No. 4 Football Opens With Impressive 31-13 Win Over Union
By Ben Meyers, Springfield Republican
, Sept. 11, 2004 – Springfield College head coach Mike DeLong
's bread and butter has always been a steamrolling triple option offense and a defense that has a knack for big plays. Saturday night, the Pride were on a roll.
Springfield extended its regular-season winning streak to school-record 15 games, cruising past the Union College Dutchmen, 31-13.
The Springfield offense, spearheaded by senior fullback Tim Lutgens
and senior quarterback Ryan Sylvia
, ground out 336 yards. The defense picked off a pair of errant passes from Union's Tony Marotti and knocked down eight more.
"To play at that kind of a level, in an early season game, against a quality opponent like that is great. We are fortunate to have those kind of guys," DeLong said referring to the experienced Sylvia, Lutgens, and fellow backfield seniors Will Davis
(56 yards) and Kevin Domurat
Sylvia, who finished with 81 yards, closed the door with 10:05 left as he rolled around the right end to a 12-yard score. It was his 35th career touchdown.
Lutgens rumbled for a pair of touchdowns (39, 2) en route to a total of 105 yards. His career total is now 2,073 yards.
"We knew they were going to be gunning for us," said a bloodied Sylvia after the game. He suffered a gash on the bridge of his nose during a quarterback sneak in the third quarter. "We wanted to send a message to them (Union) from the first play of the game."
Ironically, Sylvia went for 19 yards off the left tackle on the first play from scrimmage.
Union could only manage a pair of field goals in the second half. Despite gaining 191 yards through the air (282 total) on 14 completions by Tony Marotti and the rest of the Union offense, the Dutchmen couldn't break the questionable Springfield defense.
Springfield took a 17-7 lead at the half after Lutgens rammed his way into the end zone from two yards out with 5:44 left. The drive started after the Pride received outstanding field position due to an acrobatic interception from McGowan on the Union 45.
Domurat gave Springfield the lead for good, 10-7, after sweeping around the right end for a 22-yard score with 12:46 left in the first half.
The Pride opened the scoring on its first drive of the season, marching the ball 71 yards in nine plays, but stalled and had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Ryan Boyd.