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Panthers get past UMass Dartmouth

PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- Graduate student Mike Bardellini (Milford, Mass.) scored two second-quarter touchdowns, one on a pass reception and one on a punt return, leading Plymouth State College to a 34-20 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a non-conference football game at Currier Field.

All 54 points in the game were scored in the first half, including 41 in the second quarter. Bardellini returned a punt 61 yards to give PSC a 20-6 lead, and his eight-yard TD reception from junior QB Matt Simpson (Auburn, Maine) with 26 seconds left in the first half was the final score of the afternoon.

PSC running backs Russ Massahos (Windham, N.H.) and Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.) combined for 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Massahos ran 12 times for 90 yards and one TD, a 25-yarder, and Bicchieri carried 20 times for 78 yards and a one-yard score. They also caught two passes apiece, Massahos for 14 yards and Bicchieri for six.

Massahos also improved his career rushing total to 2,534 yards, moving him into third place on PSC's career rushing list. He passed Matt Friedman (2,503 from 1991-93) and is now within 49 yards of second place Shawn Redburn (2,583 from 1994-96).

UMD running back Shane Harris (Marion, Mass.) carried 18 times for 61 yards and two touchdowns. His first score, a seven-yarder, put the Corsairs up 6-0, and his second TD, a 20-yard run, made it 27-20 (PSC) with 4:25 to go in the second quarter.

PSC receiver Shaun Spaulding (Everett, Mass.) caught his first TD pass of the season, a 50-yarder from Simpson early in the second quarter. Simpson finished the day 17-of-32 for 174 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Panther offense racked up over 400 yards of offense for the second straight week, totaling 408 yards Saturday after a 465-yard effort last week.

In addition to Harris, UMD's other touchdown was scored by junior WR Joe Sabina (Taunton, Mass.) on a 13-yard pass from sophomore QB John Falcone (Norwood, Mass.). Falcone finished with 186 yards passing, but threw two interceptions and was sacked eight times.

Leading the Panther defense was senior linebackers Brian Chaplain (Hooksett, N.H.) and Chris Kelliher (Goffstown, N.H.). Chaplain made 11 tackles, including three sacks, and Kelliher registered nine tackles, including two sacks.

Both teams begin conference play next Saturday (Sept. 22). PSC opens Freedom Football Conference action at Norwich (1:30 p.m.) and UMass Dartmouth plays at Maine Maritime (1:00 p.m.).