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PSC no match for Falcons

WALTHAM, Mass. - A week after the Plymouth State College football team held a potent Springfield College to just seven points, the Panthers got more than they could handle Saturday in a non-conference loss at Bentley College.

The Falcons piled up 544 yards en route to a 41-21 victory. Bentley produced 21 first downs and 349 yards in the first half to take a 27-7 lead into the break, and maintained its dominance in the second half.

Bentley won for the fifth time in its last six outings to improve to 6-2 overall, while PSC had its two-game winning streak stopped and dropped to 4-3 overall.

Doing most of the damage for Bentley was the combination of freshman QB Marc Eddy (Southboro, Mass.) and freshman receiver Dallas Mall (Southboro, Mass.), former high school teammates at Algonquin H.S. Mall caught eight passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns, and Eddy completed 20-of-29 passes for 296 yards and four TDs. Mall increased his NCA Division II record-setting total to 17 TD receptions.

The Falcons also rushed for 248 yards, with junior Paul Reed (Roxbury, Mass.) gaining 144 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

"Bentley was very good today," said PSC head coach Chris Rorke. "All year long, our defense has been carrying us, but Bentley had some favorable match-ups today, and they exploited them, especially in our secondary."

The Falcons had a dominating first quarter, running 25 plays to PSC's six and outgaining the Panthers, 179-114. Mall scored his first TD on Bentley's opening drive and Reed added a touchdown on his team's next possession. Mall added two more TDs in the second quarter.

"Eddy was hot-handed today," said Rorke, "and their receivers made plays. You have to take your hat off to their quarterback and their receivers."

PSC's only score in the first half came on its first play from scrimmage, when junior QB Matt Simpson (Auburn, Maine) hit senior Shaun Spaulding (Everett, Mass.) on an 81-yard TD strike. Simpson left the game in the first quarter with an injury and did not return.

"We had our chances to get back into the game," said Rorke, "but every time Bentley got into a third-down situation, they made a big play and eventually wore our defense down."

The Panthers also scored on their opening drive of the second half on a 14-yard run by senior Russ Massahos (Windham, N.H.), but Bentley answered with a Eddy-to-Jamie Hirbour (Lowell, Mass.) 20-yard TD. Massahos finished with 76 yards on 22 carries, leaving him 27 yards short of the career 3,000-yard milestone.

PSC got another touchdown in the fourth quarter when sophomore QB Ryan Diamond (Plymouth, N.H.) connected with junior Chris Holton (Bellows Falls, Vt.) on a 30-yard pass play. Bentley rounded out the scoring on Reed's second rushing TD of the afternoon with seven minutes remaining.

Plymouth State returns home to Currier Field next Saturday for its final regular season home game, hosting Coast Guard at 12 noon in a Freedom Football Conference contest.