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PSC hosts Brockport in home opener

GAME #2: SUNY College at Brockport (2-0) at Plymouth State College (1-0)

Sat., Sept. 16, 2000, 12:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Currier Memorial Field will be the site as the Plymouth State College football team entertains the State University of New York College at Brockport this Saturday in the Panthers' 2000 home opener.

The Panthers and Golden Eagles, a pair of unbeatens early in the season, will engage in a non-conference encounter at 12 noon Saturday, the 31st home opener for PSC Football. Plymouth State opened the season last week with an impressive 24-10 triumph at Rensselaer in Troy, N.Y., while Brockport has been equally as impressive, capturing road victories in its first two contests at Cortland (14-0) at New Jersey City (10-7).

Saturday will mark the fourth meeting on the gridiron between these two schools, with the home team having won each of the first three. All three contests have been close, with the margins of victory one, five and three points, respectively. The Golden Eagles registered victories in 1997 (10-9) and 1999 (13-10) in Brockport, while PSC captured the verdict two years ago at Currier Field (21-16).

Led by second-year head coach Chris Rorke, PSC turned in a solid performance in the opener at Rensselaer. The Green Wall defense limited the Engineers to just 64 yards passing (18 attempts, five completions) while forcing six turnovers (four interceptions and two fumble recoveries). The offense put up 282 yards and 24 points, and did not turn the ball over. The special teams provided support, converting a field goal attempt and returning the opening kick-off of the second half 59 yards to set up a touchdown

Guided by sixth-year head coach Rocco Salomone, Brockport brings a school-record six-game winning streak into Saturday's contest, dating back to last season. The Golden Eagles have also won five straight road contests. The Brockport offense has averaged 364 yards in its first two outings, while the defense has allowed 265 yards a contest while forcing 10 turnovers.

Plymouth State has had tremendous success over the years at Currier Field. PSC has an all-time home record of 111-34-3 for a .760 winning percentage. The Panthers are 29-8 at home the last seven years, and they were 38-13-1 in the ‘90s.

PSC VS. NY: Plymouth State has played 12 different schools from the Empire State, and has posted a combined record of 13-15, including 1-2 vs. Brockport State. PSC's record vs. the others: Albany State (0-1); Alfred (0-1); Buffalo State (0-1); Cortland State (0-1); Hobart (0-1); Ithaca (1-1); Kings Point (3-2); Plattsburgh State (3-1); Rensselaer (1-1); Stony Brook (4-0); and Union (0-3).

TOP-NOTCH RUNNING BACKS: Both schools in this weekend's game feature outstanding running backs. Brockport TB Courtlan Green has a pair of 100-yard games this season, including a 155-yard effort last Saturday at New Jersey City. He has moved into 11th place on the school's all-time rushing chart with 1,154 yards in 12 games, including 757 yards in the last five outings. PSC HB Russ Massashos, who rushed for 1,042 yards and 12 TDs last season, rumbled for 150 yards in the opener last week at Rensselaer. He was an All-Conference First Team and All-East Region Second Team last season, and he earned a Gold Helmet award last season after a six-touchdown effort in Week 8 against Coast Guard.

WEEKLY FFC HONORS: PSC had three individuals honored by the Freedom Football Conference for their performances at Rensselaer. Junior DB Mike Pelletier (11 tackles, 2 INT) was selected FFC Defensive Player of the Week, and sophomore WR Nate Sergent (4 rec., 73 yards, 2 TD) and freshman KR Uriah Davis (2 KR, 88 yds) were picked to the Weekly Honor Roll.

TEAM CAPTAINS: Plymouth State has elected three seniors and a junior to serve as team captains in 2000: senior C Chris Belmont, senior S Jason Marcell, junior HB Russ Massahos, and senior DE Clint Medas.

FFC PRE-SEASON POLL: Defending Freedom Football Conference champion Western Connecticut was picked to repeat its title in the annual FFC pre-season coaches poll, receiving four of seven first-place votes. Springfield got the other three top votes and was picked second, followed by PSC in third, Kings Point in fourth, WPI and Norwich tied for fifth, and Coast Guard in seventh.

ALL-TIME SUCCESS: The Panthers enter the 2000 season as the winningest Division III football program in the NCAA with at least 25 years on the gridiron. PSC has an all-time winning percentage of .703 with an overall record of 201-83-7, just ahead of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, which has a .695 winning percentage in 75 years of football (463-192-40).

A LOOK AHEAD: PSC will be back at Currier Field for the FFC opener next Saturday against Norwich (12 noon). Then it's a crucial three game road trip against the meat of the FFC slate - Western Connecticut, Kings Point and Springfield.