The Springfield College football team returned home to Stagg Field this Saturday to take on undefeated WPI in NEWMAC play. The Engineers came into the game with a stingy defense only allowing their opponents to score 5 points per game. Although the Pride were able to make some big plays on both sides of the ball, they ultimately fell to their in conference rival 35-21.
From the start, the Springfield defense had to make some key stands as their backs were against the wall the entire first quarter. After a Chad Shade interception, WPI started their next drive with the ball on the Pride’s three yard line. After three plays that only netted two yards, WPI went for it on fourth and goal from the one but Springfield’s AJ Smith bolted into the backfield to force a turnover on downs. Smith put together a great day as he added two interceptions.
Two drives later, the Pride were forced to punt and although Springfield’s Patrick Tuohy had a nice 42 yard punt from his own endzone, WPI’s Austin Pesce was able to bring the ball all the way down to the one yard line setting up a touchdown for Conner Field.
Pesce was trouble for the Pride all afternoon as he returned 5 punts for a total of 92 yards including a 17 yard run back which ensued in another WPI. This time it was the passing game that got the Engineers on the board as Julian Nyland found Billy Mitchell for a 29 yard touchdown.
Down 14-0, the Pride needed to get something going and they bounced back in a huge way as fullback Patrick Ladas bulldozed his way down the left sideline for a 59 yard run. Quarterback Chad Shade followed that up with a 23 yard rush of his own scampering into the endzone to bring the Pride back within 7.
Later on in the second quarter, Springfield’s Isaiah Cashwell-Doe had the longest offensive play of the day with a 60 yard rush. A few plays later, Cashwell-Doe capped of the quick drive with a 4 yard score. WPI came back with less than a minute in the half to grab a score of their own to take the momentum into half time.
In the third quarter, WPI took a 28-14 lead but Springfield bounced right back with a 99 yard kickoff return touchdown from Kejuan Farquharson.
The Pride failed to bounce back from a fourteen point deficit for a second time as they were unable to score the remainder of the game. Head Coach Mike Cerasuolo noted he is always proud of the way his team fights but that they have to keep working.
“These guys are so resilient,” said Coach Cerasuolo. “They do everything that we ask of them but we have to do a better job coaching and clean up some mistakes. These loses have nothing to do with lack of want or lack of leadership, we just haven’t put together a complete game of football yet.”
Coach Cerasuolo and the Pride will host Norwich in another NEWMAC matchup next Saturday at Stagg Field.
“We have to come back tomorrow with more resilience, with a better work ethic, and we need to dig in a little deeper in order to get a win next week.”
Featured photo courtesy Daniela Detore