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PSC looks to stop skid at Coast Guard

GAME #8: Plymouth State College (0-7, 0-4 FFC) at U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1-5, 0-3 FFC)

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2002, 1:00 p.m.,

Cadet Memorial Field, New London, Conn.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Both teams will be looking to stop losing streaks this Saturday when Plymouth State University travels to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a Freedom Football Conference encounter.

The Panthers and Bears will kick off at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Cadet Memorial Field in New London, Conn. Coast Guard has dropped five in a row this season, including all three conference games, while PSC is in the unfamiliar position of being winless after seven outings, four of which were FFC contests.

PSC, which began the season with the highest all-time winning percentage of any NCAA Division III program, continues through its most difficult season in school history. The Panthers lost 21 seniors from last year's team, and the growing list of injuries combined with inexperience in key areas has hurt the team. PSC has played a rugged schedule as well; its opponents have a combined record of 47-26, the non-conference foes 24-7. PSC was picked to finish third in the FFC.

Coast Guard opened the season with a win over Massachusetts Maritime, but has dropped all five games since then, including a tough 17-12 loss to Union last Saturday. Freshman quarterback Cory Anderson made his first career start last week, completed 20-of-48 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown and was named FFC Rookie of the Week. It was the first 200-yard passing game for the Bears since 1998. Coast Guard, which is playing its final home game this week, was picked to finish last in the FFC this season.

This will be the 12th career meeting between Plymouth State and Coast Guard, with the Panthers holding an 8-3 advantage. PSC has won four in a row, including a 42-19 decision last season in Plymouth. The last Coast Guard win was a 19-0 decision in 1997 in what was a battle between two undefeated teams. PSC is 4-1 in games played at Cadet Memorial Field.

Among PSC's top offensive performers this season have been senior WR Chris Holton (Bellows Falls, Vt.), who ranks second in the conference with 32 receptions (4.57/game) and fourth with 400 yards receiving (57.1/game), and senior RB/KR Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.), who is sixth in the league in all-purpose yards (281 yards rushing, 67 receiving and 250 on kick returns. The defense has been led by senior LB Tim Boothroyd (Amesbury, Mass.), who is second in the FFC with 70 tackles (10.0/game), and sophomore DB Jose Baez (Lawrence, Mass.), who is eighth in the conference in 48 tackles (6.9) and second in punt return average (9.5).

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