SCHENECTADY, NY -- Senior quarterback Drew Connolly passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Union College football team to a 44-36 non-league victory over Springfield College at Frank Bailey Field Saturday. Both teams ended the season with 6-4 records.
With Hobart's victory at Rochester, the Statesmen tied the Dutchmen in Liberty League play with 5-1 records, but Hobart received the automatic NCAA Division III playoff bid by virtue of an October 8 win over Union.
Union senior wide receiver Justin Gallo had seven catches for 96 yards and broke the career receiving yard record, finishing his career with 3,288 yards. Tight end Eric Zavadsky also finished his career with a career high 104 yards and three touchdowns on four catches. Sophomore T.J. Franzese had a career best 149 yards rushing and two TDs on the ground for the Dutchmen. Noah Joseph led Union with 11 tackls and Jeff DeVico and senior Jon Stidd had 10 each.
Springfield quarterback Josh Carter ended his career with a total of 299 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground. He tossed for 71 yards with a touchdown. Senior James Kikel had a game high 15 tackles for the Pride.
Franzese opened the scoring just 3:18 into the game on a four yard run, and the kick failed for a 6-0 Union lead after an eight play, 58 yard drive. Carter took off for a 38 yard keeper one minute later and the kick was blocked, and it was 6-6 after a four play, 60 yard drive in 54 seconds. Union took the lead with an Adam Henry 29 yard field goal with 7:45 left in the first quarter to cap an eight play, 38 yard drive in 2:50. Dylan Schuck ran in from one yard out with 1:02 left in the quarter on the 11th play of a 73 yard drive that consumed 4:18 and it was 16-6 Union.
Springfield got to within two when Carter bursted through an opening for a 63 yard touchdown run and his two point run was good, making it 16-14 just 44 seconds into the second quarter. Zavadsky caught a 25 yard pass from Connolly with 11:31 left in the period. This was a seven play, 56 yard drive in 2:38. But Springfield got to within one at 23-22 when Carter ran for another long one, 60 yards, with 4:42 left in the half. The seven play, 84 yard drive took 2:26, and he hit Brian White with a pass on the two point conversion. But Zavadsky's 19 yard TD catch from Connolly with 3:11 left bumped it up to 30-22 after a four play, 59 yard drive in 1:25.
Union opened the third quarter scoring with 8:22 left in the period. Franzese ran in from three yards out after an impressive 12 play drive that took 4:01 and ate up 64 yards for a 37-22 lead. Carter tacked on another long run, this one for 64 yards, but his rush failed after the four play, 77 yard drive in 1:26, and with 6:51 to play in the third it was 37-28 Union.
Davis caught just one of the two completions on the day from the rushing QB, a 29 yarder with 18 seconds left in the thrid after a seven play, 81 yard drive in 1:58. Carter's rush brought the Pride to within one, 37-36, which was the score heading into the fourth quarter.
Zavadsky's 50 yard touchdown pass with 5:40 left in the fourth and the point after provided the 44-36 final. He caught a tipped pass intended for Justin Gallo at the one and rolled into the endzone. It was a five play, 61 yard drive in 2:01. Carter and Springfield took over with 5:35 left at their own 32. On seven plays they made it to the Union nine but Carter was sacked on a fourth-and-four for a 12 yard loss with 2:25 left to end the threat.
Connolly had his sixth career 300 yard passing game, and ended his career with a total of 7,356 career yards, the fourth most for a Union quarterback. This is Union's 30th non losing season in the last 31 years.