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Football drops home opener to Mount Ida

Foglia, Fiore top Panther effort in setback

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior quarterback Scott Drosendahl (East Aurora, N.Y.) completed 11-of-13 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown while also running for two scores Saturday afternoon to lift Mount Ida College to a 22-12 victory over Plymouth State University in non-conference football action at Currier Field.

            Drosendahl's first rushing touchdown came early in the third quarter following a Panther turnover in its own territory, giving the Mustangs their first lead of the day, 15-12.  The second and final score came in the final two minutes of the game after the Mustangs intercepted a Panther pass inside the Plymouth State five-yard line, ending PSU's comeback attempt.

            PSU and Mount Ida have alternated winning the past nine years in their head-to-head matchup.  Mount Ida is 2-0 for the first time since starting football in 1999, while PSU is 0-2 for the first time since 2006.

            The game featured solid running backs for both teams.  PSU senior Andrew Foglia (Montank, N.Y.) gained 118 yards on 16 carries (7.4 avg.), while Mount Ida Chris McNally (Bourne, Mass.) rushed for 92 yards on 21 carries (4.4 avg.)

            Senior defensive end Matt Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) had an outstanding game for PSU, making 13 tackles and two sacks.  Senior Azim Carter (East Hartford, Conn.) led the Mustangs with 12 stops.

            Plymouth State took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, culminating in a 36-yard field goal by senior Nick Cavallo (Salem, N.H.)  The Panthers extended the margin on their next possession in the second quarter when graduate student Dustin Matthews (Eliot, Maine) rumbled into the end zone from 15 yards out.  Cavallo missed the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 9-0.

            Mount Ida produced their first score on the first play of the next possession with a 71-yard touchdown bomb from Drosendahl to Jordan Hyman (Middletown, Conn.), cutting the margin to 9-7.  Hyman finished the afternoon with four catches for 101 yards.

            PSU answered Mount Ida's long bomb on first down with one of their own, as junior QB Jake Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) hit Cavallo on a 47-yard completion before Quan Lovett (Yarmouth, Mass.) made a touchdown-saving tackle.  Cavallo eventually booted his second field goal of the day, a 33-yarder with five minutes remaining, and PSU took a 12-7 lead into the break.

            The Mustangs recovered a Panther fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.  After McNally gained 30 yards on a pair of running plays, Drosendahl carried it in from 12 yards out to put Mount Ida ahead, 13-12, and senior Matt Valentini (lake Hopatcong, N.J.) ran the ball in for the two-point conversion and a 15-12 score.

            Mount Ida had a chance to extend its lead in the fourth quarter but missed a 36-yard field goal.  After PSU was forced to punt, the Mustangs held the ball for more than seven minutes on a 10-play drive, and then downed a punt at the Panther five yard line with less than two minutes to play.  Junior Jon Proto (North Haven, Conn.) picked off a PSU pass on the next play, setting up Drosendahl's final score, which clinched the game for the visitors.

            Plymouth State plays a New England Football Conference crossover game next Saturday at Maine Maritime (12 noon).  Mount Ida travels to Springfield for a 12 noon kickoff.           

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