New London, Conn. - October 7, 2017 - The Springfield College football team continued its winning ways on Saturday as it jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back to cruise past Coast Guard, 38-7, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
With the victory, Springfield pushed its record to 6-0, 3-0 in conference play. It marks just the seventh time in program history that the Pride has rattled off six-consecutive wins to open the season, and the fourth since 2000. Heading into this week, Springfield was one of only 33 Division III football teams to have not suffered a loss, and for the fifth consecutive week, was receiving votes in the D3football.com national poll.
The Pride, who entered the game with the top rushing offense in all of college football with 433.8 rushing yards per game, finished with 471 yards of total offense with 69 carries for 441 rushing yards while Coast Guard was held to 153 total yards, just seven of those on the ground.
Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) had a monster day on the ground for the Pride, racking up 187 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, while classmate Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) added 106 yards and a score. Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.) found the end zone twice while rushing for 66 yards, and Rich Williams (Wethersfield, Conn.) totaled nine tackles, a sack, and an interception to lead the defensive unit.
After forcing a three-and-out on Coast Guard's first drive, Springfield needed just four plays to find the end zone as Eglintine crossed the goal line from four yards out just 3:09 in the game. The drive was highlighted by a 40-yard run up the middle by Wilcox. Springfield's lead doubled at the 4:55 mark when Belzo capped off a 10-play drive that eclipsed 87 yards on a five-yard score.
Wilcox scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the season just four seconds into the second quarter as the Pride found the end zone for the third-consecutive drive to push the lead to 21-0. Christian Humulock (Narragansett, R.I.) added to the Pride's lead when he cashed in on a 29-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the half. The Pride's offense racked up 309 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes of play, including 282 on the ground. Springfield's defense was dominant, limiting the hosts to just 34 yards of of offense and 0-for-6 on third down conversions.
The Bears drove down to the Pride two-yard line on its opening possession of the second half before Williams produced an interception and returned it 53 yards. Coast Guard would eventually get their only points of the game on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 4:08 left in the third. The hosts successfully recovered an onsides kick after the touchdown and drove to the Pride 23 before turning it over on downs.
After being limited to just 40 yards of offense in the third quarter, Springfield took advantage of a short field, taking over on the Coast Guard 39 yard line early in the fourth. Just three plays, later, Belzo found the end zone for the second time, this time from five yards out, to make it a 31-7 game with 13:31 remaining.
The Pride forced another three-and-out on the ensuing drive and marched 77 yards on six plays, needing just 2:52 to score when junior fullback Joshua Thomas (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) bulled his way in from two yards out to close the scoring with 9:29 left in the game. Springfield finished the game strong, rushing for 122 yards in the fourth while holding Coast Guard to just 16 yards of offense in the final 15 minutse.
Springfield will remain on the road next week when it heads to Long Island to face off with rival Merchant Marine for a 2:30 clash.