SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – November 4, 2006 – Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.), the nation’s leading rusher and scorer in Division III, has been named Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. Sharpe rushed for 272 yards and 2 TD’s in last Saturday’s 44-20 victory over Empire 8 rival Hartwick College at Benedum Field.
At the same time, the Springfield College football team regained the #1 spot in New England, according to the New England Division III Coaches Poll. In seven of the eight weeks of the poll, SC has been ranked #1. Only last week, when Williams edged the Pride, was SC not in the #1 position. This week, Springfield (8-1) accumulated 140 total points and seven first-place votes, while Williams (7-0) amassed 139 total points and five first-place votes. Curry (10-0) remained third with 124 total points and the remaining three first-place votes.
In the national polls, Springfield moved up four spots to #14 in the d3football.com poll, and remained #15 in the Don Hansen Football Gazette poll.
Sharpe had a great day against the Hawks last Saturday. On the afternoon, Sharpe set one NCAA Division III record, extended another NCAA Division III record, and set one more school record. Sharpe now has 1,575 rushing yards on the season. That breaks the NCAA Division III record for most yards rushing by a quarterback in a single season. The old record was 1,345 by Kevin Cahill of Springfield College in 1999. Sharpe broke the Springfield College school record for most yards rushing in a single season. The old record was 1,348 by Jay Miller (a running back) in 2000. The NCAA Division III record that Sharpe extended was his own. He now has 28 rushing TD’s on the season, most ever by a Division III quarterback. The old record, which Sharpe broke two weeks ago, was 20 by Springfield College QB Ryan Sylvia in 2003. Sylvia is currently Sharpe’s quarterback coach. Sharpe also extended another school record, most points in a single season, with 168. He had also broken that record two weeks ago.
If Springfield can defeat Norwich this Saturday, then SC will be declared the Empire 8 Regular-Season Champion and the Empire 8’s representative to the NCAA Tournament. With an SC victory, the best that anyone else (St. John Fisher or Alfred) could do would be to tie Springfield for the conference title. But SC holds the tiebreakers over both Alfred and St. John Fisher, having already beaten each earlier in the season.