Banuskevich, Gbaley recognized by MASCAC
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Two Plymouth State University football players were recognized by the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) by being named to the Football Weekly Honor Roll after their performances in Saturday's 17-7 win over Bridgewater State University.
Junior Mitch Banuskevich (Milford, N.H.) ran for a career-high 168 yards, added 40 yards receiving and was responsible for the only offensive touchdown scored by the Panthers, while sophomore Prince Gbaley (Manchester, N.H.) came away with two interceptions and also had a punt return for a score.
Banuskevich provided the bulk of the Panther offense on Saturday. The running back's 208 all-purpose yards accounted for more than 75% of the team's total offensive yards gained (208-of-272) for the day. PSU found the end zone on the game's opening drive. The Panthers marched 65 yards in 11 plays, with Banuskevich responsible for all but four yards gained. The junior hauled in a pass from quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) for a 12-yard touchdown to give PSU the early 7-0 lead. Banuskevich was honored for the second straight week after recording consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Gbaley came up with two key interceptions to stop Bridgewater State drives. The Bears were at midfield with the game tied 7-7 and just 1:18 remaining in the first half when Gbaley jumped in front of a deep pass, coming away with the pick at the PSU 17-yard line. The sophomore came up big on special teams late in the third quarter when he caught a short punt that had been deflected and returned it 35 yards to the house to put PSU up 14-7, but he still wasn't done leaving his stamp on the game. With 6:00 left in the game and Bridgewater deep in PSU territory, Gbaley made his second interception at the Plymouth State eight-yard line. Banuskevich was able to chew up valuable clock as the Panthers held on for the win.
Plymouth State is back at home on Saturday in a huge game. The Panthers welcome MASCAC-leading Framingham State to Currier Field for a 1:00 p.m. showdown. FSU enters as the lone unbeaten team in league play, coming in a perfect 3-0, while the Panthers are just a half game behind with a 3-1 conference mark.
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