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November 6, 2013

PSU Football to visit Massachusetts Maritime for MASCAC affair

Panthers look to gain momentum after win vs. Worcester State

GAME #9:    Plymouth State University (2-6, 1-5) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-4, 2-4)
  Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 12:00 noon, Clean Harbors Stadium, Buzzards Bay, Mass.

 

 

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team will look to build some momentum this Saturday as the Panthers visit the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest. 

            The Panthers and Mariners will kick off Saturday at 12 noon at Clean Harbors Stadium in Buzzards Bay, Mass. PSU (2-6, 1-5) is coming off a 34-31 victory over Worcester State University in the final home game last Saturday while Mass. Maritime (4-4, 2-4) is looking to bounce back from a 58-12 loss to league-leading Framingham State University.  Plymouth State is playing its final two games of the season on the road while Mass. Maritime is on home turf its final two contests.

            The rushing duo of senior Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) and junior Mark Hennessy (Westford, Mass.) combined to rush for 187 yards and three touchdowns to lead PSU to the win over Worcester State; Foglia rushed for 82 yards and three scores while Hennessy produced his first career 100-yard rushing performance with 105 yards on 19 carries. PSU scored at least 28 points for the fourth time in its eight games this season. Special teams were also a factor as the Panthers blocked four Lancer kicks – three extra point attempts and a punt that was recover by PSU and returned for a touchdown.  Senior Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) and junior Kyle Wilson (Dover, N.H.) each blocked two kicks for the Panthers.  

            Senior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.) rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown and senior QB Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) tossed his 46th career touchdown pass in last Saturday's loss to Framingham State. Senior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) has set the Buccaneers career receiving marks with 160 catches for 1,740 yards.  Mass Maritime finished 5-4 overall the past two seasons and posted 4-3 marks in the New England Football Conference. The Buccaneers were picked third in the MASCAC preseason poll.

            Saturday will be the first football meeting between the two schools since a 35-18 Panther victory in 1991. It will also be the 16th career meeting, with the Panthers holding an 11-4 lead in the all-time series. The teams split their first six games from 1973-78 before the Panthers won four straight from 1979-82. They split a pair of games in 1983, Mass Maritime taking the regular season game and Plymouth State winning the inaugural ECAC Division III Championship in Buzzards Bay on Nov. 12, 1983.

MASCAC LEADERS:  PSU has a number of individuals who rank among the MASCAC leaders. Senior DB Jake Matthews tops the league lead with 10 passes broken up, ranks tied for eighth with 7.0 tackles per game and third in punt return average (9.0 yds/return); Senior RB Andrew Foglia ranks fourth with 98.8 rushing yards per game and nine rushing touchdowns; Senior Zac Iovanella and sophomore Bobby Whelan (Falmouth, Mass.) are third and sixth, respectively, in kick returns (23.3 and 21.6 yds/return); Sophomore DL Zack Wilkins (West Simsbury, Conn.) is tied for fifth with four sacks; and junior K Rob Giles (Derry, N.H.) is tied for second for kickers with 42 points. Giles is 8-of-10 on field goal attempts and 18-of-19 on PAT kicks.

MASCAC HONORS:  Senior Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) was named MASCAC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two kicks against Worcester State, including one that set up a touchdown. He is the third Panther to receive the Special Teams Player of the Week award this 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    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)
Nov. 4 LB Josh Morgan (MASCAC Special Teams Player/ Week); RB Andrew Foglia
  (MASCAC Honor Roll)

BLOCK THAT KICK:  PSU managed to block four kicks in PSU's 34 31 victory over Worcester State last Saturday, three extra point attempts and a punt.  Senior Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) and junior Kyle Wilson (Dover, N.H.) each blocked two kicks for the Panthers, helping PSU to the three-point victory. Morgan's blocked punt was picked up and returned for a touchdown by freshman Bubba Kaplan (Truro, Mass.)

RECORD KICK:  PSU junior kicker Rob Giles (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) etched his name in the PSU record books on Saturday, Oct. 26, 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 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 game on the road, next Saturday at Fitchburg State (1:00 p.m.)

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