Second-half burst lifts WNE past PSU Football

Panthers' offense can't get going against WNE

             PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Western New England University scored 20 unanswered points in the second half Saturday and held off Plymouth State University's upset bid en route to a 23-3 win in New England Football Conference Boyd Division action at Currier Field. 

            The Golden Bears, which were tied 3-3 at halftime with PSU, improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the NEFC while the Panthers dropped to 2-6 and 1-4.

            Western New England's Tucker Schumitz (Milford, Conn.) scored the game-deciding touchdown late in the third quarter.  The Golden Bears, facing a third down and seven from the Panther 33-yard line, executed a double reverse play when quarterback John Krafick (New Milford, Conn.) handed off to running back Kevin Cook (Hamburg, N.J.), who was going to his right.  Cook then gave Schumitz the ball on the reverse and he went down the left sideline 33 yards, breaking two tackles at the five-yard line, for the first touchdown of the game.  Nick Fox-Edele (Springfield, Mass.) added the extra point for the 10-3 advantage.

            WNE tacked on two more touchdowns in the final quarter.  Cook rumbled in from 28 yards out with just over eight minutes to play to give the visitors a 16-3 lead and four minutes later Schumitz trotted in from 22 yards out.  Schumitz's second touchdown run was set up by a Corey Brown (Worcester, Mass.) interception.  Fox-Edele's second extra-point accounted for the game's final score.

            The Golden Bears went 63 yards on the game's opening drive to the PSU six-yard line but had to settle for a Fox-Edele 24-yard field goal. 

            The score held up until late in the second quarter when Panther kicker Nick Cavallo (Salem, N.H.) tied the game with a 24-yarder of his own.  PSU's first points of the contest were set up when running back Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) completed a 31-yard halfback option pass to Zac Iovanella (North Andover, Mass.), giving the Panthers the ball on the WNE 23 yard line.

            Plymouth State had eight possessions in the second half but was forced to punt on five of those opportunities.  Western New England outgained the Panthers 358-159 in total offensive yards, including 190-69 in the air.

            Schumitz had a terrific all-around game for the Golden Bears finishing with 55 yards on just three carries (18.3 avg.) to go along with his two touchdowns.  He also hauled in five passes for 77 yards.

            PSU defenders Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.), Chris Smith (Merrimack, N.H.) and Matt Fiore (Merrimack, Mass.) did all they could to keep the Golden Bears' offense in check, registering 11, nine and eight tackles respectively.

            Plymouth State returns to action next week when it travels to Newport, Rhode Island for a game against NEFC foe Salve Regina.  Western New England is also on the road next Saturday, playing at Endicott.

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