PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior quarterback J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H./Winnacunnet) accounted for four touchdowns Saturday afternoon, including two in the fourth quarter as Plymouth State University pulled out a 28-17 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in non-conference football action at Currier Field.
Brooks rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns while completing 5-of-10 passes for 77 yards and two scores. He led PSU to a come-from-behind victory with a nine-yard TD pass to junior John Creamer (Abington, Mass.) with 8:49 left in the fourth quarter and added an insurance score with a three-yard TD plunge with 4:33 remaining.
The Panthers (2-1) extended their home winning streak to 14 games, dating back to 2006. PSU heads into New England Football Conference Boyd Division play with a two-game winning streak, while Coast Guard enters NEFC Bogan Division contests at 0-2.
Brooks had a hand in a pair of Panther first-half touchdowns, hitting senior Alex Smith (Walpole, Mass.) on a 37-yard scoring play on PSU's first pass of the game and rushing in from one-yard out.
Freshman quarterback Jesse Karr (Milan, Mich.) led the Bears, completing 18-of-35 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Plymouth State ran the ball on its first 14 offensive plays. On the 15th play, Brooks connected with Smith for the first score of the game with 4:20 left in the opening quarter. That ended up as the only scoring in the first half.
Coast Guard got on the board early in the third quarter when Karr hit freshman Casey Paris (Point, Texas) on a 14-yard scoring pass to tie the game at 7-7. PSU went back ahead 14-7 on Brooks' first TD run of the day, a one-yarder, with six minutes to play in the third quarter, but CGA cut the margin to 14-10 on a 31-yard field goal sophomore Jacob Shackleford (Richardson, Texas) with 28 seconds left in the quarter.
The visitors took a 17-14 lead early in the fourth quarter when senior Cale Cooper (Wildomar, Calif.) made a diving catch in the end zone, giving Coast Guard the advantage and the momentum. That didn't last long, though, as PSU sophomore Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, Conn.) returned the ensuing kick-off 65 yards deep into Coast Guard territory, and two plays later Brooks hit Creamer for a TD from nine yards out to make it a 21-17 game.
Trailing by four, Coast Guard didn't quit, moving into PSU territory with almost nine minutes remaining. But junior Dan Kelly (Londonderry, N.H.) intercepted Karr to stop the Bears' drive and give the home team the ball back. PSU then sealed the win on Brooks' second rushing touchdown of the day, a play that was set up by a 34-yard run by freshman Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) down to the six-yard line.
Senior Harry Fallon (Hampton Falls, N.H.) led the Panther defense with 11 tackles, including nine solo stops. Junior Mike Hart (Stafford, Va.) topped the Coast Guard defense with 10 tackles.
PSU opens NEFC Boyd Division play next Saturday with a visit to UMass Dartmouth for a 12 noon kickoff. Coast Guard returns to Connecticut for its home opener at NEFC Bogan Division debut against Westfield State (1:30 p.m.)
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