A revitalized passing game and a dominating defensive effort against the run helped the Union College football team avoid its first 0-4 start since 1959.
Junior quarterback Connor Eck passed for a career high 320 yards to lead the Dutchmen to a 27-7 Liberty League win at Springfield College Saturday in front of 3,500 fans at Stagg Field.
It was the first win of the season for the Dutchmen, who are now 1-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Springfield drops to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Liberty League.
Eck finished the afternoon completing 20 of 34 passes, including a TD strike. He added 42 yards rushing and adding another TD. T.J. Franzese totaled 83 yards and a touchdown, while Tosin Kaz-eem made six receptions for 103 yards. It was Kazeem’s first career 100-yard rushing game, as well as Eck’s first career 300-yard passing game. Defensively, Thomas Hayes made eight stops and forced a fumble, while Tyler Valenti added seven stops, including two for loss.
For the game, Union had 481 total yards of offense on 85 plays, compared to just 85 yards of offense for the Pride on 38 plays.
Springfield, which entered the game as the top rushing team in Division III with 393 yards per game, was held to just 85 yards on 32 carries.
Union had the ball for 10 minutes in the first quarter, but the Pride defense held the Dutchmen to just a 29-yard field goal by Dan Pope at 7:49.
Union stretched its lead early in the second quarter. On a key third-and-four, Eck completed a pass to Ryan Shilling for 22 yards and a first down. Eck found Shilling again on second-and-seven in the middle of the field, and the receiver ran 38 yards for a touchdown, giving Union an early 10-0 lead with 12:59 left in the first half.
Springfield’s only touchdown of the game came on a blocked punt, with Mike Varvara picked up the bouncing ball for a 22-yard touchdown return.
Pope kicked his second field goal of the game from 26 yards out, Franzese scored on a two-yard run, and Eck scored on a one-yard keeper to complete the Union scoring.
Union hosts Worcester Polytechnic Institute Saturday at 1:30 on homecoming and family weekend at Frank Bailey Field.
Union 3 10 7 7 — 27
Springfield 0 7 0 0 — 7
U—Page 29 FG.
U—Shilling 38 pass from Eck (Pope kick).
S—Varvara 22 blocked punt return (Meehan kick).
U—Pope 26 FG.
U—Franzese 2 run (Pope kick).
U—Eck 1 run (Pope kick).
James Madison 40,
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Daniel Brown scored three touchdowns, and Dae-Quan Scott added two rushing touchdowns to help the Dukes rip the Great Danes before a sellout crowd of 25,201 at Bridgefort Stadium.
UAlbany drops to 0-2 in the Col-onial Athletic Association and 1-5 overall. The Dukes are 1-1 and 4-2.
UAlbany junior quarterback Will Fiacchi completed 26 of 43 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown to Kevin Chillis. Tom O’Riordan kicked a 24-yard field goal, and the Great Danes also recorded a safety.
UAlbany finished with 324 total yards, while the Dukes had 460.
UAlbany 3 0 10 0 — 13
James Madison 12 14 0 14 — 40
JMU—Abdullah 38 run (run failed), 11:18.
UAlb—O'Riordan 24 FG, 6:36.
JMU—D. Brown 41 pass from Birdsong (kick failed), 5:26.
JMU—D. Scott 3 run (Starke kick), 11:54.
JMU—D. Brown 12 pass from Birdsong (Starke kick), 6:06.
UAlb—Chillis 5 pass from Fiacchi (Chillis pass from Fiacchi), 2:05.
JMU—D. Scott 1 run (Sharples kick), 11:48.
JMU—D. Brown 2 pass from Birdsong (Sharples kick), 2:10.
First downs 21 25
Rushes-yards 35-81 42-211
Passing 243 249
Comp-Att-Int 30-48-0 18-28-0
Return yards 6 9
Punts-avg 7-39.3 4-49.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-66 10-95
Time of possession 35:07 24:53