By Eric Belyea
SPRINGFIELD – Springfield College football had a big day today in NEWMAC action hosting Maine Maritime.
It was senior day for the Pride as 26 seniors took Stagg field for what could be their last time wearing the maroon and white. Although it was an emotional day for some, there was still a game to be played.
Springfield dominated the game. The defense came out rolling, only allowing 12 total yards of offense in the first half. They also accumulated three of their four sacks of Mariners quarterback Bailey Sawyer in the first half.
“We have great speed and physicality on that side of the ball, and it starts with their attitude and effort which shows from the practices to the games,” Pride head coach Mike Cerasulo said.
Springfield’s defense was led by senior Tom Casey and sophomore AJ Smith, who both had seven tackles. Captain Nick Giorgio added five tackles, two of which were sacks, along with a forced fumble and a recovery to go with it. Although the Mariners added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Springfield’s defense held Maine Maritime to 48 yards of total offense. The defense was dominant for all 60 minutes of football.
Offensively, the Pride did not take their foot off of the gas pedal. Quarterback Hunter Belzo led the team in yards, rushing for 107 yards in 18 attempts, adding both touchdowns on the ground and through the air, connecting with senior Steve Comee on a 27-yard touchdown pass.
But the standout player of the game was senior fullback Joshua Thomas, who was returning to the field for the first time since the Pride’s week two victory against Kean.
“It’s been a long time, it felt great to be back out there with the guys, especially on Senior Day”, Thomas said about being to get back out on the field with his teammates.
The Saratoga Springs native rushed for 75 yards on 14 attempts, while finding the end zone on three separate occasions. Although Thomas’s numbers show that he had a big day, he gives all the credit to his offensive line.
“I have said it before and I will say it again, our offensive line is the meanest group of guys on this team. You want to see guys who give it everything they have and that is them, they really opened things up for the offense.”
With great blocking from the line, and great execution, the Pride were able to compile 387 yards of total offense on the day, 352 of which were on the ground. Springfield will wrap up regular season play on the road as they travel to MIT next Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for noon.
Featured photo courtesy of Sam Leventhal