Springfield, Mass. - September 17, 2016 - The Springfield College football team posted its first shutout since 2013 and used a 195-yard rushing performance from Joshua Thomas (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) to defeat Mount Ida, 32-0, in its non-conference finale on Saturday at Stagg Field.
The win proved to be the first in the head coaching career of Mike Cerasuolo, who became just 14th football coach in the history of the program, which dates back to 1890, after 15 years as the offensive coordinator. The win boosts the Pride's record to 1-2, while the Mustangs dropped to 0-3.
Thomas made the most of his first career start in the backfield as he carried the ball 26 times for 195 yards, scoring two touchdowns and averaging 7.5 yards per rush, in just three quarters of action. As a team, the Pride totaled 348 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Springfield put together a dominating performance as it limited Mount Ida to just 44 offensive yards for the entire game and posted its first shutout since September 21, 2013 when it blanked Mount Ida, 41-0. As a team, the Pride posted 14 tackles-for-loss, with Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) totaling nine stops, including three for a loss.
Springfield opened the scoring with 5:50 left in the first quarter as Thomas plowed his way in from a yard out to cap off a 6-play, 85-yard drive that took just 2:26. Blake Heller (North Bellmore, N.Y.) tacked on the extra point to give the Pride a 7-0 advantage.
Thomas found paydirt again with at the 11:41 mark of the second quarter, this time from six yards out, to give Springfield a 14-0 cushion. The drive, which consisted of 10 plays and spanned 65 yards in 4:30, featured a heavy dose of Thomas, who accounted for 42 yards on six carries.
Just under two minutes later, Springfield took advantage of a muffed Mustang snap, as Shawn Chapplel Jr. (Everett, Mass.) tackled Mustang punter in the end zone for the safety to give the Pride a 16-0 lead.
The Pride's defense was outstanding in the first half, allowing just 37 yards on 35 plays.
Springfield added to its lead in the third quarter when Steve Comee (Agawam, Mass.) pushed his way into the end zone for a two-yard score. The two-point conversion was intercepted, but the Pride opened up a 22-0 lead after 45 minutes of play.
The Pride chewed up the clock with a five-plus minute drive midway through the fourth that was puncuated by a Heller 27-yard field goal at the 5:22 mark, before Justin Przypek (Stamford, Conn.) broke loose for a 27 yard run up the gut for the game's final score with 1:18 remaining. All told, Mount Ida only mustered seven yards of offense in the final 30 minutes of play.
Springfield will begin its final season in the Liberty League next Saturday when it hosts WPI at 1 pm on Stagg Field.