Foglia, Hennessy lead way as Panthers snap five-game skid
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) and junior Mark Hennessy (Westford, Mass.) combined to rush for 187 yards and three touchdowns Saturday afternoon, leading Plymouth State University to a 34-31 win over Worcester State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football action at Currier Field.
Hennessy, a former linebacker, gained 105 yards on 19 attempts for his first career 100-yard game. Foglia, playing in his last home game at PSU, added 82 yards on the ground to go along with three touchdowns.
The Panthers, who snapped a five-game losing streak in capturing their first ever MASCAC win, improve to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play. WSU drops to 3-5 and 1-5.
It took Worcester State just seven plays and 1:19 to get on the board first when junior quarterback Pat Viencek (Bernardston, Mass.) found senior wide receiver AJ Scerra (Marlboro, Mass.) with a 17-yard scoring strike. The extra point attempt was blocked by PSU's Kyle Wilson (Dover, N.H.).
Plymouth State took the lead for good midway through the first quarter after Foglia scored his first touchdown of the afternoon, a 14-yard scamper, combined with the PAT by Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.). The Panther doubled their score after senior Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) blocked a punt at the WSU 22-yard line and freshman Bubba Kaplan (Truro, Mass.) scooped up the loose ball at the two- yard line and fell into the end zone.
The Lancers got to within two points, 14-12, late in the first frame when Veincek hooked up with Scerra again, this time from nine yards out. Morgan was able to sneak through and block WSU's second extra-point attempt.
The second quarter was all Plymouth State. Giles nailed a 27-yard field goal early in the stanza and then Foglia powered in from a yard out for his second score of the day. PSU went into the break with a 24-12 advantage.
Worcester State came out strong with its first possession of the third quarter. Viencek finished off a nine-play, 56-yard drive with an eight-yard scoring pass to junior Jack Sprague (Maynard, Mass.). The Panthers responded late in the third after Foglia scampered in from six yards out. On the ensuing possession the Lancers went 54 yards in just over a minute and capped the drive with another touchdown pass by Viencek, this one a 21-yarder to junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, Mass.).
Plymouth State played a ball control offense for much of the final quarter and got a key 21-yard field goal from Giles with 2:14 remaining that gave the home team a 34-25 advantage. WSU, behind Viencek's passing closed the gap to 34-31 with just under a minute after he found Sprague with a 21-yard touchdown pass. PSU senior Jake Matthews (Windham, N.H.) was able to recover the Lancer's on-side kick attempt and the Panthers ran out the remaining time for the victory.
Viencek finished the day by completing 30-of-54 for 334 yards and five touchdowns. Sprague had nine receptions for 113 yards and two scores while Hippert hauled in seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Scerra, also a favorite target, caught seven passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Teddy Ferreira (Mansfield, Mass.) led the WSU defense with a game-high 11 tackles.
Panther freshman quarterback Ryan Perron (North Attleboro, Mass.) had a productive afternoon, connecting on 9 of 17 passes for 141 yards. Wilson had two blocked PAT's while Morgan led the Panthers with seven tackles to go along with the blocked punt and a blocked PAT. Giles hit all four extra point attempts along with his two field goals.
Plymouth State is on the road next Saturday when it travels to Buzzards Bay, Mass. for a MASCAC game against Massachusetts Maritime. WSU returns home next week to host Westfield State.
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