No. 22 Football Hosts Union In Regular-Season Finale
Union College Dutchmen (5-4) at No. 22 Springfield College Pride (7-1, 6-0 FFC)
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2002 • 12 p.m. • Benedum Field
Game Day Quick Facts
Union leads the series, 3-2-1.
The Last Meeting:
The Pride handed the Dutchmen a 49-35 loss in Schenectady, N.Y., on Nov. 10, 2002
Last Time Out:
SC beat Norwich, 41-24, on Nov. 9; Union lost to Muhlenberg (Pa.), 44-13, on Nov. 9.
About the Pride:
A ceremony honoring the 21 individuals making their final home regular-season appearances will take place prior to kick-off ... head coach Mike DeLong, who has won more games than any other coach in the 109-year history of the program, won his 100th game at Springfield College in the 31-22 win over WPI (Oct. 26). DeLong is 101-84-2 in 19 seasons at his alma mater, and 113-90-2 in 21 seasons overall ... at No. 22, SC cracked the latest American Football Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll for the first time in two seasons. SC is the only New England team to be ranked nationally. In 2000, the Pride ranked No. 10 in the final AFCA poll ... in the Division III New England Poll, the Pride is ranked second behind top-ranked UMass-Dartmouth. SC is fifth in the ECAC Lambert Division III Poll, which ranks the top 10 teams in the East region ... SC is ranked in the top 40 nationally in six statistical categories, and is second in the nation in rushing (346.3 ypg). The Pride ranks at the top of the FFC in eight 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 ... while the Pride has outscored the opposition, 103-30, in the first quarter this season, it has also responded in tight late-game situations. After trailing at halftime at WPI (Oct. 26) and Norwich (Nov. 9), SC outscored those teams, 45-6, in the second half.
The NCAA announces the field for the Division III Football Tournament via conference call on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. Twenty-eight teams will form four seven-team brackets and the top team in each will get a bye. The champions of 18 conferences will get an automatic bid to the playoffs. Three runners-up in those conferences will get what are called Pool C bids, and seven bids (Pool B) will go to independents or members of non-automatic qualifiying conferences.
We Are The Champions:
SC wrapped up its fourth Freedom Football Conference Championship in six seasons with its 41-24 win over Norwich on Saturday. The Pride earns its third trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament since 1998 ... for the third time in five seasons it posted a 6-0 record in the FFC ... SC captured the conference title and the NCAA Tournament berth in 1998 and 2000. The Pride also won the FFC crown in 1996, but did not compete in the post-season.
The Pride, which currently ranks second 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 423 yards on the ground at Norwich (Nov. 9), is 9-1 in games when it rushes for more than 300 yards over the past two seasons. The Pride has gone over the 400-yard mark three times in 2002, including a 553-yard performance vs. Salve Regina (Sept. 6) ... 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.
By the Numbers:
In addition to boasting Division III's second-ranked rushing offense (346.3 ypg), the Pride ranks in the top 40 nationally in five other categories:
Pass Efficiency Defense: 87.3 rating (rank:19th)
Total Offense: 412.1 ypg (rank: 38th)
Total Defense: 253.0 ypg (rank:25th)
Scoring Offense: 38.8 ppg (rank:17th)
Turnover Margin: +0.9 (rank: 39th)
Although the Pride is known for its running game, it has also used the pass effectively. This season, SC has completed 19 passes for an average of 23.7 yards-per-catch and nine touchdowns. Senior SE Jay Curtis leads the team with nine catches for 199 yards (22.1 ypc) and four TDs.
The Pride has used the big play as a major weapon this season. SC has had 21 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 Last Time Out; Nov. 9: Springfield College 41, Norwich 24
-- Springfield College sophomore halfback Kevin Domurat rushed for a career-high 133 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries to rally the Pride past Norwich, 41-24, at Sabine Field.
Sophomore fullback Tim Lutgens added 122 yards and a touchdown for SC, which piled up 423 yards on the ground.
The sophomore quarterback platoon of Michael Judge and Ryan Sylvia combined for 84 yards and one TD on the ground, and 3-of-8 passing (64 yards), including second-half scoring strikes of 22 and 34 yards to rally SC, which trailed by as many as 14 points.
After spotting Norwich (4-5, 2-3 FFC) a 14-0 first-quarter lead, Domurat got the Pride on the board with an eight-yard TD run at 10:11 of the second quarter. Lutgens evened the score at 14-14 on a three-yard scoring jaunt with 3:12 to play in the half. The Cadets, however, scored 10 points in the final 1:05 of the half to take a 24-14 lead at intermission.
SC responded in the third quarter as Judge hit senior split end Farrand Violette with a 22-yard touchdown pass at 10:11 to make it a three-point game (24-21). It stayed that way until Sylvia hooked up with senior split end Jay Curtis for a 34-yard score to give the Pride a 28-24 lead with 8:34 left in the game. Domurat exploded for a 53-yard TD run with 4:23 to play to extend the lead to 11 (35-24).
Junior PK Greg Switaj leads the FFC in field goals (0.9 per game, also tied for 34th nationally), and is second in point-after percentage (89.2) and third in scoring (6.8 ppg) ... senior CB Mike Capotosto leads the FFC in interceptions (0.8 ipg, also tied for 15th nationally) and is ninth in passes defended (10 total). Junior CB Chris Teel is second in interceptions (0.6 ipg, also tied for 39th nationally) ... freshman KR Mitch Dupuis is second in kick-return yardage (21.6 ypr) ... junior PR Mike Kimmel is third in punt return average (8.6 ypr) ... sophomore QB Michael Judge is fifth in scoring (6.2 ppg) and fourth in rushing (70.4 ypg). Sophomores HB Will Davis (sixth/58.4 ypg), FB Tim Lutgens (seventh/57.9 ypg) and HB Kevin Domurat (eighth/56.4 ypg) also rank among the FFC's rushing leaders ... Judge is eighth in total offense (96.2 ypg) and sophomore QB Ryan Sylvia is 10th (80.0 ypg). Judge is also 10th in all-purpose yardage (70.4 ypg) ... senior DE Dwayne Robinson is third in sacks (1.1 spg, also tied for 15th nationally) and fifth in tackles-for-loss (1.62 per game) ... senior DE Jim Galliher is fifth in sacks (0.75 spg) and seventh in tackles-for-loss (1.5 per game).
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 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 176.2 ypg of total offense and 21 touchdowns (12 rushing, nine passing) ... five 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; 133 yards at Norwich) and sophomore HB Tim Lutgens (127 yards vs. Salve Regina; 122 yards at Norwich).