SCHENECTADY — Union College’s defense knew it was in for a big test against Springfield College’s triple-option offensive attack, and luckily for the Dutch guys, ‘D’ stunned in several clutch situations Saturday at Frank Bailey Field. Earned ‘A’ in
With Star running behind Ike Irabor sitting out the entire second half with an undisclosed injury, Union’s high-powered offense turned out to be little slower than the scoring spree in its first two games. But the Dutchman defense forced five turnovers and closed Pride twice more during a 30–23 victory.
Union (3–0) could not celebrate another victory until senior linebacker Colin Lama intercepted Springfield QB David Wells’ frustration pass less than a minute after Pride hit the Dutchman 45-yard line. marched till. The Dutchman’s defense scored several for its offense and even reached the end zone when junior linebacker Thomas Cavallo returned an interception from 31 yards for a TD in the third quarter.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Cavallo said. “His fullback came out and put me on that play. I felt that he was released, and my instincts forced me to be with him. i was lucky to [Jimaar] Edwards put a lot of pressure on his quarterback and the ball came to me. We got to learn a new defense this week against his triple substitute. It was very different, but I think we played very well. There’s a lot going on with his crime and his looks all look alike. It’s hard to know what’s coming, but coaches give us jobs, and we tried to do what they told us to do as best we could. “
Springfield actually overtook Dutchmen 435-271, thanks to a 290-109 lead on the ground. Irabor ran for 33 yards on 11 carries in the first half before being closed for the rest of the game. Sophomore Michael Fiore picked up the slack for the Dutch guys with a touchdown on 110 yards and 20 carries.
“Ike is a special player, but when people go down, other people have to step up,” Fiore said. “It’s a team mentality. I couldn’t have done what I did without my offensive line. We won, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Springfield is a physical team that has to come downhill and hard.” Love to hit, but we were up for him and came out with a win.”
The union didn’t even turn the ball, which was one of the keys to the game.
“The coach certainly preaches the safety of the ball and no turnover,” Fiore said. “And our defense played very well. We knew what they were capable of.”
Union head coach Jeff Behrmann was not surprised that 1-2 Pride gave the Dutch an intense effort until the last minute of the game.
“We didn’t think it was going to be easy,” Behrmann said. “We knew it was going to be a huge challenge to get into. Springfield is very well trained, and they do a great job. They know who they are, and they execute to a very high level. I love my friends.” Proud. They were persistent and flexible.”
Behrmann was particularly proud of his defense and of Fiore’s race.
“Our defense played huge,” he said. “We had five turnovers, plus a few turnovers on Downs. Michael is a tough runner. He did a great job for us. That’s why we put him there. We know we’re going to get a positive measure from him.”
Union scored in his opening possession, capping a seven-play, 65-yard drive with a Will Bellamy 24-yard TD pass to Finn Duran.
The Dutch scored a further three points on Andrew Lau’s 27-yard field goal after Lama recovered a fumble at the Springfield 25-yard line.
Austin St Pierre recovered another rumble for the Dutch in the next capture of Pride, but the Dutch failed to take advantage.
Springfield met with a Wales 2-yard keeper on the scoreboard after a short union punt to cap the 37-yard drive.
Bellamy extended Union’s lead to 16-7 on the 1 yard keeper, but Pride pulled to within 16-14 when Wells hooked up with Isaiah Cashwell-Doe on a 74-yard TD strike after the halfback hit his defender. Defeated on the post pattern after loading the rest of the Union defenders into the box to stop the run.
Union scored the next two touchdowns to start the second half. Fiore busted the middle for a 28-yard run, before Cavallo returned his interception for another score in the third quarter with 11:19 remaining to extend Union’s advantage to 30-14.
But although it appeared that the Union was in full control, Springfield’s defense tightened, and their rapid game began to click.
Wells bound for an 81-yard drive with a 4-yard keeper, reducing Pride’s deficit to 30–20 with 9:26 left in the game, and then Christian Hutra struck Springfield with 2 touchdowns. Scored a 30-yard field goal to pull in. :54 left.
Springfield’s onside kick attempt was recovered by Pride, but the recovery was aborted due to an offside penalty. But Springfield halted the union defense for just three plays and took the ball back with a 1:15 run.
Springfield intimidated the Dutch when Wales took a 26-yard lead with Ian Porter, but Lama’s interception sealed the victory two plays later.
“Absolutely it was a different game than our first two games,” said Bellamy, who was 7-for-17 for 122 yards. “[Springfield] There are some big, strong, tough football players on that team. As the week went on, we thought his security would be troubled by our crime. We tried to get more shots off the ground, but after our play-action there was no let up in his defense. He did a good job.”
“Every week, we want to play the best football in all three stages,” Behrmann said. “We knew our first two games weren’t that competitive, and it was clear that this game would be a lot more competitive. Our guys did a great job of preparation and practice. They put in the work and came out victorious.”
Springfield 0 14 0 9 – 23
Union 10 6 14 0 – 30
U — 24 passes from Duran Bellamy (low kick)
Yu – Lau 27 field goals
S – Wells 4 runs (Hutra kick)
U — Bellamy, 1 run (kick fail)
S — Cashwell-do 74 Wells pass (Hutra kick)
U — Fiore 27 runs (Low Kick)
U – Cavallo 33 interception return (low kick)
S – Wells 4 runs (pass failed)
S – Hutra 30 field goals
RPi 24, WPI 10
Worcester, Mass. — Quarterback George Marinopoulos threw three touchdown passes, and the RPI defense allowed only 162 yards of total offense as the Engineers defeated the WPI in the annual Transit Trophy game.
Rensselaer, who now lead the trophy series 27–13–1, went 3–0 on the season. WPI dropped to 1-2.
RPi 14 0 7 3 – 24
WPI 0 7 0 3 – 10
RPi – Marinopoulos to Shredder 4 (McDougall Kick)
RPi – Palmer 41 Pass. Marinopoulos (McDougall kick)
WPI – Farah 16 pass from Olexa (wade kick).
RPi – Walker-Sutton 9 pass from Marinopoulos (McDougall kick)
WPI – Wade 21 Field Goals
RPi – McDougall 25 field goals
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