Ithaca has now won 18 games against the Pride at Butterfield Stadium, along with 30 of 39 contests, dating back to the initial meeting between the two schools in 1973.
Quarterback A.J. Wingfield tallied 256 yards of total offense, including a team-high 88 yards on 15 carries. Wingfield and Billy Tedeschi combined for two passing touchdowns with both scores landing in the hands of Jalen Leonard-Osbourne, who led all receivers with four receptions for 101 yards.
Leonard-Osbourne’s second touchdown with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter provided Ithaca with a 28-20 lead that expanded by three points with a 19-yard field goal by Nicholas Bahamonde with 4:22 left in the fourth.
Springfield’s Joseph Cannizzaro and Armando Torres combined for 209 rushing yards and one touchdown while Arsen Shtefan added 45 yards on 10 carries.
DJ Brown, who led the Pride’s defense with 14 total tackles, intercepted Wingfield on the game’s fourth play for a 45-yard pick-six.
Christian Hutra recorded eight points off two field goals and two extra points. Hutra’s initial field goal – a 23-yard boot with 8:55 remaining in the opening session – provided the Pride with a 10-7 lead after one quarter.
Springfield secured a date with Ithaca following its first postseason win in 16 years last week when the Pride topped Endicott College, 17-14. One week earlier, the Maroon and White clinched their third New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown in five years.
Ithaca, which has not dropped a game since losing to Cortland last November, will attempt to continue its winning ways next week against No. 1/1 North Central.
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.
Another New England NCAA Division III football regular season has concluded.
As expected, it was another exciting season that needed 11 weeks to determine conference champions.
Before we turn our attention to tomorrow’s postseason contests, along with both New England Bowls, it is time to unveil our end-of-season team, which includes our offensive, defensive, and special teams’ student-athletes of the year.
Noontime’s End-of-Season Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Phil Lutz (Tufts University): Lutz concluded his senior season by stuffing the stat sheet with 10 catches for 237 yards and six touchdowns against Middlebury College. He broke the single-game record for yards, touchdown receptions, and total touchdowns, and garnered a slew of weekly honors, including the final New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Offensive Player of the Week award.
The North Caldwell, New Jersey native ended the season by establishing new single-season records in receptions (78), receiving yards (1,221), and touchdowns (14). Lutz’s 1,221 receiving yards is the most any NESCAC receiver has recorded in a single season since Mark Breuler concluded Wesleyan University’s 2017 campaign with 1,172 yards.
Defensive Player of the Year: Hector Johnson (Endicott College): Johnson concluded his team’s 2022 regular season by tallying a slew of career-highs in solo stops (30), total tackles (46.0), sacks (14.5), and tackles for a loss (21). The 14.5 sacks are the most any Endicott defender has recorded in a single season.
The Worcester, Massachusetts native was named this year’s Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year after anchoring an Endicott defense that has limited opponents to 6.5 points per game. Johnson recorded at least one sack in eight of 10 contests this fall with his best performance occurring against WPI in week two. Johnson stuffed the stat sheet with six total tackles, including four sacks for a loss of 28 yards, and a blocked field goal.
Special Teamer of the Year: Christian Hutra (Springfield College): Hutra concluded the regular season with a career-high 76 points off 10 field goals and 46 extra points while earning his second consecutive New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)Special Teams Athlete of the Year award.
The Holmes, New York native converted 10 of 11 field goal attempts, including a career and season-best 46-yard boot in a come-from-behind win over MIT earlier this month. Hutra did not miss a single extra point, connecting on all 46 attempts while concluding the regular season as the leading NEWMAC kicker in various categories, including field goal percentage (91%), extra points made, and points.
Springfield College has competed against multiple New England football teams but has never squared off against Endicott College.
On Saturday, the Pride will visit the Gulls in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Both teams are making their second-straight appearance in the national postseason – Springfield won the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) for the second consecutive season while Endicott claimed another Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown.
Game Time & Location: Springfield will make the trek to Beverly, Massachusetts on Saturday, November 19 to compete against Endicott at 12 p.m.
Endicott College’s 2022 Season Review: The Gulls clinched their first-ever 10-0 season in program history, thanks to a come-from-behind victory last weekend against Western New England.
Endicott has been the team to watch in the CCC this year, thanks to a defense that pitched four shutouts, including a pair at the beginning of the season against St. Lawrence University (27-0) and WPI (24-0).
The Gulls’ defense yielded its first touchdown in week three against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).
Endicott’s defense has limited opponents to 6.5 points per game with Western New England’s 21 points being the most the Gulls have yielded in 10 contests.
In addition to its defense, the Gulls’ rushing attack has been impressive – five student-athletes have rushed for at least one touchdown this fall, including quarterback Clayton Marengi, who has located the end zone with his feet eight times.
Springfield College’s 2022 Season Review: For the second-straight season, the Pride overcame a slow start – well, more a 1-2 start, to be exact, by winning its last seven contests.
In a way, Springfield has been in “playoff mode” for the last three weeks, needing to beat Merchant Marine, MIT, and Catholic University to secure its third NEWMAC crown since 2017.
As expected, the Pride have leaned on its rushing attack to score some important wins this fall, along with senior quarterback Armando Torres, who stepped in for David Wells last week to guide the Pride to an end-of-season win against the Cardinals.
Torres operated the team’s triple-option offense quite well against Catholic – he completed two of three passes for 17 yards and one touchdown to go with 62 rushing yards on seven carries and one score.
Springfield’s win against Catholic, along with their come-from-behind victory against MIT, could provide the Maroon and White with enough momentum to win its first national postseason contest in 16 years (the Pride’s last postseason win came in 2006 when they beat Curry College in the opening round).
Common Foes: Endicott and Springfield both scored wins this fall against Husson University, Norwich University, Western New England, and WPI.
The Matchup within the Matchup: The biggest question heading into Saturday’s contest is will Endicott’s rushing defense be able to stop Springfield’s triple-option offense?
Endicott has limited opposing rushing attacks to 81.9 yards per game but will need to find a way to stop a Springfield rushing attack that is averaging 357 yards per game.
Additionally, Springfield’s offense has been on the field for an average of 35:02, which is something to watch, as well – what happens if the offense is on the field for less than 35 minutes on Saturday? Does that mean Endicott will win this matchup?
With the way Endicott’s defense has been playing these last few weeks, don’t be surprised if this turns into a low-scoring affair.
Players to Watch on Endicott: Clayton Marengi (QB), Tyler Bridge (RB), Anthony Caggianelli (RB), Yavier Cosme-Diaz (RB), Anthony Bracamonte (WR), Shane Aylward (WR), Everett Knowlton III (TE), Quinten Fox (P), Matthew Licciardi (LB), Jackson DeAngelo (LB), Tyler Davis (DB), Colin Meropoulos (DL), and Hector Johnson (DL).
Players to Watch on Springfield: David Wells (QB), Armando Torres (QB), Joseph Cannizzaro (FB), Arsen Shtefan (FB), Dante Vasquez (HB), Jacob Silvester (HB), Noah Wagnblas (WR), Christian Hutra (K), DJ Brown (LB), Tyler Pohlman (DB), Billy Carr (LB), and Aiden Lewin (LB).
Catholic University, MIT, and WPI rounded out the top five spots, checking-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
The seven-team poll concluded with Norwich University in the sixth position and Coast Guard Academy in the seventh.
Springfield’s path to its second league crown culminated in a six-game winning streak, along with its first NCAA Division III Tournament berth since 2017.
For Springfield to win its third NEWMAC title, they will need to lean on some key members of last year’s squad, including linebackers Aiden Lewin and DJ Brown, along with Lou Cocozza (o-line), Christian Hutra (kicker), and quarterback David Wells.
Four of the league’s seven squads will be in action on Friday, September 2, including Springfield, which is scheduled to host Western New England in the Pynchon SAW Game.