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Football's Rally Stuns No. 14 Western Conn.,18-15

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Oct. 11, 2002 – Springfield College sophomore quarterback Michael Judge (Chatham, N.J.) scored on a five-yard rush with 2:25 to play in the game to lift the Pride to an 18-15 win over No .14 Western Connecticut State in a Freedom Football Conference matchup at Benedum Field.

With 10 seconds to play, Western Connecticut junior place kicker Andy Benicewicz missed a 32-yard field that would have sent the game into overtime.

Since 1998, the winner of this game has gone onto win the conference championship and earn the FFC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The win propelled SC (4-1, 3-0 FFC) into sole possession of first place in the conference and the Colonials (4-1, 1-1 FFC) drop their first game of the season.

Rainy conditions resulted in a total of nine fumbles (four lost by the Pride, two by the Colonials). Western Connecticut quarterback senior Mike Scipione threw three interceptions.

SC sophomore fullback Will Davis (Cumberland, R.I.) rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Davis’ touchdown just 1:59 in to the game gave the Pride a 7-0 lead. The Colonials scored on a safety when SC freshman punter Padric Noonan could not handle the snap in his own end zone.

In the second quarter, Scipione hit Vin Sheperis with a 16-yard pass to give Western Connecticut a 15-10 lead. The Colonials had an opportunity to add to the lead, but SC senior cornerback Mike Capotosto (Exeter, R.I.) intercepted a pass in the end zone with 2:34 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Judge rushed for 57 of 78 yards on the game-winning drive, capped by his five-yard rush to give SC a 16-15 lead. Judge ran for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 18-15.
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Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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