Late Mulcahy field goal seals win for Panthers
CASTLETON, Vt. – Junior Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, Conn.) kicked a 25-yard field goal with six minutes remaining Saturday afternoon to lift Plymouth State University to a 16-14 win over Castleton State College in non-conference football action at Spartan Stadium, the season opener for both schools.
Castleton grabbed a 14-13 lead with 11:55 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 70-yard touchdown reception by freshman Mike Patterson (Jackson, N.J.). Castleton quarterback Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) hooked up with Patterson down the right sideline and Patterson scampered in untouched over the final 30 yards.
The Spartans appeared poised to stop the ensuing Panther drive, but Plymouth State senior quarterback J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H.) converted a huge third-down to keep the game-winning drive going. With the ball just over midfield and the Panthers facing a third-and-twelve situation, Brooks fired a strike that hit John Creamer (Hanover, Mass.) in stride at the Castleton 16-yard line. It was Mulcahy’s turn for the big play, kicking the 25-yard field goal which proved to be the game-winner.
Castleton marched down the field on the following possession, taking the ball all the way to the Plymouth State 15. Brozowski hooked up with Patterson for an eight-yard strike, found Evan Cassidy (South Burlington, Vt.) for a 24-yard gain, and completed a pass to Andrew Cavanagh (Brattleboro, Vt.) for 10 yards, before running for nine yards in the impressively orchestrated drive. On the fifth play however, disaster struck for the Spartans as senior Zach Parsons (Florence, Mass.) forced a Castleton fumble at the 10-yard line and PSU sophomore Matt Bailey (Tewksbury, Mass.) pounced on the loose ball, ending the Spartan drive.
Plymouth State then took the ball all the way to the Spartan 18-yard line before relinquishing possession to Castleton with 41 seconds remaining. Castleton’s last-ditch effort at a desperation drive stalled at midfield as time expired.
After a scoreless first quarter, PSU got on the board on a Steve Campbell (Northborough, Mass.) touchdown run of two yards. The score was set up after Campbell blocked a Carl Ojala (Pittsford, Vt.) punt and Bailey recovered it down to the 4-yard line. Mulcahy’s extra point try was no good for the 6-0 lead.
Castleton answered with a six-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, N.Y.) touchdown run of eight yards. Luis Robitaille (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) tacked on the extra point for the 7-6 margin. Brozowski hooked up with Mick Wong (Hartford, Vt.) on a 47-yard screen pass for the big play in the drive.
Plymouth State’s vaunted ground attack provided 251 yards, including a 107-yard performance on 17 carries by sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.). Brooks added 75 yards on 17 carries, while Chris Francher (Weare, N.H.) added 47 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Brooks was also an efficient 6-for-11 for 95 yards.
Brozowski finished 20-for-34 for 267 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The first Brozowski interception came at the Plymouth State five-yard line on a fantastic play by Ray Boulay (Keene, N.H.).
Senior Brian Castellucci (Derry, N.H.) led the Panther defense with 11 tackles (two for a loss) and an interception, while Parsons added 10 and forced a fumble.
Plymouth State will open its home season next Saturday when Mount Ida comes to town for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off. Castleton will also be home in non-conference action, hosting Utica College at 1:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information)
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