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No. 4 Football Welcomes Plymouth State On Homecoming

No. 4 Springfield College Pride (4-0) vs. Plymouth State Panthers (0-5)
Game #5 - Saturday, Oct. 16, 2004, 1:30 p.m., Benedum Field

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Game Day Quick Facts
What’s At Stake: The Pride looks to make it 19 straight regular-season wins in Saturday’s Homecoming Game.

The Series: SC leads the series, 6-3, and has won five of the last six games.

The Last Time Out: The Pride overwhelmed Western Connecticut, 56-27, on the road last Saturday; the Panthers, who were off last Saturday, lost to Western Connecticut, 45-13, on Sept. 25.

The Last Meeting: QB Ryan Sylvia rushed for 109 yards and four TDs on seven carries as the Pride defeated the Panthers, 62-0, in Plymouth on Oct. 18, 2003 .

About Saturday’s Game: Following Saturday’s game, the Pride plays four-straight Empire 8 games, including two critical contests on the road: at No. 14 St. John Fisher (Oct. 23) and at No. 17 Ithaca (Oct. 30). The Pride and St. John Fisher sit atop the E-8 with 2-0 marks, followed by Ithaca and Alfred at 2-1 ... the new-look E-8 is getting recognition nationally with three teams ranked in the top-20. The Pride stayed at No. 4 in the AFCA poll, while St. John Fisher jumped two spots to 14th in the D3football.com poll and one to 15th in the AFCA poll. The Bombers are 17th in D3football.com and 19th in the AFCA poll ... seniors Ryan Sylvia and Tim Lutgens continue to climb SC’s all-time lists. Lutgens is fourth in rushing TDs with 30, and seventh on the rushing list with 2,378. He needs 165 yards to move past Bob Sedlor (6th/2,542) and 171 to break into the top-5, past Mike Lasorsa (5th/2,548). Sylvia’s career numbers are listed on page 2 ... the Pride leads the E-8 in four offensive statistical categories: rushing (406.5), fourth-down conversions (7-of-8, 87.5%) time of possession (35:01) and sacks allowed (one). SC is also the least penalized team in the league (39.5 ypg) ... the Pride has been extraordinarily efficient in the red zone lately, scoring touchdowns on 12 of its last 13 trips inside the 20-yard line.

News & Notes
For the Defense: Although SC allowed a season-high 27 points to Western Connecticut, the defense yielded just six points after the first quarter. The Pride is atop the E-8 in four defensive categories: rush defense (74.0 ypg), total defense (243.5 ypg), opponent first downs (43) and red-zone defense (allowed 7 scores in 11 trips, 63.6%) ... in two E-8 games, SC has allowed only 15 first downs ... preseason All-American senior LB Justin Fletcher (28 tackles, 4.0 tfl, 1 int.) and senior DT Brian McLellan (26 tackles, 3.0 tfl, 1 sack) lead the Pride’s defense.

Time Is On My Side: The Pride is executing head coach Mike DeLong’s ball-control offense nearly flawlessly. SC, which leads the E-8 in time of possession (35:01), seemingly kept the Western Connecticut defense on the field all day, dominating 41:19-to-18:41. In fact, the Pride has held at least a seven-minute time-of-possession advantage in each of its last three games.

Chasing 400: SC has rolled up 400+yards on the ground twice in ‘04, including a season-best 484 yards against Alfred (Sept. 25). Since the ‘02 campaign, the Pride has cracked the 400-yard barrier 11 times in the last 25 games. SC is 11-0 in those games ... SC’s best rushing performance in this stretch was a 586-yard effort against Union (Nov. 16, 2002) ... the Pride has won three of the last four D-III national rushing titles (2000, ‘02 and ‘03). Last season, SC led all D-I, II and III teams at 398.5 ypg.

Movin’ On Up: Senior QB Ryan Sylvia has several school records in his sights. Sylvia set a D-III record for most rushing TDs by a QB with 20 in ‘03. Here’s a look where Sylvia ranks on SC’s all-time list.

Rushing Touchdowns
1. Kevin Cahill, 44 TDs
2. Jay Miller, 42 TDs
3. Ryan Sylvia, 41 TDs

1. Kevin Cahill, 276
2. Jay Miller, 258
3. Ryan Sylvia, 246

Total offense
1. Kevin Cahill, 4,842 yards
2. Bill Burkhead 4,006 yards
3. Ryan Sylvia 3,752 yards

1. Kevin Cahill, 3,209 yards
2. Jay Miller 2,804 yards
3. Ryan Sylvia 2,740 yards

Century City: In ‘03, senior QB Ryan Sylvia and senior FB Tim Lutgens became the first D-III duo to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in the same season since 1997. Lutgens (team-high 1,307 yards) and Sylvia (1,122 yards) teamed up to mark just the second time in SC history that two SC backs broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the same regular season, and the 12th time in D-III history.

Top This: SC is one of just four schools in D-III with two players ranked in the top-25 nationally in scoring. St. John-Fisher, Wooster (Ohio) and Trinity (Conn.) are the other two ... for SC, senior FB Tim Lutgens is fifth (15.0 ppg) and senior QB Ryan Sylvia is 24th (10.5 ppg).

Game #5: No. 4 SC 56, Western Conn. 27 Danbury, Conn., Oct. 9, 2004 Senior QB Ryan Sylvia rushed for a career-high 197 yards and four touchdowns to lead the fourth-ranked Pride to a 56-27 non-conference victory over Western Connecticut at the Westside Athletic Complex.

Sylvia, who also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to senior SE Mike Grendal, keyed the SC ground game that piled up 449 yards. Sylvia moved into third place all-time at SC with 2,740 rushing yards and is also currently third with 41 rushing touchdowns.

Senior HB Kevin Domurat rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, while senior FB Tim Lutgens added 73 yards and two scores, which moved him into fourth place all-time with 30 touchdowns at SC.

SC held a 41:19-to-18:41 time-of-possession advantage, while converting 11-of-18 third-down attempts. SC also scored on all six of its trips in the red zone.

After allowing three touchdowns on the Colonials' first four drives, the SC defense yielded only six points the rest of the way. The defense was particularly dominant in the second half. After allowing WCSU QB Joe DeMeglio 216 first-half passing yards, the Pride held him to 110 in the final two quarters. SC forced two turnovers in six Colonial second-half drives. Senior LB Justin Fletcher spearheaded the Pride with eight tackles, including three tackles-for-loss. Sophomore LB Andrew Madigan added seven stops and forced a fumble.
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Head Coach Mike DeLong

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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