SCHENECTADY, NY -- Union College running backs T.J. Franzese and Darnell Thomas each ran for 94 yards and quarterback Connor Eck passed for three touchdowns to lead Union College to a 49-21 Liberty League victory over Springfield College at Frank Bailey Field Saturday night. The Dutchmen improve to 2-3 overall and now join Hobart as the only 2-0 teams in the Liberty League. The Pride is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the program's first season in the league.
Union recorded 440 yards in offense and forced eight fumbles, as the Pride turned it over six times with five fumbles lost and an interception. Union had 353 rushing yards and held the nation's second ranked rushing offense to 106 yards on the day with 224 total yards in offense. Springfield was averaging 374.8 yards on the ground coming in. The Dutchmen produced 25 first downs and had the ball for 41 minutes and 25 seconds.
Tim Hersey had 83 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Dutchmen and also had 23 yards receiving. Eck passed for 87 yards (7 for 16) and ran for 67 and for the second straight week, did not throw an interception.Eric Zavadsky had two touchdown receptions. Casey Muse had six tackles, a forced fumble, two recoveries and a tackle for a loss for the Union defense, while Bill Meile, Noah Joseph and Julian Gendels each has six tackles as well.
Kevin Shields led the Pride with a game high 11 stops and Mike Dublin made nine tackles. Quarterback Jonathan Marrera had 119 yards rushing with a touchdown and passed for 118 yards and two scores. Phil Baier caught three passes for 63 yards and a TD.
Union opened the scoring with 8:38 remaining in the first on a one yard run by Schuck. It was a seven play drive in 2:48. Kyle Reynolds hauled in a 13 yard pass from Eck with 6:57 left in the quarter, their fourth TD pass together in two weeks, wrapping up a four play, 43 yard drive in 1:33. Union recovered a Pride fumble at its own 48 and five plays and 1:55 later, it was 21-0 after a three yard run by Schuck. It was 21-0 after the first quarter.
Springfield got on the board when Marrero ran in from 10 yards with 7:12 left in the second quarter to cap a 12 play, 48 yard drive that consumed 5:44. It was the only scoring of the quarter. At halftime, Union had 21 first downs and 204 yards in offense.
The Pride pulled to within seven at 21-14 as Marrero found James Proggio for a 55 yard touchdown 1:20 into the third on the opening drive of the half. But Union then marched 75 yards on 10 plays in 4:23 for a 28-14 lead with Hersey running in from 14 yards out. The Dutchmen opened it up to 35-14. After Connor Beerworth intercepted a pass and returned it to the Springfield 22, six plays later Eck hit Zavadsky for a six yard score and the 21 point advantage with 5:46 left to tick in the period.
On a nine play, 71 yard drive that started with the final play of the third quarter, Hersey ran in from 19 yards with 11:19 left for a 42-21 lead. Union got it back again on the first play of the next drive, recovering a fumble at the Pride 45. Seven plays and 4:08 later, it was 49-21 on an Eck three yard pass to Zavadsky.
Union will play a Liberty League game at Worcester Polytechnic Institute next Saturday while Springfield will be in action at league rival Hobart.