Panthers look for home-field advantage vs. Mustangs
|Game #3||Mount Ida College (1-0) at Plymouth State University (0-1)|
|Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 1:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.|
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The 43rd home opener for Plymouth State University Football takes place this Saturday as the Panthers host the Mustangs of Mount Ida College in a non-conference affair.
The Panthers and Mustangs will kick off Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Currier Field. PSU is looking for its first win of the season after dropping its opener at Castleton State College last Saturday, 35-7. The Mustangs are riding high in the saddle after defeating the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth a week ago in their home opener, 24-21, a late 47-yard field goal clinching a successful debut at their new turf stadium.
PSU is looking to bounce back from the setback at Castleton. The Panther offense gained 267 of its 300 yards on the ground, but five turnovers hindered the attack. Senior running back Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) provided some spark to the offense, rushing for 96 yards on 20 carries and scoring the team's lone touchdown. PSU had just five returning starters on offense and five on defense in last Saturday's starting line-up. The team is looking to improve on last year's 4-6 record after posting four straight winning seasons from 2007-10.
Mount Ida is off to a strong start, winning its season opener for the first time since starting the football program in 1999. Star quarterback Scott Drosendahl threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for another. UMD tied the game at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter but Bobby Hemmann booted the winning field goal for Mount Ida with 1:39 to play. The Mustangs compete in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and have finished with 6-5 records the past two seasons after defeats to Springfield and Endicott in ECAC playoff games.
Saturday will be the 11th career meeting between PSU and Mount Ida, and the Panthers have a 6-4 lead in the all-time series. The teams have alternated victories over the last eight years; Mount Ida won in the even-numbered years (28-14 in 2004, 19-14 in 2006, 24-7 in 2008, and 41-16 in 2010), and PSU won in the odd-numbered years (31-20 in 2005, 41-30 in 2007, 34-16 in 2009, and 19-13 in 2011). The last time the teams played in Plymouth (2010), the Mustangs snapped PSU's 17-game home winning streak.
PANTHERS AT CURRIER FIELD: PSU had a 17-game unbeaten streak at Currier Field from 2006-09, including 6-0 in '09, but has gone 2-3 at home each of the past two seasons. Plymouth State is 26-9 at home since 2005 and has an all-time home record of 145-60-3 for a .704 winning percentage.
CO-CAPTAINS: PSU has four co-captains who will lead the team this season – DB Ray Boulay (Keene, N.H./Keene), DL Matt Fiore (Merrimac, Mass./Pentucket Regional), DL Wyatt Huston (North Scituate, R.I./Ponaganset) and graduate student Dustin Matthews (Elliot, Maine/Marshwood).
COACHING STAFF: Head coach Paul Castonia (Trinity '86) is in his 10th season in charge of the Panthers, with a PSU coaching record of 46-45. He has five assistants returning from last year – Devin Zeman (Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers), Lou Desloges (Running Backs), Tom Pabst (Offensive Line), Eric McCarthy (Receivers), and Tom Bolio (Tight Ends), and new members of the staff include Zach Parsons (Defensive Backs) and Bob Johnson (Defensive Line).
PSU FOOTBALL HISTORY: PSU entered the 2012 campaign with the 14th-highest career winning percentage (.637) among NCAA Division III football programs. Plymouth State was a member of the NEFC from 1971-91, winning or sharing nine titles in those 21 seasons. The Panthers won or shared eight straight NEFC championships from 1981-88, led by former Heisman Trophy candidate and Sports Illustrated cover man Joe Dudek. PSU was also a member of the now-defunct Freedom Football Conference from 1992-2003, winning FFC Championships in 1994, 1995 and 2001. PSU rejoined the NEFC in 2006 and won its 10th NEFC title in 2008. PSU is playing its final season in the NEFC and will join the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) for football in 2013.
A LOOK AHEAD: Next week is crossover week in the New England Football Conference, with each Boyd Division team facing a Bogan Division counterpart; the Panthers will travel to Maine Maritime. Then its Boyd Division foes the rest of the way, beginning with a visit to UMass Dartmouth on Sept. 22.
-- 30 –