenarios ... if the Pride wins at Norwich, it will mark the third time in five seasons that it has posted a 6-0 record in the FFC ... SC captured the conference title and the NCAA Tournament berth in 1998 and 2000. SC also won the FFC crown in 1996, but did not compete in the post-season ... the field for the NCAA Division III Tournament will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 17.
By the Numbers:
In addition to boasting Division III's third-ranked rushing offense (346.3 ypg), the Pride ranks in the top 40 nationally in five other categories:
Pass Efficiency Defense: 80.9 rating (rank:11th)
Total Defense: 230.4 ypg (rank:12th)
Scoring Offense: 38.4 ppg (rank:16th)
Turnover Margin: +0.9 (rank: 39th)
Scoring Defense: 15.4 (rank: 39th)
Although the Pride is known for its running game, it has also used the pass effectively. This season, SC has completed 16 passes for an average of 24.1 yards-per-catch and seven touchdowns. Senior SE Jay Curtis leads the team with seven catches for 157 yards (22.4 ypc) and three TDs.
The Pride has used the big play as a major weapon this season. SC has had 18 passing or rushing plays go for 30-or-more yards, including sophomore QB Michael Judge's 97-yard touchdown run at Kings Point (Sept. 21). SC's defense has produced five plays of 30-or-more yards, including three touchdowns against Coast Guard (Sept. 28).
The Pride's success cannot be directly attributed to one player. Five players have won FFC weekly awards, and senior CB Mike Capotosto won the Coca-Cola Gold Helmet Award (Oct. 14) ... the platoon of sophomore quarterbacks Michael Judge and Ryan Sylvia has been very effective. The duo has combined for 180.2 ypg of total offense and 19 touchdowns (12 rushing, seven passing) ... four SC backs have eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark: Judge (142 yards at Kings Point; 107 yards at WPI), sophomore HB Will Davis (145 yards vs. Salve Regina), sophomore Kevin Domurat (105 yards at WPI) and sophomore HB Tim Lutgens (127 yards vs. Salve Regina).
The Pride's 41-0 victory over Plymouth State (Oct. 19) was its second shutout of the season. It's the first time since 1968 that SC has recorded two shutouts in a season ... the school record for most shutouts in a season is seven, which Coach John L. Rothacher's 1927 and 1930 teams both accomplished
On The Front Line:
d3football.com honored the SC offensive line as its 'Offensive Line of the Week' (Sept. 11). The Pride's offensive front of C Nick Asermelly, RT Ben Bristol, RG Matt Fritze, LG Andrew MacFadyen and LT Carl Mintken paved the way for 553 rushing yards against Salve Regina (Sept. 6) ... SC's veteran offensive line features a trio of three-year starters: Bristol, MacFadyen and Mintken ... SC allowed a conference-low eight sacks in nine games in 2001, and has allowed just four sacks this season, which leads the FFC.
The Last Time Out
Springfield College 31, WPI 22
Oct. 26, Worcester, Mass.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Judge ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns (2, 3 yards) and threw for 72 yards and two more scores (43, 29 yards) to lead the Pride to the 31-22 win over WPI.
SC clinched at least a share of its fourth Freedom Football Conference title in the last six years. By virtue of Kings Point’s 20-17 overtime win over Western Connecticut, the Pride also wrapped up the FFC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The NCAA Tournament selection takes place on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Springfield (6-1, 5-0 FFC) totaled 463 yards of offense, including 391 yards on the ground. Sophomore halfback Kevin Domurat ran for a career-high 105 yards on 11 carries in a game that saw five lead changes.
Four turnovers (three fumbles, one interception) put the Pride at a 16-13 halftime deficit. With 9:41 remaining in the third quarter, Judge hooked up with senior split end Jay Curtis for a 43-yard touchdown to stake Springfield to a 20-16 lead. The Engineers (2-5, 1-2 FFC) answered with a five play, 61-yard scoring drive to take a 22-20 lead after a missed extra point attempt.
With :15 second remaining in the third quarter, Judge threw a 29-yard scoring strike to junior split end Farrand Violette to put Springfield ahead for good, 28-22.
Junior PK Greg Switaj leads the FFC in field goals (1.0 per game, also tied for 15th nationally), and is second in point-after percentage (90.2) and fourth in scoring (7.3 ppg) ... senior CB Mike Capotosto leads the FFC in interceptions (0.71 ipg, also tied for seventh nationally) and is ninth in passes defended (7 total) ... freshman KR Mitch Dupuis is second in kick-return yardage (21.6 ypr) ... junior PR Mike Kimmel is second in punt return average (9.2 ypr) ... sophomore QB Michael Judge is third in scoring (7.1 ppg) and (74.7 ypg) is fourth in rushing (74.7 ypg). Sophomore HB Will Davis (sixth/55.8 ypg) and sophomore QB Ryan Sylvia (eighth/50.4 ypg) also rank among the FFC's rushing leaders ... Judge is eighth in total offense (101.1 ypg) and Sylvia is 10th (79.1). Judge is also ninth in all-purpose yardage (74.7 ypg) ... senior DE Dwayne Robinson is third in sacks (1.29 spg, also tied for 14th nationally) and fourth in tackles-for-loss (1.57 per game) ... senior DE Jim Galliher is fifth in sacks (0.71 spg) and seventh in tackles-for-loss (1.29 per game).
The Pride, which currently rank third in rushing yardage (346.3 ypg) in Division III, led the FFC in rushing for the seventh consecutive season at 278.7 ypg in 2001, which was sixth nationally. SC, which piled up 391 yards on the ground at WPI (Oct. 26), is 8-1 in games when it rushes for more than 300 yards over the past two seasons ... SC captured its second consecutive NCAA Division III rushing title in 2000, and third in five seasons. Only three other teams have won it three-or-more times. SC averaged a Division III-record 427.5 ypg on the ground in 2000. In 1999, the Pride averaged 375.3 ypg and, in 1996, SC rushed for 351.2 ypg.