SPRINGFIELD — Last season, the Springfield College football team went 8-3 capped off with a New England Bowl win in Coach Mike Cerasuolo’s third season at the helm. On Saturday, The Pride traveled right down the road to face Western New England in the seventh edition of the Pynchon SAW game. After splitting the first six games, the Golden Bears of Western New England held off the Pride, winning 33-17.
Being right down the road from Alden Street, this matchup brought in a sizeable crowd of away fans. “It’s always a great atmosphere when we show here,” said Cerasuolo. “We didn’t get the results we wanted but it’s great that so many of our fans came out here to watch it.”
Western New England’s first drive resulted in a field goal but turned the ball over their next time out giving the Pride great field position. After a couple rushes from Tim Callahan and Hunter Belzo, Chad Shade found his way to the endzone for a four-yard score.
Western New England was quick to retake the lead on their next possession. Quarterback Alec Coleman found receiver Steven Fedorchak for a 34 yard strike giving the Bears a 10-7 lead. This duo was trouble for the Pride as Fedorchak caught seven balls for 118 yards in addition to the touchdown. The Bears typically used short screens and comeback routes which allowed them to open up the top of the defense and successfully break out the deep ball.
The Pride were able to add another touchdown after quarterback David Wells broke off a 69 yard run. Last season, Shade and Wells both went down due to injury leaving running back Hunter Belzo leading the offense. With both quarterbacks back and healthy, Coach Cerasuolo didn’t see any reason not to use them both.
“Chad and David are both very dynamic players who know the offense very well,” said Cerasuolo. “They are well deserving. Their leadership and the way they represent the program earn them both the chance to play each game.”
The plan for the two quarterbacks was to get them both in the mix and play it from there. “They talked to me about having David get reps,” stated Shade. “He really got hot towards the end of the game so we rolled with that.”
Shade knows that he will have to compete with Wells for snaps behind center but he is also glad to have Hunter Belzo taking hand offs behind him.
“Hunter is a great football player and has shown that the past three years and now this season. He is a great weapon to have in the backfield and we are going to get him touches because he can make some big plays happen.”
Although it gave up 33 points, the Pride defense showed some promising signs early this season. Along with three forced fumbles, Springfield added five tackles for losses with two of those being sacks. They did give up some big plays but those will come early in the season.
The Pride will host Kean next Saturday at noon looking to capture their first win of the 2019 campaign.
Featured photo courtesy Cam Smith