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Western Connecticut shuts out PSU Football

DANBURY, Conn. - Western Connecticut State University extended its home shutout streak to 12 quarters Saturday afternoon as it blanked Plymouth State University, 43-0, in a Freedom Football Conference game at Westside Athletic Complex.

The Colonials, 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the FFC, registered their third shut out of the season, matching a mark set only one other time in 1984. That season, WestConn finished with a 9-1 record.

Senior quarterback Michael Scipione (Oakton, Va.) completed 15 of 19 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Vincent Sheperis (North Kingstown, R.I.) found the endzone twice, making four catches for 109 yards and scores from 27 and 30 yards. Senior wide out Andre Lee (Port Norris, N.J.) caught a team-high five passes for 106 yards and another score.

Junior tailback Jeff Ward (Absecon, N.J.) led the Colonials ground attack, rushing 12 times for a season-high 94 yards and WestConn's first two scores. He scored on runs from three and 30 yards out, the latter coming with 3:08 remaining in the first stanza.

WestConn amassed 491 total yards while holding the Panthers to 155 offensive yards.

The Panthers, 0-4 and 0-1 in the FFC on the season, had to go nearly the entire game without their number one quarterback as Mike Griggs (Hudson, N.H.) was summoned to the sidelines with back spasms during their first offensive series in the second quarter. Prior to his departure, he rushed eight times for seven yards.

Griggs' replacement, Chris Langlais (Winslow, Maine) ran 18 times for 22 yards. He completed two of five passes for his team's only two passing yards. Dan Fortier (Salem, N.H.) amassed 63 yards on 18 carries for Plymouth State.

"I thought we really showed improvement, but the score doesn't show it," said PSU head coach Paul Castonia. "We really became a more consistent football team for the whole 60 minutes. If we can maintain consistency, we will get better. Kids are starting to get the offense."

The Panthers ran more plays than WestConn., and had a six-minute advantage in ball possession time.

"After the game, I thanked the team for their effort," Castonia added. "I think they see they can have success against good teams."

The schedule doesn't get much easier for PSU. The Panthers return home to host Kings Point next Saturday in an FFC affair at Currier Field. Kings Point defeated WPI Saturday to improve to 4-1.

 (Courtesy Western Conn. Sports Information)