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November 17, 1997

PSU earns berth in ECAC Northwest Championship game

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The practice field has been cleared of snow and the bus is warming up for the Plymouth State College football team, which had its season extended a week Sunday with an invitation to travel to Buffalo State College for an ECAC post-season game.

The Panthers will meet the Bengals of Buffalo State this Saturday (Nov. 22) at 12 noon in the ECAC Division III Northwest Championship game, PSC's ninth appearance in the ECAC play-offs. The Bengals, 7-2, are the top seed from the Upstate New York Region and earned the right to host the No. 2 seed from New England, which in this case, is the 7-3 Panthers.

The ECAC Northeast Championship game will have Worcester State, the top seed from New England, hosting Rensselaer, the No. 2 seed from Upstate New York. The four NCAA Division III Tournament teams from the East are #1 Rowan, #2 Cortland, #3 College of New Jersey, and #4 Coast Guard.

"We're happy to have received an invitation from the ECAC," said PSC head coach Mike Kemp. "We were disappointed with the way the regular season ended, and our seniors did not want to end their careers that way. This gives us a chance to go out on a positive note. Buffalo State is a long way away, and they are a very good team, but we're excited to make the trip and show up on Saturday."

The Panthers wrapped up the regular season last Saturday at WPI on a snow-covered Alumni Field turf. Players and officials slipped and slid all afternoon, and the teams were scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter. WPI drove 70 yards in the final 3:45 and scored a touchdown with five seconds remaining to pull out a 9-7 win, leaving PSC at 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Freedom Football Conference.

This will be PSC's ninth trip to the ECAC play-offs. The Panthers have a 2-6 record in the previous eight, including a 35-24 win over Massachusetts Maritime in the inaugural ECAC Championship in 1983, and a 13-12 triumph over Ithaca in the snow in 1987.

PSC's other ECAC appearances were in 1985 (Albany 33, PSC 21); 1986 (Alfred 30, PSC 3); 1988 (Coast Guard 31, PSC 14); 1990 (Union 33, PSC 19); 1991 (Cortland 21, PSC 6); and 1993 (Rensselaer 13, PSC 0).

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