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Plymouth State Football pays visit to Mount Ida

Plymouth State Football pays visit to Mount Ida

Panthers battle Mustangs in non-conference affair

GAME #2:     Plymouth State University (0-1) at Mount Ida College (1-0)
  Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 1:00 p.m., Alumni Field, Newton, Mass.



            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team makes its first road trip of the season this Saturday, visiting Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass., for a non-conference matchup.

            The Panthers and Mustangs will kick off Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the Mount Ida's Alumni Field.  PSU will be looking for its first win of the year after a tough 35-31 setback to Castleton State College last Saturday in the season opener at Currier Field. Mount Ida is coming off a 21-20 come-from-behind victory at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth last Friday night in its season debut.

            PSU bounced back from a 14-0 deficit against Castleton with 28 unanswered points.  The Panthers offense controlled the football for nearly 45 minutes of the game and gained 451 total yards, 257on the ground and 194 through the air.

            Senior RB Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers, his eighth career 100-yard rushing game.  Senior QB Jake Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) completed 12 of 16 passes for 194 yards. Freshman DB Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H./West) highlighted the defensive effort with four tackles and three passes defended against the high-powered Castleton passing offense. Junior K Rob Giles (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) converted an onside kick to set up a first-quarter touchdown and booted a fourth-quarter field goal that broke a 28-all tie.

            Mount Ida scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to erase a 12-0 deficit and defeat UMass Dartmouth 21-20. Junior QB Jawad Yatim threw for 135 yards and also rushed for 47 yards for the Mustangs, including both second-half touchdowns. Junior DB Jovan Wilkins was the standout of a strong effort by the Mount Ida defensive unit, intercepting two passes, forcing a fumble, and leading the squad with seven tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of yardage.  Mount Ida is coming off an 8-3 season that included a shared of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) championship and a berth in the Division III NCAA Tournament. 

            Saturday will be the 12th career meeting between PSU and Mount Ida, and the Panthers have a 6-5 lead in the all-time series. The teams have alternated victories over the last nine years; Mount Ida has won in the even-numbered years (28-14 in 2004, 19-14 in 2006, 24-7 in 2008, 41-16 in 2010, and 22-12 in 2012), 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 Mustangs outscored PSU 15-0 in the second half to take last year's game, 22-12. 

MASCAC HONORS:  Three Panthers received weekly honors from the MASCAC after their performances against Castleton -- junior K Rob Giles (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) was named Special Teams Player of the Week; freshman DB Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H./West) was selected Rookie of the Week; and senior RB Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) was on the Weekly Honor Roll.  They are the first Panthers to receive MASCAC weekly honors this season. 

CO-CAPTAINS:  The Panthers have elected four captains who will lead the team in 2013, seniors Xander Fuccillo (East Falmouth, Mass.), Zac Iovanella North Andover, Mass.), Jake Matthews Windham, N.H./Salem), and Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I./Ponaganset). 

COACHING STAFF:  Head coach Paul Castonia has four assistants returning from last year – Devin Zeman (Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs), Lou Desloges (Defensive Line), Eric McCarthy (Quarterback), and Zach Parsons (Defensive Backs).  The new members of the staff include and Dustin Matthews (Running Backs), Tom Manley (Offensive Line) and Bill Lawrence (Linebackers). 

MASCAC FOOTBALL:  The 2013 season marks the beginning of football in the MASCAC.  The conference will include six core MASCAC institutions (Bridgewater, Framingham, Fitchburg, Mass. Maritime, Westfield, Worcester) along with Plymouth State, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut State University.  The teams will play a round-robin schedule, and after the mandatory three-year wait, the champion will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III championship tournament. 

PSU FRIENDS TO CELEBRATE 1983 PANTHERS:  The Plymouth State Friends of Football are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the 1983 Football Panthers, who captured the first ever Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III title.  The celebration is planned for Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, as PSU hosts Westfield State with several events throughout the day.  More information is available on the PSU Friends of Football Facebook page (www.facebook.com/friendsofplymouthstatefootball) or by emailing psu-friends-of-football@plymouth.edu

PSU FOOTBALL HISTORY:  PSU entered the 2013 campaign with the 18th-highest career winning percentage (.627) 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 before departing for the MASCAC after last season. 

A LOOK AHEAD:  The Panthers return home for next's Saturday's inaugural MASCAC contest when they host Western Connecticut State University at Currier Field.  It will be the first of eight conference games over the next nine weeks, with a bye week on Oct. 12.  It will also be the first meeting against Western Connecticut since 2005, as PSU was playing in the NEFC and Western Connecticut was a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

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