Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
The word persistence perfectly depicts the tone that was set this past Saturday during the Springfield College football game. The Pride prevailed and posted a final score of 47-16 against the Mount Ida Mustangs. The victory boosts the Pride’s record to 2-1, leaving the Mustangs at 0-3.
The energy that was erupting from the team was much different from that of the last home game where they were defeated 38-34 to cross town rival, Western New England.
The Pride came ready to win. Confidence exuded from quarterback Jon Marrero as he ended the afternoon with 156 rushing yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. He added to that number with two touchdown passes to Andres Martin. Keith Rodman also performed impeccably, adding 54 yards to Springfield’s 462 yards of total offense.
Defensively, senior captain Max Nacewicz ravaged, totaling 13 tackles and forcing a fumble. Nacewicz’s performance garnered recognition as the Dream Bowl Small College Player of the Week.
“Getting an award like this is nice, but none of this could have been possible without my teammates and coaches. We lost our defensive coordinator right before our first game and Coach Lopes and Coach Keyte have done an unbelievable job at leading this defense in the right direction,” Nacewicz explained. “What motivates me during my senior season is being the best leader I can be for my teammates and getting that League Title back to Springfield.”
The Pride rushed out of the gates, eager to be seen on the scoreboard before the Mustangs. With that kind of dedication, anything can be accomplished and the Pride proved that with a touchdown only 2:37 into the game. However, Mount Ida’s persistence did not falter under Springfield’s 7-0 lead. A mere 2:19 later, Mustang Tyler Rodgers responded with a 41-yard field goal to put Mount Ida on the board.
As the first quarter came and went, the Pride’s intensity seemed to drastically increase. They burst out of the locker room and onto the field with a plan. Only 1:38 into the second quarter, Springfield regained their lead, 21-10.
Marrero’s performance throughout this competition was impeccable, but he shined especially bright in the second quarter. With 3:55 left until the half, Marrero burst down the field for 32-yards to score the Pride’s fourth touchdown of the day, 27-10.
After 20 unanswered points from the Pride, the third quarter lulled with minimal excitement. Neither team found the endzone until the fourth.
A 40-yard kickoff return from Joe Festo put the Pride in perfect scoring position. On third and goal, Marrero produced a seven-yard bullet to Martin in the back of the end zone to keep Springfield on top, 34-16
Late into the fourth quarter, first-year quarterback Jake Eglintine tacked on the Pride’s final points of the game with his first career score, 47-16.
The Pride will begin Liberty League play next Saturday when it hosts Rochester at 1:00 pm.
Gabby Maulucci can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org