Springfield, Mass. - September 15, 2018 - The nationally-ranked Springfield College football team was defeated by Union College, 45-10, on Stagg Field on Saturday afternoon. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Springfield surrendered the final 45 points of the game to lose for the first time in 2018.
Springfield, which was ranked No. 25 in the latest D3football.com Poll, had won its last 10 regular-season home games dating back to 2016, as its last loss came on September 10th, 2016 in a 35-21 setback to St. John Fisher. Union improved to 3-0 with the win.
The Pride managed just 126 yards of total offense in the game as the Dutchmen knocked out two of the Pride's quarterbacks in Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) and David Wells (Shelton, Conn.). Hunter Belzo (Middletown, Conn.) took the majority of the snaps in the second half, finishing the game with 28 yards and a touchdown. Union totaled 438 yards of offense, including 274 through the air as Will Bellamy was 14-for-28 while tossing four touchdowns. Andrew Ross Jr. caught six balls for 178 and three scores, and Ike Irabor racked up 105 yards and a score on the ground on just 11 carries.
Defensively, Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) had four stops, including 1.5 tackles-for-loss and Jack Pavelchak (Patchogue, N.Y.) delivered three stops and an interception for Springfield. Colin Lama had 12 tackles for Union.
Springfield struck for the game's first points with 1:39 left in the opening quarter when Christian Humulock (Narragansett, R.I.) cashed in on a career-long 45 yard field goal, capping off a 12-play drive that chewed up over six minutes off the clock. On the ensuing kickoff, Matt Madden (Derry, N.H.) forced and recovered a fumble, allowing the hosts to take over on Union's 19. Four plays later, Belzo took a pitch and found the end zone from four yards out, giving Springfield a 10-0 cushion with 22 seconds on the clock.
Union would put together 17 unanswered points in the second quarter as its passing attack found its rhythm. After Bellamy connected with Ross for a 58-yard strike down the sideline, Bellamy found Griffin Beal in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard score at the 11:10 mark. The Dutchmen forced a fumble on Springfield's next drive, and evened the game at 10-all just 2:05 later when Marcos Rodriguez drilled a 25-yard field goal. Following a three-and-out by the Pride, Bellamy found Chris Nicholas for a 55-yard catch and run down the sideline before Irabor scampered in from 10 yards out to make it a 17-10 contest at the break.
After a special teams miscue allowed Union to have the ball inside the Springfield 10 early in the third quarter, Bellamy hit Ross for a two-yard score at 11:45, before the two would connect again at 3:34, capping off a 11-play, 8-yard drive that lasted nearly seven minutes.
The visitors added to their lead just 53 seconds into the fourth as Ross got behind the Pride defense for a 48 snag down the sideline, and Derek Khnaizir conclude the game's scoring with a one-yard plunge at the 7:21 mark.
Springfield will open up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play next Saturday when it travels to WPI for a 12 pm game.
Photo by Roy Chambers