Coleman completes 28-of-36 passes for 305 yards & 1 TD as Golden Bears take 4-3 lead in rivalry series with Pride
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 7, 2019) – The Western New England University football team reclaimed the Pynchon SAW trophy with a 33-17 victory over crosstown rival Springfield College on Saturday afternoon at Golden Bear Stadium.
Senior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.) led a strong offensive performance for Western New England, completing 28-of-36 pass attempts for 305 yards and one touchdown. Coleman also rushed for 46 yards and an additional score.
Senior running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards (6.5 avg.), while junior Steven Fedorchak (Guilderland, N.Y.) paced the receiving corps with seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, sophomore safety Bailey Devine-Scott (Wattle Grove, Australia) was a force with a team-high 12 tackles, a forced fumble and four pass breakups. Junior linebacker Erich Keutmann (Washingtonville, N.Y.) also made 12 stops, including a sack, and sophomore linebacker Joshua Salem (Dracut, Mass.) added 10 tackles.
Senior kicker Kieran Lombard (Dover, N.H.) also played a key role in the season-opening victory, converting all four of his field goal attempts while going 3-for-3 on extra point tries.
Springfield was led by sophomore fullback Patrick Ladas (Middlefield, Conn.), who ran for 90 yards on 13 carries. Junior quarterback David Wells (Shelton, Conn.) broke free for a 69-yard touchdown late in the contest to get the Pride back to within 13 points.
On the defensive side, senior linebacker Jack Pavelchak (Patchogue, N.Y.) paced the Pride with ten tackles and a forced fumble.
Western New England opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, when Lombard booted a 23-yard field goal to cap an eight-play, 62-yard drive.
On Springfield's ensuing possession, the visitors used a 56-yard run by Ladas to get deep into Western New England territory, before senior quarterback Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) lost a fumble at the five-yard line.
The Golden Bears next possession ended in a fumble as well, however, leading to a four-yard touchdown run by Shade that gave the Pride a 7-3 advantage with a minute left in the first quarter.
Western New England quickly pulled back in front (10-7) with an eight-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a 34-yard touchdown pass from Coleman to Fedorchak at the 12:31 mark of the second quarter. Later in the period, senior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.) found the end zone from six yards out to extend the Golden Bears' lead to 17-7.
Western New England was able to add to its lead in closing seconds of the quarter to open up a 20-7 cushion at halftime. After getting the ball back with a minute on the clock, Coleman engineered a six-play, 57 yard drive to move the Golden Bears inside the Springfield 10-yard line, setting up Lombard's 25-yard field goal.
The home team's lead continued to grow in the third quarter, as Western New England received the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 72 yards over seven plays to extend the advantage to 27-7. Coleman found Fedorchak for completions of 15 and eight yards, respectively, before capping the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run.
Springfield and Western New England traded field goals over the next two possessions as the Pride faced a 30-10 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. The visitors were able to put together a 12-play, 53-yard drive early in the fourth, but it ended without points as Keutmann sacked Shade for an eight-yard loss on fourth down from the WNE 14-yard line.
The Pride closed the gap to 13 (30-17) on Wells' 69-yard touchdown run with 6:21 to play, but they would get no closer. Lombard connected on his fourth and final field goal from 26 yards with 2:41 on the clock to cap the scoring in the contest.
• Western New England's win gives the Golden Bears a 4-3 edge through seven meetings with city rival Springfield College. The Pynchon SAW rivalry series began in 2013, with the Pride winning the inaugural contest. WNE responded with victories in 2014, 2015 and 2016, before Springfield evened the series with wins the last two seasons.
• The Golden Bears converted 8-of-14 (57%) third down opportunities while limiting Springfield to 31% (4-of-13).
• Western New England outgained the Pride 477 to 335 and held a slight edge in time of possession (31:05 to 28:55).
Western New England (1-0) travels to Westfield State next Friday night (9/13) to battle the Owls for the Presidents' Cup, while Springfield (0-1) returns home to host Kean next Saturday (9/14) afternoon.