Running game leads PSU Football past Salve Regina in season finale
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University used a balanced, power running game and a strong defensive effort Saturday afternoon to post a 27-7 victory over Salve Regina University in the New England Football Conference season finale for both teams at Currier Field.
Sophomore QB John DeMarco (Milford, N.H.) threw for one touchdown and rushed for 98 yards and another TD to lead the Panther offense, while junior RB Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H./Milford) rushed for 101 yards and one score. They were the primary ball carriers for PSU, which racked up a season-high 426 yards of offense, including 340 yards on the ground.
The Panther defense was dominant as well, particularly in the second half when the Seahawks had a total of minus-seven yards. Salve managed only 95 yards of offense for the game, including a total of five rushing yards.
Plymouth State completes the season with a two-game winning streak to wrap up its first year in the NEFC at 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the Boyd Division. Salve suffered its eighth straight loss and finished the season at 1-8 overall and 0-7 in the NEFC.
Salve won the field position battle in the first quarter, which led to the first score of the game. The Seahawks took over in Panther territory after a PSU punt, and on the second play, senior QB Robert Higle (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) hit classmate Gary Galvao (Mamoroneck, N.Y.) on a 33-yard touchdown pass with four seconds to go in the first quarter. Senior Andrew Monaco (Uxbridge, Mass.) kicked the extra point to put Salve up, 7-0.
The teams traded possessions in the second quarter, and PSU finally got on the board in the closing seconds. DeMarco led a 12-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with DeMarco sprinting 15 yards into the left corner of the end zone on third-and-seven with eight seconds to play in the half. Junior Brad Largy (Litchfield, N.H.) booted the extra point to make it 7-7 at the intermission.
The Panthers took over in the second half and never let up. DeMarco connected with junior WR Drew Richardson (Newburgh, Maine) on a 39-yard touchdown pass on PSU's first possession, and Mack went in from six yards out on the next possession to make it 21-7 after three quarters.
Sophomore RB Brandon Clough (Gonic, N.H./Spaulding) rounded out the scoring with an eight-yard TD run on PSU's first series of the fourth quarter, putting the game away for the hosts.
PSU finished with a 426-95 advantage in total yards, and held the ball for more than 43 minutes. Leading the Panther defense were freshman Josh Michaud (Barrington, N.H./Dover) and junior Jeff Ethier (North Attleboro, Mass.) with five tackles each, with Ethier and junior Justin Smith (Merrimack, N.H.) each collecting a sack. Senior Jimi Lampron (Rochester, N.H.) registered his first career interception.
Senior Joseph Leafe (Manchester, N.H./Central) was a bright spot for the Salve defense, making a team-high 10 tackles.
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