GAME #3: U.S. Coast Guard Academy (0-1) at Plymouth State University (1-1)
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009, 1:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University football team plays its second straight home game this Saturday, hosting the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New England Football Conference action at Currier Field.
The Panthers and Bears will kick off at 1:00 p.m. in Plymouth. It's crossover day in the NEFC as the eight Bogan Division teams face their Boyd Division counterparts to kick off the NEFC campaign. The results will not count toward each team's conference record, but could be used in tiebreaker situations after the season. The Boyd Division schools won five of the eight games on crossover day last year, including Plymouth State beating Coast Guard, 26-7.
Plymouth State got on the board in the win column last Saturday and evened its record at 1-1, defeating Mount Ida College in the home opener at Currier Field, 34-16. Junior quarterback J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H./WInnacunnet) completed 8-of-9 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for two TDs as well. Junior Steve Campbell (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin) ran for 130 yards on 20 carries, and sophomore Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, Conn./St. Bernards) returned a kick-off 82 yards for a touchdown and then kicked his own extra point.
Coast Guard dropped its season opener last Saturday on Long Island in the battle for the annual Secretaries Cup against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point), 33-27 in double overtime. Junior QB Jesse Karr threw for 338 yards and three scores in his collegiate debut for Coast Guard, including an 18-yard scoring pass (and his own two-point conversion) with 1:29 left in regulation to tie the game. Senior Steve Arguelles rushed for 100 yards while also leading the Bears with nine receptions, and classmate Cale Cooper had five catches for a career-high 125 yards and a touchdown.
Plymouth State has won the last two meetings against Coast Guard and now leads the career series by a 10-6 count. The first matchup was in 1988, when the Bears defeated the Panthers, 28-19, in the ECAC North Championship. PSU won eight of 12 meetings between 1992 and 2003 when both schools were members of the now-defunct Freedom Football Conference. PSU has won the past two encounters, 38-18 in Plymouth in 2007 and 26-7 last year in New London, Conn. Coast Guard's last win was a 35-7 home victory in 2006.
WORKING OVERTIME: Both teams went into overtime in their season opener this season, and each came out on the short end of a dramatic game. PSU and Saint Anselm played five extra periods two weeks ago, the first overtime contest in Plymouth State history and tied for second longest in NCAA history, and the Hawks pulled it out in the fifth OT. Coast Guard and Kings Point needed only two extra sessions last Saturday to decide the outcome. It was the longest game in Coast Guard history; the Bears had previously played three single overtime contests.
PSU AT CURRIER FIELD: The Panthers bring a 13-game home winning streak into Saturday's game, dating back to the 2006 season. PSU was 5-0 at home last year and 6-0 in 2007, the eighth and ninth unbeaten home records in school history. Plymouth State has an all-time home record of 137-54-3 for a .714 winning percentage. PSU is 18-3 at home since 2005.
A LOOK AHEAD: The NEFC begins its regular season seven-game divisional schedule next Saturday, and Plymouth State will start its slate at UMass Dartmouth while Coast Guard returns home to host Westfield State. The Panthers will also visit Western New England College the first weekend in October before returning home to host Endicott on Oct. 10.
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