SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Springfield College rolled up 464 yards of offense and scored touchdowns on four straight possessions in the second quarter Saturday afternoon en route to a 42-13 victory over Plymouth State University in the ECAC Northeast Bowl at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.
Led by sophomore quarterback Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.), who was named the game's Most Outstanding Player, Springfield bettered a pair of old school records in the victory. Head coach Mike DeLong also won his 150th career game at Springfield, and the Pride is now 3-0 in ECAC Championship games.
Carter led the Pride offensively with 67 yards rushing, plus one touchdown, and with a career-high 179 yards passing and two touchdowns, including a school-record 88-yarder to junior halfback Antoine King (Boston, Mass.) in the third quarter.
Springfield ended its season at 8-2, while Plymouth State finished at 8-3. The highlights for the Panthers included a 27-yard touchdown pass from junior QB J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H.) to classmate John Creamer (Hanover, Mass.) early in the second quarter that pulled PSU to within seven points at 14-7, but PSU didn't score again until late in the fourth quarter when junior Jon Brennan (Worcester, Mass.) found the end zone from one yard out to close out the scoring.
Carter was 6-of-9 in the passing department, but his biggest play may have been a tackle he made in the first quarter. Springfield had just driven to the Plymouth State 21, when King fumbled the ball trying to sweep around left end. PSU junior LB Brian Castellucci (Derry, N.H.) picked up the ball and was being escorted down the field by two blockers for what appeared to be a sure touchdown. But Carter fought his way through the blockers to make the tackle at the SC 10-yard line. Three plays later, on a third-and-goal from the 10, Springfield senior free safety Jarred Burrell (Warwick, R.I.) intercepted a ball in the flat right at the goal line, and ran it back 100 yards for the longest interception return in Springfield College history, breaking an 82-year old school record. With the extra point booted by freshman kicker Ricky Peacock (Tucker, Ga.) (Peacock was 6-for-6 in extra points on the day), SC led 7-0.
The 82-year old school record for longest interception return had been held by Paavo Atlin versus Cooper Union in 1927 in a game won by Springfield, 63-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers fumbled with freshman DeAndre Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) recovering at the PSU 22. Two plays later, sophomore HB Mark Safer (St. Johns, Fla.) went around left end for a 16-yard TD. And with 2:58 left in the first quarter, the Pride led, 14-0. SC had scored two touchdowns in the space of 40 seconds.
After the Brooks-to-Creamer TD connection, Springfield would score the next 28 points, including three TD's during the remainder of the second period to make it a 35-7 game at the intermission. King's 88-yard TD reception for Springfield was the only scoring in the third quarter, and Brennan's touchdown for PSU was it for the fourth quarter.
Springfield finished with 285 rushing yards and 464 yards overall, while PSU managed 277 total yards, 217 coming on the ground.
(Courtesy of Springfield Sports Information)
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