A dominant rushing attack led by Husson’s John Smith paced the Eagles past the Castleton Spartans, 43-21, in their Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game last Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
Husson was able to grab sole possession of first place in the conference on the back of Smith, who racked up 198 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown. Robenson Saintard powered home two touchdowns on four carries for seven yards while Obie Christmas also rushed for 91 yards on 14 carries to take the workload away from Smith.
Moe Harris recorded just 20 yards on 10 carries for the Spartans against a punishing run defense. Mitchell Caron went 12-31 for 107 yards passing and two touchdowns while also throwing an interception.
Soren Pelz-Walsh was the top receiver from the Spartans tallying 53 yards on three catches, two of them going for touchdowns. Ryan Barry had 48 yards on three catches while Makai Hawkins caught four passes for just six yards.
Husson quarterback Cory Brandon threw for 178 yards and went 11-20 on pass attempts with a touchdown and two interceptions, evenly spreading the ball around to his receivers.
Kadeem Edge was the top wide out for the Eagles going for 89 yards on two catches and one touchdown. Andre Miller and Saintard both had two catches apiece, Miller for 35 yards and Saintard for 25 yards while Deon Wiggins added three catches for 24 yards.
Smith’s day was highlighted by 47-yard run that he took to the house on the games opening drive.
“Man, the O-line, they blocked great from the start of the game. They made my job a lot easier today and holes were just opening and I was just getting the ball and running,” Smith said.
It took 80 seconds, three plays and one monster run by Smith for the Eagles to march 67 yards down the field and take an early 7-0 lead.
The teams would trade scores making it a 14-7 less than five minutes into the first quarter.
“Their running back, John Smith, he’s a good player and we had a little trouble containing him. They had run the ball (throughout the game) and that kind of opened up the pass game a little bit,” said Joe DeAlesandro. “Our defense was kind of focused around stopping him and his big run plays.”
Late in the second quarter, Caron bobbled his fourth snap of the half and was brought down in his own end zone by a number of Husson pass rushers.
“This is Sam’s first game back in a little bit so nerves were probably a factor,” said Caron on center Sam Lewis. “Just a little miscommunication and misdirection with the snaps a little bit,”
Husson would end the first half with a 23-14 lead.
The Eagles would come out of the half and pick up right where they left off scoring the next two touchdowns and held a controlling 36-14 lead.
“They played a lot of man coverage and they’re very physical against the run and we just didn’t match up well in that regard,” said Spartan coach Tony Volpone.
But the Spartans got hope late in the third quarter following a Caron to Pelz-Walsh touchdown pass. Pelz-Walsh beat his man on the fade route and Caron was able to float a 26-yard pass to the back right corner of the end zone.
“We fought hard. It was dog fight, we just came up a little bit short,” Caron said.
Husson improves to 3-0 in ECFC play and 5-1 overall.
The Spartans fall to 2-1 in the ECFC and are 2-4 overall. They host SUNY Maritime for their senior day game on Oct. 22.