Panther Football holds off UMass Dartmouth
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Kynan Mello (Beverly, Mass.) turned in a terrific defensive performance Saturday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University's football team to a 14-7 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the home opener at Currier Field.
Mello collected three interceptions, broke up three other passes, made four tackles and caused a fumble to lead the Panther defense. Junior Dan Fallon (Manchester, N.H./Central) also contributed eight unassisted tackles, an interception and a pass break-up as the Panther defense held its opponent to its lowest point total since a 9-7 win over Springfield in 2001.
"Our defense has been solid (since last year), the scores just haven't shown it," said PSU coach Paul Castonia. "Today is the type of game we have to play. We knew their defense was solid, so it was good to get that early score."
Junior QB Tye Seastedt (Danville, N.H.) paced the Panther offense, completing 10-of-20 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown, a 32-yarder to sophomore WR Brad Largy (Litchfield, N.H.) in the first quarter that gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Seastedt also ran for 33 yards and a touchdown, a 14-yard burst early in the fourth quarter that put PSU up 14-0.
"Largy is making plays for us," said Castonia. "He's becoming a terrific football player, and Seastedt is a scrambler, and that helped us get that first score."
UMD freshman quarterback Kraig Mello (Dartmouth, Mass.) came off the bench in the fourth quarter to toss a 24-yard TD pass to freshman Mike Crusco (Wakefield, Mass.) with 3:54 remaining, but the Panther defense held the rest of the way, with Fallon clinching the win with an interception.
"This is a huge win, because they're in the conference we're going into next year," said Castonia. "The kids have worked hard since day one, and we still have a lot to work on but we'll take the win."
Plymouth State had a slight margin in total yards, 294-277, and time of possession, 31:26 to 28:21.
PSU, 1-1, is home again next Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. kickoff against William Paterson University (N.J.). The Corsairs, 0-2, return home to host Bridgewater State next Saturday (12:00 p.m.)
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