NEW LONDON, Conn. -Senior running back Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown while senior quarterback John DeMarco (Milford, N.H.) threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score Saturday afternoon, leading Plymouth State to a 26-7 win over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) cross division game at Cadet Memorial Field.
Coast Guard loses its second straight regular season game for the first time since 2005 and the Bears begin the season 0-2 for the first time since 2001. PSU got back on the winning track, improving to 2-1 on the season.
DeMarco's two-yard touchdown with 1:39 left in the first quarter capped a 13-play, 64-yard drive giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead. DeMarco (2-of-7, 52 yards) threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to sophomore J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H.) with 5:01 left in the first half, the extra point was no good, and the Panthers took a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Coast Guard got back in the game on a one-yard run by senior quarterback Niles Pierson with 8:25 left in the third quarter. The score was setup on sophomore Chris Costello's first career interception, which gave the Bears the ball at the Plymouth State 41-yard line.
On its next possession, Coast Guard tried a trick play when junior running back Steve Arguelles' halfback option pass was intercepted by PSU sophomore Kevin Whalen (Wallingford, Conn.), who returned it 30 yards to the Coast Guard 43. After Mack scored on a six-yard run 12 plays later, his two-point attempt was no good and the Panthers led 19-7 with 13:12 left in the game.
The Panthers closed the scoring on a 15-yard touchdown run by sophomore Steve Campbell (Northborough, Mass.) with 6:18 left.
Plymouth State, which dominated time of possession (36:58 to 23:02) finished with 297 yards, 245 of those on the ground as the Panthers ran the ball on 60 of their 67 offensive plays.
Whalen led the Panthers with 10 tackles, all solo stops. Sophomore linebacker Kyle Ennis led Coast Guard with 13 tackles, eight solo while senior linebacker Brian Yurovich had 12 tackles, nine solo.
PSU returns home for the NEFC Boyd Division opener next Saturday at Currier Field against UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.) Coast Guard begins Bogan Division play next Saturday at Westfield State (1:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Coast Guard Sports Information)
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