Plymouth State Football falls To Western Connecticut

Panthers upended in inaugural MASCAC game

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Western Connecticut State University erupted for 35 unanswered points Saturday afternoon at Currier Field and cruised to a 35-3 win over Plymouth State University in the inaugural football game of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference for both schools.

            The Colonials, which trailed 3-0 midway through the second quarter, improve to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the MASCAC while the Panthers drop to 1-2 and 0-1.

            WCSU junior running back Octavias McKoy (Stratford, Conn.) rushed for 165 yards on 16 attempts and three touchdowns while junior quarterback Will Arndt (Sandy Hook, Conn.) connected on 21-of-29 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown.

            After a scoreless first quarter, Plymouth State struck first when junior kicker Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) nailed a 35-yard field goal early in the second stanza.  On the ensuing possession the Colonials marched 70 yards on 11 plays and took the lead for good when senior Tory Mack (Stratford, Conn.) rumbled in from 10 yards out.

            Western gave itself some breathing room just before the intermission when Arndt hit sophomore wide receiver Connor Falaguerra (Milford, Conn.) with a seven-yard scoring strike as the Colonials took a 14-3 lead into the break.

            The second half belonged to McKoy, who scored on runs of three, nine and seven yards.  McKoy's second touchdown was set up by a 28-yard reception by Falaguerra that put the ball down to the Panther nine yard line.  Falaguerra finished with a game-high 10 receptions for 120 yards and one score.

            Western Connecticut outgained PSU 444-155 in total yards and held the Panther's leading rusher Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) to just 34 rushing yards.  Foglia, a senior, came into the contest having run for 371 yards in PSU's first two games.  Freshmen Jacob Jean-Baptiste (Bridgeport, Conn.) and Brian Birdsell (Bethel, Conn.) each had eight tackles to lead the Colonial defense.

            Plymouth State got a solid effort from sophomore running back Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.), who had 46 yards on 12 attempts and sophomore defensive lineman Zack Wilkins (West Simsbury, Conn.), who registered nine tackles and two sacks.  Senior defensive back Jake Matthews (Windham, N.H.) added eight tackles and had an interception for the Panthers.

            PSU returns to action next Saturday when it travels to UMass Dartmouth.  Western Connecticut will have its home-opener next week when it hosts Framingham State.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen made the coin toss prior to the inaugural MASCAC game for both schools.

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