Springfield, Mass. - September 2, 2016 - The Springfield College football team dropped a 26-10 decision to visiting Western New England in the annual Pynchon SAW game in front of 5,000 fans at Stagg Field on Friday night.
Friday night's game proved to be the fourth installment of the rivalry of the Pynchon SAW Game, which is derived from city founder William Pynchon and the acronym of "SAW" is for the first initial of both schools, Springfield And Western New England.
Western New England finished the game with 410 yards of total offense, including 266 on the ground. The Pride totaled all 189 yards of their offense for the day rushing the football.
For the Golden Bears, Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) went 12-for-23 for 144 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 90 yards on 16 carries and a score. Nick Connell (East Marion, N.Y.) totaled 96 rushing yards on 18 attempts, and Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) hauled in five catches for 64 yards and a score. Defensively, Kevin McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, Colo.) made 11 stops, while Sean Stergas (Cambridge, Vt.) added nine tackles.
For the Pride, Joshua Thomas (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) led the offense with 61 yards on seven carries, while Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) scored the Pride's lone touchdown. The linebacker trio of Christian Zotti (Newington, Conn.), Dominic Traversa (Pittsfield, Mass.), and Kenny Calaj (Everett, Mass.) eached notched 10 tackles, including a sack in the setback.
After the Pride forced a three-and-out to start the game, WNE benefited on the ensuing punt from a bouncing ball finding the back of a Springfield player, as they recovered the fumble on the Springfield 24-yard line. Four plays later, Service connected to a sprawling Dietrich in the back of the end zone for a five-yard score to put the visitors ahead, 7-0, at the 12:26 mark.
The Golden Bears added to their lead with 5:17 left in the first when Vinny Lalumia drilled a 27 yard field goal to cap of a 12- play, 69-yard drive, to give WNE a 10-0 cushion.
Springfield would find its offensive rhythm, going 56 yards on seven plays to find the end zone for the only time on the night, after Eglintine broke free up the middle to score from 19 yards out to make it a 10-7 contest with 12:10 left in the first half.
The visitors answered right back, going 89 yards on 12 plays with Trent Vasey getting free behind the Springfield secondary for a 27-yard catch and score. A missed extra point made it 16-7 Golden Bears with 7:15 on the clock.
The teams traded field goals in the final 3:51, with Blake Heller (North Bellmore, N.Y.) connecting from 25-yards out to keep Springfield within a score, only to have Lalumia boom a 43-yarder with five ticks on the clock to make it 19-10 after 30 minutes of play.
Neither team scored in the third and Springfield was in the midst of a lengthy drive until a fumble on the 12th play at the Western New England 37 sealed the Pride's fate. A Dante Aiken 47-yard run set up a one-yard score from Service to complete the scoring as the Golden Bears held on for the 26-10 win.
Springfield is in the midst of a four-game homestand to open up the year and will host St. John Fisher on Saturday at 2 pm.