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PSU Football to host Worcester State in final home game

PSU Football to host Worcester State in final home game

Panthers meet Lancers on Senior Day for first meeting in 25 years

GAME #8:   Worcester State University (3-4, 1-4) at Plymouth State University (1-6, 0-5)
  Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 1:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.



            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team makes its final appearance of the season at Currier Field this Saturday as the Panthers host Worcester State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest. 

            The Panthers and Lancers will kick off Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Currier Field in Plymouth. Both teams are looking to get back on the winning track as the Panthers (1-6) are out to snap a five-game losing skid, while the Lancers (3-4) are aiming to stop a three-game slide. Look for the two teams to run different game plans as PSU keeps the ball on the ground about 75 percent of the time and WSU throws the ball on about 80 percent of its plays.

            PSU had upset on its mind last Saturday against Framingham State, leading the powerful Rams 3-0 after one quarter and trailing just 20-9 after three frames, but the Rams exploded for three fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the 41-9 win.  PSU is averaging 234 yards a game on offense, including 149 yards an outing on the ground, while opponents have gained 452 yards per game against the Panther defense.  The Panthers have been solid on special teams and have received the MASCAC Special Teams Player of the Week three times this season.

            Worcester State enjoyed a 3-1 month of September with dramatic one-point wins over intra-city rival WPI (15-14) and Mass. Maritime (64-63), but went 0-3 in October, including a one-point loss to UMass Dartmouth (34-33). The Lancers lead the MASCAC in passing yards and are third in the league in total offense, averaging 436 yards per game, while the defense has surrendered a league-most 471 yards an outing. Worcester State was the victim of Western Connecticut running back Octavias McKoy's 455-yard, five-touchdown performance last Saturday in a 55-35 Colonial victory. The Lancers were picked fourth in the MASCAC preseason poll.

            Saturday will be just the fourth career football meeting between these two schools, and first since 1988. Plymouth State won the three previous encounters from 1986-88, two by lopsided scores. It was a 20-7 verdict in the first game in 1986, but the Panthers ran away with the score the next two years, 40-0 and 62-0. 

SENIOR DAY:  Plymouth State is proud to celebrate Senior Day on Saturday, honoring the 12 Panther seniors who are competing in the final home game of their careers. The 12 seniors are Gregg Callanan (North Waterboro, Maine / Massabesic), Nick Cavallo (Salem, N.H./Salem), Nate Dubois (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills), Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) Xander Fuccillo (East Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth), Cory Gaff (Everett, Mass./Malden Catholic), Zac Iovanella (North Andover, Mass./North Andover), Jake Matthews (Windham, N.H./Salem), Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I./Ponaganset), Jeff Nossek (New London, Conn./St. Bernards), Jason Stefano (Fryeburg, Maine/Fryeburg Academy), and Jake Tyler (Maynard, Mass./Maynard). 

RECORD KICK:  PSU junior kicker Rob Giles (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) etched his name in the PSU record books last Saturday, matching the school mark with three field goals in a game.  He connected from 39, 31 and 38 yards against Framingham State to also earn MASCAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season. He matched the standard previously accomplished three times (Tom Williams vs. Framingham State in 1975, Brian Harrington vs. Maine Maritime in 1986, and Paul D'Ascoli vs. Western Connecticut in 1997).

MASCAC HONORS:  Junior Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) was named MASCAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season after his three field goal performance. 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    RB Andrew Foglia (MASCAC Off. Player/Week); K Rob Giles (MASCAC Honor Roll)
Oct. 21 DB Chris Smith (MASCAC Special Teams Player/Week)
Oct. 28 K Rob Giles (MASCAC Special Teams Player/Week)

MASCAC LEADERS:  PSU has a number of individuals who rank among the MASCAC leaders. Senior DB Jake Matthews shares the league lead with nine passes broken up and ranks eighth with 7.3 tackles per game and third in punt return average (9.1 yds/return); Senior RB Andrew Foglia ranks fourth with 100 rushing yards per game; Senior Zac Iovanella and sophomore Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.) are fourth and sixth, respectively, in kick returns (22.9 and 21.6 yds/return); Sophomore DL Zack Wilkins (West Simsbury, Conn.) is ninth with three sacks; and junior K Rob Giles is tied for second for kickers with 32 points.

MASCAC FOOTBALL:  The 2013 season marked 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, UMass Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut.  The teams 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.

A LOOK AHEAD:  The Panthers will play their final two games on the road, next Saturday at Massachusetts Maritime and the finale in two weeks at Fitchburg State. 

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