Stout defense, balanced offense lead Union football to 21-6 win over Springfield

Union's Nicholas Dunneman runs toward the end zone between Worcester State's Tyler Chaves, left, and Nathan Winco at Frank Bailey Field Sept. 10.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Union's Nicholas Dunneman runs toward the end zone between Worcester State's Tyler Chaves, left, and Nathan Winco at Frank Bailey Field Sept. 10.

SCHENECTADY This time around, Union football didn’t put up the kind of offensive numbers that had people combing through the annals of the program’s long history.

The Dutchmen didn’t need to, either.

Coming off last week’s 76-point eruption against Worcester State, Union faced considerably more resistance in Saturday’s non-conference game against Springfield, but still passed the test with flying colors, keeping the Pride out of the end zone and riding a balanced effort to a 21-6 win at Stagg Field in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Union (3-0 overall) took the lead on its opening drive of the first quarter, a four-play, 73-yard march capped off by Donovan Pacatte’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ross Jr., and never gave it up.

Springfield (1-2 overall) closed within 7-6 by the midpoint of the second quarter thanks to a pair of Christian Hutra field goals, but the Dutchmen responded with a nine-play, 74-yard scoring drive late in the half that saw Jonathan Anderson score on a 1-yard run, then Union iced the game in the fourth quarter when Ike Irabor broke loose for a 74-yard touchdown run with 1:38 to play.

Union’s defense stood firm throughout the game against a Springfield offense that chewed up the clock with a run-heavy attack. The Pride finished the game with nearly a 10-minute advantage in time of possession and ran 69 offensive plays compared to 48 for the Dutchmen.

Springfield did put up 254 rushing yards, led by 122 on 18 carries from quarterback David Wells, but the Pride averaged only 4.4 yards per carry and Wells was just 3 of 11 passing for 36 yards, including an interception at the goal line by Union’s Nathan Sullivan that snuffed out a long Springfield drive in the third quarter.

Irabor led the way for the Union offense, rushing for 124 yards on just nine carries, and Pacatte was 11 of 18 through the air for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Dutchmen will look to wrap up a perfect non-conference slate next Saturday when they return home for a 1 p.m. game against Utica.

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Union 7 7 0 7 — 21

Springfield 3 3 0 0 — 6

U — Ross 26 pass from Pacatte (Lau kick)

S — Hutra 43 field goal

S — Hutra 26 field goal

U — Anderson 1 run (Lau kick)

U — Irabor 74 run (Lau kick)

RPI 37, WPI 0

A week after suffering their first home loss since 2018, the Engineers had little trouble getting back on the right track in a dominant performance against WPI to claim the Transit Trophy.

Dylan Burnett ran for 130 yards and a touchdown for RPI (2-1 overall), with Matt Petercuskie tossing two touchdown passes and Jake Kazanowsky adding a 45-yard touchdown on his lone pass of the day. RPI outgained WPI 382-105, and Nate Sicard led a smothering defensive effort with three sacks.

The Engineers will wrap up non-conference play on the road next Saturday at St. John Fisher.

WPI 0 0 0 0 — 0

RPI 13 7 7 10 — 37

RPI — Lombardi 10 pass from Petercuskie (Maric kick)

RPI — Lombardi 21 pass from Petercuskie (kick blocked)

RPI — Walker-Sutton 2 run (Maric kick)

RPI — Burnett 31 run (Maric kick)

RPI — Palmer 45 pass from Kazanowsky (Maric kick)

RPI — Maric 26 field goal

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