ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Dean Kennedy completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Derek Wager as time expired and Myles Allen rushed for the two point conversion to lead the University of Rochester to a 36-35 Division III football victory over Springfield College at Edwin Fauver Stadium.
The Yellowjackets (2-1 overall, 1-0 Liberty League) marched 63 yards in seven plays for the winning score. Kennedy completed three of five passes in the drive. On third-and-six from the Springfield 44, he completed a pass to Thomas Hayes for 26-yard gain down to the 18. After a throwdown to stop the clock and an incompletion to Hayes, Rochester faced third-and-10 at the Springfield 18. Kennedy scrambled from pressure, then rolled to his right and lofted the pass to Wager who made a leaping catch over a defender. Allen bulled his way off right tackle for the winning conversion.
Kennedy completed 26 of 42 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked once and intercepted once. Wager caught four balls for 78 yards. Hayes caught seven passes for 86 yards. Kennedy rushed 11 times for 70 net yards and one TD – a 24-yard run late in the first quarter that gave Rochester a 14-7 lead. Allen rushed eight times for 50 yards and one TD. He scored on a one-yard plunge with 3:24 remaining and Kennedy threw a two-point pass to Willie Roberson to tie the score at 28-all.
Springfield (3-1 overall, 0-1 Liberty League) marched straight down the field after the Allen TD to take a 35-28 lead with 49 seconds remaining. The Pride returned Rochester's kickoff to the SC 36. Keith Rodman rushed for 17 yards on two carries and Joel Altavesta gained 22 more on two carries. After a one-yard gain by Alex Martin, Jonathan Marrero threw incomplete for James Poggio at the UR 24. Facing fourth-and-seven from the 24, Marrero's pass was incomplete but Rochester was flagged for pass interference. The ball was placed at the 10. Altavesta gained nine yards and Marrero battled his way into the end zone for the score. Tyler Rouse's PAT made it 35-28 with 0:49 left.
Marrero rushed 22 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns. The Pride rolled up 403 yards rushing. Marrero completed four of 14 passes for one TD with one interception. He was sacked once.
The game swung back and forth. Marrero opened the scoring with a 39-yard TD sprint just 4:13 into the game. Rochester tied it on a five-yard run by Nick Perpginan with 4:42 left in the quarter. That came five plays after Ugwu Okeke Ewo recovered a fumble by Marrero at the Springfield 30. The Pride fumbled five times in the first half, lost three of them, and the Yellowjackets scored TDs twice. Springfield scored one TD off a Rochester fumble (the Marrero 39-yard run) and one after an interception (a 17-yard TD run by Marrero to start the third quarter).
Rochester recovered a fumble by Altavesta at their own 23 late in the first. Kennedy found Wager behind the defense for 46 yards. Three plays later, Kennedy ran for 24 yards and a 14-7 lead.
A 42-yard pass from Kennedy to Justin Redfern put Rochester ahead, 20-7, with 12:43 left in the second quarter. Late in the quarter, the Yellowjackets drove from their own 30 down to the SC 5 where they faced first-and-goal. They were set back by a false start penalty, a holding infraction, and a sack when Danna Macalena caught Kennedy for an eight-yard loss back to the 24. Kennedy's pass on fourth down was incomplete and Springfield started there with 2:42 left.
Rodman. Marrero, and Alex Martin all rushed for positive yardage, moving the bal down to the Rochester 21. After a nine-yard gain by Marrero, the senior quarterback hit Poggio for a 12-yard TD with 20 seconds left in the half. Rouse's kickoff brought the Pride within 20-14.
Springfield scored twice in the third quarter to take back the lead at 28-20. Marrero rushed for the 17-yard TD after Kennedy was picked off by Sam Weiss who returned the ball to midfield. Rodman rushed for a 26-yard TD with 6:49 left.
The early part of the fourth quarter was quiet. Kennedy did direct Rochester from its own 31 to the Springfield 16. On fourth-and-one, the snap was fumbled and recovered by Allen. Springfield took over with 7:05 to go.
Marrero's third down pass for Poggio deflected off the receiver and into the arms of Rochester's Jordan Honjiyo. That set up he eight-play, 31-yard drive that tied the score at 28-28.
Defensively for Springfield, Mike Dublin and Matt Berni had 11 tackles each. Umberto DiMeo had 10. For Rochester, Tony Ortega had 17 (11 primary) plus a forced fumble. Zach Cicero had 10.
Marrero rushed 22 times for 154 yards. Rodman gained 109 on 17 carries (one TD) and Altavesta had 98 on 20 tries. The Pride rushed for 403.
Rochester's ground game was led by Kennedy with 70 yards on 11 carries (one TD). Allen had 50 yards and one TD. Perpignan gained 34 with one TD.
Notes: Both Rochester victories this season have come on the team's final possession. Kennedy threw a three-yard TD pass to Thomas Hayes, then ran for a two-point conversion with 0:15 left vs. Thiel College two weeks ago…Springfield had a shutout streak of 1:21.59 entering the game. The Pride allowed a score by Western New England with 1:59 left on September 7. Springfield shut out Husson (36-0) and Mount Ida (41-0) in the last two weeks.