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September 13, 2003

UMass Dartmouth blanks PSU Football, 29-0

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Shawn Theriault (Wakefield, Mass.) rushed for 189 yards and two touchdowns Saturday afternoon, leading the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 29-0 victory over Plymouth State University in a non-conference football game at Currier Field.

Theriault scored on a one-yard burst midway through the second quarter to give the Corsairs a 7-0 lead, and added a seven-yard score in the third quarter to put UMD up 14-0. His performance helped the Corsairs to their 12th straight regular season victory as the visitors handed new PSU head coach Paul Castonia a defeat in his Panther debut.

"That was a very good football team we played today," said Castonia. "We weren't able to generate much offense, and gradually our defense got worn down."

The Corsairs (2-0) made it 22-0 late in the third quarter when senior quarterback John Falcone (Norwood, Mass.) hit sophomore WR Victor Cruz (New Bedford, Mass.) on a 51-yard scoring play. Cruz collected the football in full stride after it was deflected by a PSU defender. UMD converted a two-point conversion when holder Matt O'Day (Westminster, Mass.) took a bad snap and rushed into the corner of the end zone.

UMD, which finished 11-1 last year after an undefeated regular season, a New England Football Conference Championship and a visit to the NCAA Tournament, closed out the scoring midway through the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run by sophomore Ryan Walsh (New Bedford, Mass.).

Senior DE Eric Lawless (Plymouth, Mass.) led the Panther defensive effort, making a team-high 10 tackles.

"I think we did some good things throughout the game defensively," said Castonia. "Our kids were flying around, hitting people, which was good. I think our defense will be OK."

UMass Dartmouth outgained Plymouth State in total yards, 364-189. The Panthers played most of the game with freshman quarterback Mike Griggs (Hudson, N.H.) after starter Ryan Diamond (Plymouth, N.H.) went down with a knee injury on PSU's first series. Griggs, who finished 4-of-8 for 69 yards, led the Panthers on a 15-play drive on their first possession, but the team came up empty after missing a field goal attempt.

"I thought Griggs did pretty well," said Castonia. "He's a tough kid. He didn't turn the ball over after he was kind of thrown into the fire."

PSU will be home again next Saturday, hosting William Paterson (N.J.) in a non-conference match-up at Currier Field (1:00 p.m.).

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