The Springfield College football team scored a season-best 49 points as it cruised past Catholic, 49-21, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Stagg Field on Saturday.
The Pride won for the fourth-consecutive week to improve to 5-3, 3-1 in conference play.
For the game, Springfield erupted for a season-best 562 yards of offense as it ran 80 plays and averaged seven yards per play. Springfield's offense had 29 first downs in the game and featured 470 rushing yards as 11 different players carried the ball in the win. Tim Callahan (Enfield, Conn.) once again eclipsed the 100-yard mark as he totaled 122 yards on the ground, while fellow fullback Patrick Ladas (Middlefield, Conn.) registered 74 yards and two scores. Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) threw for 92 yards and a score and also ran for 66 and a touchdown. Defensively, David McMullen (Warwick, R.I.) made a team-best seven stops and forced a fumble to lead a Springfield squad that held the Cardinals to just 3-of-12 on third-down conversions.
Brady Berger threw for 256 yards on 21-of-34 attempts and two touchdowns, while Colin McNulty had four catches for 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Andrew Comeau rushed for 47 yards and threw a touchdown, while Jake Ballard was credited with 13 stops and Gabe Aparicio made 12 tackles. The visitors ended the game with 312 yards of offense and allowed Springfield to go a combined 12-for-20 on third and fourth down conversions.
Catholic would score the first touchdown of the game as the visitors took advantage of a Springfield fumble and started the drive on their own 44-yard line. 11 plays later, Comeau would take a direct snap and lob a pass over the line to Colin McNulty with 7:23 remaining in the first quarter.
Springfield would answer right back, going 82 yards in 12 plays over the next 5:10 to knot the game up at 7-7. The drive, which featured a combined 10 rushes from Callahan and Ladas, was finished off as Ladas plowed his way in from four yards out on fourth down at the 2:07 mark.
The Pride would add to its lead on another Ladas touchdown, this time from a yard out, with 9:26 left in the half. The drive would take 6:52 off the clock and feature 14 plays, including a span of six-straight carries by Callahan. It appeared as though Springfield would head into the half with a seven-point advantage, but the Pride's special teams unit again came up with a score, its fourth of the season, with just 11 seconds remaining. Shamar Martin (East Hartford, Conn.) delivered his second blocked punt of the season and Nick Kneski (Riverhead, N.Y.)scooped up the loose ball and ran in from 22 yards out to make it a 21-7 contest.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Pride found the end zone just 1:35 into the third quarter as Nick Rajotte (North Attleboro, Mass.) broke free down the right sideline for a 61-yard score to push the lead to 28-7. On the ensuing drive, Catholic benefitted from a pair of 25-plus yard completions before Brady found McNulty all alone in the back of the end zone for a one-yard touchdown at 9:16.
The teams would combine for 28 points in the final 15 minutes of play and Shade started things off with a beautifully-thrown ball to Andrew Smith (Northport, N.Y.) for a 44-yard touchdown with 13:50 remaining in regulation. On their next drive, Springfield's offense stayed on the field thanks to a 33-yard reception by Smith on 3rd-and-8, which help set up a nine-yard scoring run by Shade at 7:56 to push the score to 42-14. The Cardinals then went three-and-out and the Pride tacked on its final touchdown of the afternoon when Skyler Bateman(Gansevoort, N.Y.) muscled his way in from a yard out on fourth down to help the lead balloon to 35 points. The visitors accounted for the game's final score when Xavier Ochoa slipped behind the Springfield defense for a 65-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 1:00 left in regulation.
Springfield will now enter its bye week as it prepares for Maine Maritime, which will take place on November 9 at 12 pm.