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Panther Football falls to William Paterson


- Sophomore Cristobal Rodriguez (Fort Lee, N.J.) threw for three touchdowns and sophomore Justin Leslie (West Milford, N.J.) rushed for 126 yards and a score Saturday afternoon as William Paterson University amassed 490 yards of total offense en route to defeating Plymouth State University, 43-14, in non-conference action at Wightman Field.

            The Pioneers (1-1) gained 287 yards on the ground, while the squad's total of 490 yards were its most since 2001. Plymouth State drops to 0-3 on the season.

            With the game tied 7-7 late in the first quarter, Leslie and junior Prince Breeden (Jersey City, N.J.) ripped off 53-yard touchdown runs on consecutive Pioneer possessions to make it 21-7 early in the second quarter.

            Plymouth State responded with a two-yard run by freshman Steve Catanzaro (Johnston, R.I.) and pulled with 21-14 before Rodriguez hooked up with sophomore David Packard (Howell, N.J.) on a five-yard scoring strike that helped William Paterson take a 28-14 lead into the intermission.

            After a scoreless third, the Pioneers put the game away in the fourth as sophomore Thomas Murphy (Suffern, N.Y.) crossed the goal line on a 6-yard run and Rodriguez clicked with freshman Kareen Moon (Staten Island, N.Y.) for an 18-yard TD toss that made it 43-14. Rodriguez' other touchdown pass was to freshman Dan Washington (Jersey City, N.J.), a 34-yard aerial that gave William Paterson its first touchdown of the season and a 7-0 lead 8:18 into the game.

            Sophomore Tye Seastedt (Danville, N.H.), who finished 7-of-16 for 75 yards and two interceptions, produced Plymouth State's first TD on a 1-yard run with 2:00 left in the first quarter.

            Freshman Adam Long (Merrimack, N.H.) caught four passes for 46 yards. On defense, sophomore Ryan Puck (Fair Haven, N.J.) made 11 tackles, sophomore Dan Fallon (Manchester, N.H.) was in on 10 stops and senior Adam Briggs (Peabody, Mass.) intercepted two passes.

             Plymouth State hosts Norwich next Saturday, with a 1:00 kickoff.  William Paterson opens New Jersey Athletic Conference play next Saturday, Sept. 25, when it hosts Western Connecticut (1:00 p.m.).

  (Courtesy of William Paterson Sports Information)

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