PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Preston Roberts (New York, N.Y.) rushed for 122 yards and one touchdown Saturday as Worcester Polytechnic Institute handed Plymouth State College a 23-13 defeat at frigid Currier Field in the Freedom Football Conference season finale for both schools.
The win, WPI's second in a row, leaves the Engineers with a final record of 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the FFC. PSC, which entered the season with the highest career winning percentage in all of NCAA Division III, completes the campaign at 0-10 overall, 0-6 in conference play.
Roberts went over the 100-yard mark for the seventh time in 10 games this year. He finishes the season with 1,232 yards on the ground, the second-best WPI single-season rushing performance, behind Jason Wooley's 1,283 yards in 1990.
The Panthers got a 100-yard rushing performance of their own, as senior Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.) matched his career-high with 120 yards on 27 carries. He also caught three passes for 23 yards, finishing the season with 990 all-purpose yards (598 rushing, 142 receiving, 250 kick-off returns).
Plymouth State took a 7-0 lead on its first possession, capping a nine-play, 72-yard drive with a TD pass from senior Matt Simpson (Auburn, Maine) to classmate Duane Godfrey (Peru, N.Y.).
WPI answered with a one-yard touchdown plunge by junior QB Adam Ralston (Olean, N.Y.) to tie the game, then took 14-7 lead late in the first quarter on Roberts' 16-yard TD run. The Engineers made it 17-7 at halftime as freshman Jeremy Griffin (Waterford, Conn.) booted a 31-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
Ralston hit senior Andre King (Hartford, Conn.) on a 33-yard TD pass for the only scoring in the third quarter. PSC cut the deficit to 23-13 with 6:55 to play on a one-yard TD pass from Simpson to senior Jay Zinis (Manchester, N.H.), but could get no closer.
Seniors Tim Boothroyd (Amesbury, Mass.) and Shawn Boyle (Bedford, N.H.) and freshman Brian Francis (Plymouth, N.H.) led the Panther defense. Boothroyd made 10 stops to finish the season with a team-high 100 tackles, Boyle made a season-high three sacks, and Francis registers six tackles and his second interception of the year.
Graduate Student Mike Perkins (Concord, N.H.) anchored the Engineers defense with 10 tackles.