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PSC shuts out Norwich in FFC opener

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Running backs Russ Massahos (Windham, NH) and Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.) combined for 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns Saturday, leading Plymouth State College to a 21-0 victory over Norwich University at Sabine Field in PSC's Freedom Football Conference opener.

The Panther defense limited the Cadets to 171 yards of total offense, including just 64 yards on 37 pass attempts. PSC defenders picked off four Norwich passes.

Leading the Panther defense was senior LBs Brian Chaplain (Hooksett, N.H.) and Chris Kelliher (Goffstown, N.H.) and DB Bobby Maylone (Manchester, N.H.). Chaplain made eight tackles, Kelliher added seven tackles and an interception, and Maylone registered seven tackles. Seniors Mike Pelletier (Concord, N.H.) and Jim Stacy (Branford, Conn.) and junior Jon Rich (Londonderry, N.H.) also recorded interceptions for PSC.

Massahos and Bicchieri each carried 18 times, with Massahos recording 69 yards and Bicchieri 53. Massahos scored from one yard out on PSC's first possession of the game, and Bicchieri went in from two yards out early in the fourth quarter.

Plymouth State's other touchdown was scored late in the third quarter by Maylone, who fell on a Norwich punt that was blocked in the NU end zone by senior Ben Sirota (North Andover, Mass.). That gave PSC what turned out to be an insurmountable 14-0 lead.

Maylone averaged 41 yards on his seven punts, dropping three inside the 20-yard line. His 59-yarder that was downed at the Norwich three yard line helped set up his TD on the blocked NU punt.

Massahos also moved into second place on PSC's career rushing list, passing Shawn Redburn (who had 2,583 yards from 1994-96). Massahos now has 2,603 yards, but has virtually no chance of catching career leader Joe Dudek (5,291 from 1982-85).

PSC improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the FFC, while Norwich drops to 1-3 and 0-2. The Panthers play a tough FFC contest on the road next Saturday (Sept. 29) at Western Connecticut (1:00 p.m.).