Owls post first win over Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior quarterback Tim Rich (Chelmsford, Mass.) completed 11-of-13 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown Saturday afternoon, leading Westfield State University to a 31-0 win over Plymouth State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football action at Currier Field.
WSU's defense held the Panthers to 105 yards of total offense, including just 41 yards on the ground. The Owls, winners of three straight, improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MASCAC. PSU drops to 1-4 and 0-3. It was also Westfield's first win over Plymouth State in 11 career meetings.
Westfield State opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when junior Michael Mercadante (Wilbraham, Mass.) powered in from a yard out. That touchdown was set up by a 36-yard pass completion by Rich to senior wide receiver Kane Terilli (Cranston, R.I.) that put the ball on the Panther one-yard line.
Following a 21-yard field goal by Michael Orellana (Springfield, Mass.), the Panthers seemed to have life late in the second stanza on what appeared to be a completed pass on the Westfield 30-yard line. However, as the Panther receiver fell down, WSU senior defensive back Joey Shisler (Hanover, Mass.) somehow wrestled the ball out for an interception. On the ensuing play Rich threw a 70-yard bomb to senior Kevin Nicol (Wolcott, Conn.) that gave the visitors a comfortable 17-0 advantage going into halftime.
Mercadante, who finished with 79 yards on 16 attempts, added a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and senior Nick Adams (Orange, Mass.) rounded out the scoring with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth frame.
Nicol made four catches for 119 yards while reserve fullback Brian Beauchemin (Athol, Mass.) had 45 yards on just nine carries. Senior Kevin Duffy (Natick, Mass.) led the WSU defense with 13 tackles, while junior Jonathan Lytle (Wallingford, Conn.) added seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack.
Plymouth State was led by senior Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) who rushed for 63 yards. Junior tight end Ian Bures (Prospect, Conn.) had three receptions while freshman quarterback Ryan Perron (North Attleboro, Mass.) completed 9-of-18 passes in his first career start.
Following a bye week, the Panthers return to action on October 19th when they host Bridgewater State. Westfield State returns home next week when it entertains Framingham State.
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