WASHINGTON, D.C. - Springfield scored 17-straight points to erase a first quarter deficit, cashing in on four of its first five drives as the Pride posted a 23-11 victory over the Catholic University football team Saturday at Cardinal Stadium on Cardinal Weekend.
After Springfield took a 3-0 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Christian Humulock, the Cardinals (0-7, 0-4 NEWMAC) drove 75 yards in plays to take the lead. Sophomore Brady Berger connected with sophomore Pedro Garcia for a 34-yard touchdown on third-and-9 before Berger found freshman Johnny Hecht for the two-point conversion to give the Cardinals an 8-3 lead with 7:27 left in the first quarter.
However, the Pride (6-2, 4-1 NEWMAC) regained the lead on the ensuing possession, driving 56 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run on third-and-7.
The touchdown was the second of three-straight scoring drives to start the game for Springfield who pushed its lead to 17-8 with 11:51 remaining in the second quarter following a 36-yard touchdown pass. The Pride kept the drive alive by converting a fourth-and-2 from the Catholic 43 two plays earlier.
Trailing by nine, the Cardinals drove down to the Springfield 31 on the next possession, but two negative rushing plays and an incomplete pass took them out of field goal range, forcing them to punt.
The Catholic defense forced a turnover on the Pride's ensuing possession as freshman Tommy Antonucci came up with his first career interception.
However, the Cardinal offense went three-and-out on its possession, giving Springfield good field position at its own 42-yard line. Six plays later, the Pride scored its third touchdown of the half as they took a 23-8 lead into halftime.
Catholic won time of possession in the first half, had no turnovers and no penalties, but Springfield amassed 245 yards of total offense, were 3-for-3 inside the red zone an outscored the Cardinals 13-0 in the second quarter while limiting the hosts to just 39 yards of total offense.
Freshman Sean Gould nailed a 32-yard field goal with 12:13 to play in the fourth quarter, capping a 12-play, 71-yard drive to provide the only points of the second half.
The Catholic defense held the Pride to just 103 yards in the second half, and had two drives down to the Springfield 14 and 23-yard line, totaling 120 yards on 23 plays. However, the Cardinals came away with just three points. Catholic's other three drives resulted in punts.
Berger completed 18-of-32 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown, completing a pass to nine different receivers. Melara had four catches while Garcia had three for 55 yards.
The Cardinals head to Norwich next Saturday, October 27 for their final road game of the season. Kickoff from Sabine Field is at noon.