PLYMOUTH, N.H. - It was another Mack Attack Saturday afternoon at Currier Field.
Senior Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) rushed for a career-high 218 yards and a touchdown as Plymouth State University ran past the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 30-10, in the New England Football Conference Boyd Division opener for both schools.
Plymouth State (3-1 overall) ran the ball on 70 of its 72 plays from scrimmage, gaining 415 of its 427 yards. Senior quarterback John DeMarco (Milford, N.H.) ran for 97 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon as the Panthers won their ninth straight home game. Mack's performance is the most since he ran for 207 yards against Salve Regina in the regular season finale last year. PSU has run the ball on 130 of 139 offensive plays in its last two games.
UMD (2-2), which was averaging 337 yards per game on the ground, was held to 75 yards rushing by the Panther defense. Senior J.T. Harold (North Andover, Mass.), who has over 3,000 rushing yards in his career and was averaging 189 yards per game, was held to 54 yards on 18 carries.
The Panthers went 74 yards on seven rushing plays on their first possession, and Mack went into the end zone from nine yards out to give the home team an early 7-0 lead. The Corsairs took advantage of a PSU fumble inside its own 20-yard line as junior George Vasiliadis (Worcester, Mass.) booted a 35-yard field goal to make it 7-3 after one quarter.
Both teams put together lengthy drives in the second quarter but came up empty. UMD went 67 yards on 12 plays but the drive ended on downs at the Panther 13-yard line. PSU went 67 yards on five plays but fumbled inside the Corsair 10, and it was still 7-3 at the half.
PSU started to pull away with a pair of long drives in the third quarter, beginning with a 16-play, 97-yard scoring drive, with all 16 plays coming on the ground. DeMarco converted a fourth-and-one play to key the drive, and Mack added a 24-yard burst down to the UMD 22-yard line (photo above). Two plays later, DeMarco broke into the clear from 21 yards, scoring his second TD of the day. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving PSU with a 13-3 advantage after three quarters.
The next Panther possession was an 11-play, 87-yard drive, culminating in DeMarco's third score of the day from one yard out. Mack had a pair of runs of 14 and 16 yards in the drive, and senior Brandon Clough (Rochester, N.H.) gained 10 yards down to the one-yard line to set up the score.
UMD did not give up, though, as senior quarterback Alex Garro (Mattapoisett, Mass.) connected with senior John Henry (Tenafly, N.J.) on a 65-yard pass completion on the Corsairs' next play from scrimmage. Garro then hit senior Aaron Russo (Johnston, R.I.) with a six-yard TD pass to pull the Corsairs to within 10 points, 20-10.
It was PSU the rest of the way, with graduate student Chris Dopp (Epsom, N.H.) kicking a 26-yard field goal and DeMarco adding his third TD of the day. PSU's final score was set up by a 24-yard interception return by senior Brian Keenan (Hampstead, N.H.).
PSU finished with a 427-280 yard advantage in total yards had a 12-minute margin in time of possession.
Sophomore Zach Parsons (Florence, Mass.) led the PSU defense with seven tackles and his third interception of the season. Sophomore Matt MacLean (Abington, Mass.) made six tackles, including a sack.
Senior Matt Lamoureux (Salem, Conn.) anchored the UMD defense with 13 tackles, while sophomore Ross O'Toole (Weymouth, Mass.) and senior Rich Braley (Wareham, Mass.) made 11 stops apiece.
PSU plays another NEFC Boyd Division clash next Saturday at Currier Field against Western New England College. UMass Dartmouth returns home to host MIT in a divisional game.
(Photo and Video Courtesy of Kevin Gray, N.H. Union Leader)
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