For the second-straight week, Arsen Shtefan eclipsed the century mark, rushing for a season-high 156 yards and one touchdown as Springfield College raced past Endicott College, 17-14, in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Division III Tournament.
With the win, Springfield clinched its first playoff win since beating Curry College in 2006 to secure a second-round date with Ithaca College next Saturday, November 26.
Ithaca advanced to the second round with a 63-20 win over UMass Dartmouth.
Shtefan’s lone touchdown came midway through the opening session before Springfield tacked on two more scores in the second half to provide the Pride with their ninth win of the season.
Blane Hart rushed for a seven-yard touchdown in the third quarter before Christian Hutra capped his team’s offensive output with a 33-yard field goal with 7:25 remaining in the final stanza.
Endicott’s Clayton Marengi completed 14 of 25 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns with his final score landing in the arms of Jaeden Baxter. Shane Aylward, who caught Marengi’s first touchdown early in the third quarter, led all receivers with three catches for 68 yards.
Saturday marked the first time Endicott and Springfield have squared off on the gridiron – additionally, the three-point win over the Gulls provided coach Mike Cerasuolo with his initial postseason with his alma mater.
Endicott entered the game riding a 10-game winning streak – the Gulls clinched their second-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown two weeks earlier with a win over Salve Regina University before concluding their regular season with a come-from-behind win against Western New England.
Ithaca 63, UMass Dartmouth 20: Max Perry completed five of six passes for 95 yards and one touchdown to go with 83 rushing yards and two scores as the Bombers cruised past the Corsairs in the opening round of the postseason.
Dante Aviles-Santos, who has been the player to watch on the Corsairs this fall, tossed two touchdowns while JP Mason tallied a team-high 15 total tackles.
Saturday’s game marked the second time UMass Dartmouth has competed in the NCAA Tournament.
Plymouth State 21, Husson University 20: Manny Sanchez rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown as the Panthers rallied to beat the Eagles and win their first-ever New England Bowl.
Husson’s Nic Visser completed 24 of 32 passes for 227 yards to go with a team-high 56 rushing yards and one touchdown. Elijah Garnett rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.
Bridgewater State 34, Catholic University 24: Quarterback James Cahoon completed 24 of 33 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns while Isaiah Wright added 120 rushing yards on 23 carries as the Bears topped the Cardinals to clinch their second New England Bowl.
Catholic’s Nico Casares completed 25 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.