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September 10, 2008

Plymouth State Football to visit Mount Ida

GAME #2:         Plymouth State University (1-0) at Mount Ida College (0-1)

                          Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, 1:00 p.m., Mustang Athletic Stadium, Newton, Mass. 

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University football team will look to keep the momentum going this Saturday when the Panthers travel to Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass., for a non-conference encounter.

            The Panthers and Mustangs are set to kick off at 1:00 p.m. at Mustang Athletic Stadium. It will be PSU's last non-conference game before playing eight straight New England Football Conference contests. Mount Ida is in its 10th season as an independent after beginning its football program in 1999.

            The Panthers opened the season with a 36-28 victory over Saint Anselm College last Saturday at Currier Field.  PSU led 14-0 eight minutes into the game and never trailed but had to hold off a Saint Anselm comeback.  It was Plymouth State's eighth straight home win, and 12th win in the last 13 outings overall dating back to 2006. Senior RB Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, while senior QB John DeMarco (Milford, N.H.) rushed for a pair of TDs and threw for another, a 31-yard strike to sophomore WR John Creamer (Abington, Mass.)

            Mount Ida suffered a 34-28 setback in its season opener last Saturday, spoiling the head coaching debut of Michael Landers.  The Mustangs led 20-13 at halftime before Norwich rallied with three third-quarter touchdowns.  Junior Kyle Watkins had a record-breaking afternoon, breaking Mount Ida career standards for receiving yards (1,569) and touchdown receptions (13). The Hawks finished with a 3-7 overall record last year after going 5-4 in 2006.

            This Saturday's affair will be the seventh career meeting between Plymouth State and Mount Ida, with PSU winning four of the first six encounters.  The Panthers coasted to easy victories in 2000 (47-8) and 2001 (43-13), and the teams have split the games over the last four years, with the home team winning each time.  PSU captured last year's contest in Plymouth, the season opener for both schools, 41-30, and Mount Ida took the season debut in 2005 in Newton, 19-14.

            Plymouth State will make another road trip next week, visiting the US Coast Guard Academy in the NEFC cross-over game.  PSU defeated the Bogan Division champs in last year's meeting, 38-19.

              NEFC HONORS:  Senior RB Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) and sophomore DL Matt MacLean (Abington, Mass.) are PSU's representatives on this week's NEFC Weekly Honor Roll  following the team's season-opening win over Saint Anselm. Mack rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, finishing three yards short of his career best, while MacLean finished with a team-high nine tackles in his first career start, including six solo stops and one fourth-quarter sack.

              NEFC ROUND-UP:  After all 16 schools play non-conference games this week, the eight Bogan Division programs will meet the eight Boyd Division teams next week in the cross-over games.  The outcomes will not be reflected in the divisional standings, but could be used for tiebreaker purposes at the end of the season.  After the seven-game divisional slate, which begins on Sept. 27, the NEFC concludes the regular season with a championship game between the first-place teams from each divisions, this year on Nov. 15.  The winner of that game receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. 

              PSU FOOTBALL HISTORY:  After beginning its football program in 1970, Plymouth State was a member of the NEFC from 1971-91, winning or sharing nine titles in those 21 seasons.  The Panthers won or shared eight straight NEFC championships from 1981-88.  PSU has the 12th-highest career winning percentage (.636) among all NCAA Division III football programs.

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