Football Opens FFC Schedule At Kings Point
Springfield College Pride (1-0, 0-0 FFC) at Kings Point (1-1, 1-0 FFC)
Sat., Sept. 21, 2 p.m., Kings Point, N.Y.
The Pride leads the series, 5-2.
The Last Meeting:
SC defeated the Mariners, 35-13, on Oct. 27, 2002.
Last Time Out:
SC rolled past Salve Regina, 69-0, on Sept. 6; Kings Point defeated Norwich, 26-21, last Saturday.
About the Pride:
SC opens the Freedom Football Conference (FFC) portion of the schedule on Saturday at Kings Point. SC is 6-1 in conference openers since joining the FFC for the 1995 season. The lone loss was in 1997 to Kings Point by a 42-28 score ... beginning with next Saturday's game with Coast Guard (Sept. 28), the Pride plays three consecutive FFC games at home. SC also plays a non-conference game at Ithaca (Oct. 5) in that stretch ... SC's win over Salve Regina was one of the most productive offensive outputs in school history. The Pride scored 35 points in the first quarter on the way to 69 points for the game, which was the fourth-highest point total in the 109-year history of the program. SC rushed for 553 yards, which is just 33 yards shy of the school record of 586 established against SUNY-Cortland on Oct. 28, 2000. Not to be overlooked was the Pride's defensive effort. Led by senior DE Dwayne Robinson (3 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks), the Pride allowed just 52 yards on 53 plays, and allowed Salve Regina into SC territory only twice.
And The Winner Is ... :
Sophomore fullback Will Davis was selected as the FFC Offensive Player of the Week, and junior place kicker Greg Switaj is the FFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week (Sept. 9) for their performances against Salve Regina ... in his third career start, Davis rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries (9.1 yards-per-carry) in the first half. He ran for two first-quarter touchdowns (three yards and 40 yards) in a span of 3:57. Davis is tied for 15th nationally in rushing (145 ypg) ...Switaj hit all nine point-after attempts and also converted field goal attempts of 21 and 26 yards. The three-year starter accounted for 15 points of SC’s 69 points in the game. He is tied for 14th nationally is scoring (15 ppg).
Getting Their Due:
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) ... all-region center Kevin Vacca graduated, but four starters on the offensive line are back from 2001. Bristol, MacFadyen and Mintken are three-year starters ... along with spearheading one of the nation's best rushing games, SC's veteran offensive line provided quarterbacks with tremendous protection last season. The Pride allowed a conference-low eight sacks in nine games in 2001.
Standing On Top:
Not surprisingly, the Pride is at the top of the NCAA Division III in several statistical categories. SC ranks first nationally in three team categories: rushing offense (553.0 ypg), scoring offense (69.0) and scoring defense (0.0). SC is second in total defense (52.0 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (11.2 rating); tied for fourth in turnover margin (+4.0), and eighth in total offense (554.0 ypg).
The Pride led the FFC in rushing for the seventh consecutive season at 278.7 ypg in 2001, which was sixth nationally. SC was 4-1 in games when it rushed for more than 300 yards ... 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 Divsion 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.
After an excellent performance in 2001, SC's defense continued its stingy ways against Salve Regina (Sept. 6). In the win over Salve, the Pride recorded its first shutout since 1996. SC blanked Western Connecticut, 16-0, six years ago to the day ... heading into the final game of the 2001 season - a 49-35 win at No. 16 Union (Nov. 10) - the Pride led the FFC in four categories: total defense, rushing defense, pass defense and opponent first downs, and was second in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense ... the SC defense stepped in big games last season. At No. 25 Western Connecticut (Oct. 6), SC held the highest scoring team in the FFC to just 88 yards and no offensive touchdowns. Against No. 21 Ithaca (Sept. 29), which came in averaging 39.7 ppg, SC did not allow a touchdown until there was 5:29 left in the game.
Head Coach Mike DeLong On Kings Point:
"Kings Point is an outstanding football team. [The Mariners] did a great job of running the ball at Norwich last Saturday, and Dan Circelli is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks we are going to face this season."
Pride of New England:
SC football has earned its reputation as one of the region's elite programs. Springfield has the fifth winningest program currently playing Division III football in New England. SC had a 461-401-55 (.533) record in 109 seasons entering the 2002 campaign. Williams (564 wins, 121 seasons), Amherst (549 wins, 122 seasons), Trinity (470 wins, 117 seasons) and Wesleyan (465 wins, 119 seasons) are the top four ... with 106 overall wins in 20 seasons (including two at Maine Maritime), SC head coach Mike DeLong is second among active Division III New England coaches and is tied for 21st in Division III. DeLong has won more games (94) than any other coach in the 109 seasons of the SC program.
SC Football Joins Empire 8:
On Oct. 11, 2001, Springfield College announced that it accepted an invitation to join the Empire 8 Athletic Conference as an affiliate member in the sport of football. SC, along with Norwich, will play in the Empire 8 beginning in the 2004 season. Springfield and Norwich will continue to play in the Freedom Football Conference through the 2003 season ... in football, the Empire 8 is comprised of five small, private New York-based institutions: Alfred University, Hartwick College, Ithaca College, St. John Fisher College and Utica College. The conference sponsors 15 other sports but Springfield College will only compete in football.