Panthers win battle of first-place teams
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H./Winnacunnet) scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard quarterback keeper with 8:37 remaining in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon at Currier Field as Plymouth State University pulled out a 10-3 victory over Endicott College in a battle of first-place teams in the New England Football Conference’s Boyd Division.
Brooks scored three plays after PSU sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) returned a punt 42 yards to the Endicott two-yard line. Endicott was pinned deep in its own territory after taking over at its nine-yard line with 11 minutes remaining following a botched snap on PSU’s potential game-tying field goal.
Plymouth State then sealed the win with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that took six minutes and 40 seconds off the clock and culminated with a 36-yard field goal by junior Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, Conn.) with 37 seconds remaining in the game. Endicott had a chance to tie the game on its last possession as a Hail Mary pass was batted away by a Panther defender but caught by junior Taylor Allen (Westboro, Mass.), but he was tackled at the PSU five-yard line as time expired.
The outcome was Plymouth State’s fifth straight victory and improved the Panthers to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the NEFC Boyd Division. PSU is now tied atop the division with Western New England College, which has the same record. Endicott drops to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the division.
Endicott scored its only points on a 39-yard field goal by freshman Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) with 56 seconds left in the first half. That gave the Gulls a 3-0 lead, which stood until Brooks scored the eventual game-winner midway through the fourth quarter.
The low score was indicative of the strong defense played by both teams. Plymouth State managed just 15 first downs and 256 yards of offense, while Endicott gained 12 first downs and 246 yards. Senior linebacker Steve Campbell (Northborough, Mass.) led the PSU defense with nine tackles, including a sack, while junior Kevin Eagan (West Hartford, Conn.) spearheaded the Gulls’ defense with 13 tackles, including nine solo stops.
Junior Mike Lane (Medfield, Mass.) rushed for 104 yards on 18 carries (5.8 avg.) for the Gulls.
PSU is home again next Saturday, hosting Boyd Division co-leader Western New England at Currier Field at 1:00 p.m. Endicott looks to get back on the winning track next Saturday at UMass Dartmouth (12 noon).
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