Last minute Panther rally falls short
NEWTON, Mass. – Senior tailback Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) erupted for 220 total yards, including 199 on the ground, and four touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University football team over Mount Ida College at Alumni Field.
Foglia carried the ball 26 times and also caught a 21-yard pass for a touchdown. Foglia accounted for the bulk of a Plymouth State running attack that rolled up 271 yards of the Panthers' 299 yards of total offense. The Panthers even their record at 1-1, while the Mustangs drop to 1-1 as well.
Senior Jake Matthews (Windham, N.H.) returned a punt 38 yards to the Mount Ida 21-yard line to set up Foglia's only reception to give Plymouth State a 19-7 lead, prior to the extra point, with just 1:28 left to play in the first half. The Panthers looked primed to take a 13-point advantage into the second half, before junior transfer quarterback Jawad Yatim (Shrewsbury, Mass.) connected in the back of the end zone with senior receiver Jordan Hyman (Middletown, Conn.) for a 35-yard scoring strike as the half expired. The extra point failed as Plymouth owned a 20-13 margin going into the intermission.
The Mount Ida defense put the Mustangs in position to tie the game midway through the third quarter when senior linebacker Ned Cassidy (Brockton, Mass.) recovered a Panther fumble on the Plymouth 23. Three rushes for 22 yards by sophomore running back Melquan Pinkney (Springfield, Mass.) set up a one-yard scoring keep for Yatim, before freshman kicker Nick Muccia (Jefferson, N.J.) converted the point after to knot the score at 20-20 with 6:27 to play in the quarter.
PSU answered when the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs in their own territory at the 38. Two Foglia carries for 20 yards put junior fullback Mark Hennessy (Westford, Mass.) in position for a four-yard touchdown push and a 27-20 lead at the 1:26 mark of the third period. Mount Ida countered early in the fourth quarter with a 67-yard drive that was highlighted by a 55-yard scoring strike from Yatim to Hyman to pull the home team within a point, but a failed extra point kept the Panthers ahead 27-26 with 11:11 remaining in the game.
The Panthers came right back with a 48-yard drive, including a 33-yard run by sophomore tailback Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.), that resulted in a 42-yard field goal off the foot of junior kicker Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) to increase the Panthers' lead to 30-26 with 6:53 left on the fourth-quarter clock. The Mustangs were unable to answer when senior linebacker Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) recovered a fumble for Plymouth to give the visitors the ball on Mount Ida's 32-yard line. Foglia put six more points on the board for the Panthers with five rushes for 27 yards, including a 15-yard TD run at 2:13. Giles put the extra point through and Plymouth owned a 37-26 cushion.
The Panthers got on the board first when Foglia capped a 45-yard opening quarter drive with a 34-yard touchdown run to give them a 6-0 lead with 7:38 showing in the period. The Mustangs responded by marching 80 yards on 16 plays, including five completions for 51 yards by Yatim. Yatim's six-yard completion to senior tight end Mike Babich (Franklin Square, NY) pulled Mount Ida even before Muccia gave it the one-point edge just eight seconds into the second quarter. Plymouth State reclaimed the lead with 6:25 to go in the quarter when Foglia rushed for six of his 45 yards during the drive to get into the end zone. Giles' kick was good for a 13-7 cushion.
The Panthers' defense was led by Leonard and Matthews, who each racked up 9 ½ tackles on the day.
Yatim finished the day going 21-31 for 255 passing yards and three touchdowns to lead the Mustangs. Hyman was on the other end of eight of those passes for 159 yards and two scores.
Both teams are back in action next Saturday at 1:00 p.m., as Mount Ida hosts Springfield College while Plymouth State hosts Western Connecticut State University in the inaugural Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at Currier Field.
(Courtesy of Mount Ida Sports Information)
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