PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University ground attack was at it again Saturday in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division victory over Western New England College.
Senior Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) rushed for 197 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone to key the Panthers to a 40-20 victory over the Golden Bears in the Homecoming game at Currier Field. PSU gained all 357 yards of offense on the ground, going 0-for-5 in the passing department. Mack also went over the 3,000-yard mark for his career, the third player in school history to reach the milestone.
Plymouth State won for the third straight Saturday to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while WNEC dropped to 0-5 and 0-2.
The Panthers took a 14-0 lead in the first three minutes and 20 seconds of the game, Mack scoring on a 10-yard burst on PSU's first possession and going in from five yards out on the second possession. Sophomore Steve Campbell (Northborough, Mass.) blocked a punt for PSU late in the first quarter to set up Mack's third score, a 17-yard scamper, to give the home team a 21-0 lead.
WNEC got on the board early in the second quarter after taking over at the Panther 25-yard line after a botched punt attempt. Junior Chris Winn (Norwich, Conn.) gained 23 yards on the first play, and junior QB Justin Walz (Groton, Conn.) took it into the end zone two plays later from one yard out.
PSU answered with a 61-yard drive on its next possession, with Campbell scoring a Panther touchdown on a four-yard rush. Mack added his fourth touchdown with a minute to go in the first half, bouncing off several would-be tacklers at the line of scrimmage and going 66 yards down the sideline for the longest run of his career. That gave the home team a 34-7 advantage at the half.
Junior reserve fullback Jay Baird (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) rumbled 54 yards for a touchdown on PSU's first possession of the second half to give the Panthers a 40-7 lead.
The Golden Bears didn't give up, and went 92 yards for a score on their next possession, with Walz sneaking it in from one yard out. Walz, who completed 17-of-31 passes for 196 yards, closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 35-yard scoring strike to junior Chris Valliant (Holliston, Mass.)
PSU has outscored its opponents 70-30 over the last two weeks, although the passing game has completed just 1-of-7 passes for 12 yards.
The Panthers play their next two games on the road, beginning next Saturday at Endicott College (12:00 p.m.) while WNEC returns home to host UMass Dartmouth next Saturday (1:00 p.m.)
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