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PSU Football to visit UMass Dartmouth

PSU Football to visit UMass Dartmouth

Panthers meet Corsairs as MASCAC foes

GAME #4:   Plymouth State University (1-2, 0-1) at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1-2, 0-1)
  Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 4:00 p.m., Cressy Field, North Dartmouth, Mass.



            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Both teams will be looking for their first conference win of the season this Saturday when the Plymouth State University football team visits the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup.

            The Panthers and Corsairs will kick off Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Cressy Field in North Dartmouth, Mass.  Plymouth State, 1-2, is looking to bounce back from a 35-3 setback to Western Connecticut State University in the MASCAC debut last Saturday at Currier Field.  UMass Dartmouth, 0-2, suffered similar fate in its MASCAC opener last Saturday at Westfield State University, falling 36-7.

            The Panther offense averaged 374 yards and 34 points in the first two games this season, but managed only 155 yards against Western Conn.  The ground game managed 143 yards, led by sophomore Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.), who rushed for 46 yards off the bench.  The strong WCSU defense limited senior Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.), who entered the game as the league's leading rusher, to 34 yards.  Junior K Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) provided the offensive highlight with a 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter; Giles is perfect on three field goal attempts this season.

            UMass Dartmouth dropped its season opener to Mount Ida College, 21-20, on Sept. 6 in the first night game at UMD's Cressy Field.  The Corsairs have averaged just 179 yards of offense in their first two games.  The Corsair offense was limited to 201 total net yards in last Saturday's loss to Westfield. Quarterback Cullen Hanna completed 10 of 17 passes for 118 yards and rushed for 31 yards on seven carries.  UMD finished with a .500 season (5-5) two years ago but slipped with 1-9 last season with its only win coming over Plymouth State.

            Saturday will be the 15th career meeting on the gridiron between PSU and UMD, with the Panthers holding a 9-5 lead in the all-time series. The two teams have faced each other the past seven years as members of the New England Football Conference. UMass Dartmouth has won the last two encounters (16-0 in Plymouth in 2011 and 23-21 last year at UMD) after PSU had taken six in a row.  The last Panther win was a 33-9 decision at Cressy Field in 2010. PSU is playing at UMD in consecutive years due to the move from the NEFC to the MASCAC. 

MASCAC LEADERS:  Senior RB Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) leads the MASCAC with five rushing touchdowns and ranks second with 135 rushing yards per game; Senior DB Jake Matthews (WIndham, N.H.) is tied for second with 25 total tackles and tied for third with three passes defended; Freshman DB Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H./West) is tied to the league lead with four passes broken up; Sophomore DL Zack Wilkins (West Simsbury, Conn.) is tied for third with three sacks; Junior K Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) tops the MASCAC kickers with 17 points on 3-of-3 field goals and 8-of-9 PAT kicks; Sophomore Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.) ranks fifth in kickoff return average (22.8 yds/return). 

MASCAC HONORS:  The Panthers received weekly honors from the MASCAC after their first two games of the season. Here are the Panthers to receive weekly honors in 2013:

Sept. 9   K Rob Giles (MASCAC Special Teams Player/Week); DB Zach Ziemba (MASCAC
  Rookie/Week); RB Andrew Foglia (MASCAC Honor Roll)
Sept. 16   Andrew Foglia (MASCAC Off. Player/Week); K Rob Giles (MASCAC Honor Roll)

NEW ENGLAND POLL:  Springfield (3-0) received 12 of the 21 first-place votes and topped this week's New England Division III football poll. Trinity (1-0) got six top votes and ranks second while Framingham State (2-1) received two first-place votes and stands third.  Middlebury (1-0) and MIT (2-0) fill out the 4-5 slots, while the bottom half of the poll includes Western Connecticut (2-0), Amherst (1-0), Bridgewater State (2-1), Salve Regina (1-1) and Wesleyan (1-0).

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 or by emailing psu-friends-of-football@plymouth.edu

MASCAC FOOTBALL:  The 2013 season marks the beginning of football in the MASCAC.  The conference includes 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 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 will play their next two games at home, with a week off in between.  PSU will meet Westfield State at Currier Field on Oct. 5 for the Homecoming game, followed with a bye week on Oct. 12 and a home game against Bridgewater State on Oct. 19.  The Panthers will play three of their final four on the road.

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