NEWPORT, R.I. - Senior Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H./Milford) ran for a career-high 207 yards and two touchdowns Sunday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University to a 21-0 victory over Salve Regina University in the New England Football Conference Boyd Division finale for both teams.
Plymouth State used its strong ground attack to control the game, rushing 75 times for 336 yards and gaining 478 yards overall on 84 plays. PSU controlled the clock for nearly 42 minutes of the game. The Panther defense recorded its second straight shutout and third in four weeks, limiting the Seahawks to 155 yards on 49 plays.
The Panthers wrap up the regular season at 8-1 overall and in second place in the NEFC Boyd Division with a 6-1 mark. It's the most wins in a season for the Panthers since the 1999 team finished 8-3 overall. Salve ends its season at 2-7 overall and 1-6 in the division. Plymouth State is in outstanding position to receive an ECAC play-off invitation, its first since 1999, but must wait until Monday, Nov. 12, for the announcement.
Mack, whose previous single-game high was 190 yards last week against MIT, went over the 1,000 yard mark for the season, the ninth back in school history to reach the milestone. He now has 1,171 yards on 213 carries (5.5 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. Mack, who has a year of eligibility remaining, also improved his career totals to 1,983 yards on 397 carries (5.0 avg.) and 21 TDs, which ranks sixth on PSU's career rushing list.
Mack scored both of his touchdowns in the final 5:04 of the second quarter to help break open a close game. After his two-yard plunge gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 5:18 on the second-quarter clock, Plymouth State's defense held the Seahawks to a three-and-out series. Quarterback John DeMarco (Milford, N.H./Milford) led the Panthers on a six-play, 87-yard drive in which he hit tight end Adam Long (Plymouth, Mass.) with a 27-yard pass, followed by a 40-yard strike to wide receiver Drew Richardson (Newburgh, Maine). The two long pass plays set up Mack's second score, a three-yard run with just 56 seconds left in the half.
DeMarco - who finished the game 6-for-9 for 142 yards - hit Richardson for a 29-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Richardson led the Panthers with four catches for 95 yards.
Senior Jeff Ethier (North Attleboro, Mass.) led the Panther defense with six tackles, while junior Mike Chartrand (Ashburnham, Mass.) made five stops.
Salve Regina senior captain John DeMartino (North Haven, Conn.) recorded a game-high 17 tackles, including 12 solo stops. He also had two sacks. Punter Matt Capone (Barrington, R.I.) had 10 punts for 312 yards, setting school single-season records for both punts (58) and punt yardage (2,121).
(Courtesy of Salve Regina Sports Information)
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