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Kings Point defeats Panthers, 28-14

KINGS POINT, N.Y. - Junior David McNeal (San Antonio, TX) rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, leading the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to a 28-14 Freedom Football Conference victory over Plymouth State College at soggy Captain Tomb Field.

The outcome leaves PSC winless in five tries this season, the worst start in school history, and 0-3 in FFC games. Kings Point, which is having its best season in four years, improves to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

The teams traded first quarter touchdowns runs on the wet turf, but the Mariners put up three unanswered TDs in the second quarter to take a 28-7 break at the half. Neither team had much success battling the weather in the second half, as Plymouth State produced the only score.

The Panthers had all kinds of trouble in the first half, failing to complete a pass, turning the ball over three times and being outgained in total yards, 161 to minus-20. The only Panther score came on a four-yard TD run by senior Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.), following a Kings Point fumble at its own four yard line. Bicchieri finished the afternoon with 46 yards rushing and both Panther touchdowns.

McNeal completed the first half with 155 yards and four touchdowns. The first score was from 44 yards out on Kings Points' first possession. McNeal added three second-quarter scores, from 24, five and four yards, to give the Mariners a 28-7 lead at the break. Two of the three second-quarter scores by Kings Point came after Panther turnovers.

Kings Point finished with a 231-97 advantage in total yards. Turnovers again doomed the Panthers, as PSC lost four fumbles and threw two interceptions. Plymouth State has turned the ball over 27 times in five games this season.

Senior Tim Boothroyd (Amesbury, Mass.) was the top defender for PSC, registering 10 tackles.

The Panthers will attempt to get into the win column next Saturday with a FFC game at Springfield (1:30 p.m.), the only unbeaten team in the conference.