Zentek, Edwards solid for Panthers in defeat
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior George Busharis (Mansfield, Mass.) completed 26 of 42 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead Castleton University to a 21-10 season-opening win over Plymouth State University in non-conference action at Currier Field.
Castleton (1-0) outgained the Panthers (0-1) 302-222 in total yards and had 17 first downs to PSU's nine. The Spartans have defeated Plymouth State in four straight season openers.
Busharis found junior Soren Pelz-Walsh (Dummerston, Vt.) from three yards out midway through the third quarter that gave the visitors the 11-point margin and a lead it would not relinquish.
Things looked good for the Panthers early in the contest. After forcing the Spartans to punt in the game's first possession, PSU junior Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H.) blocked the kick and then sophomore Blair Zentek (Simsbury, Conn.) gobbled up the ball and trotted in from five yards out and the early 7-0 lead.
The Spartans evened the game late in the first frame after Busharis hit junior Anthony Porcelli (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with a four-yard scoring strike.
PSU regained control early in the second quarter after freshman Jeff Madden (Wolfeboro, N.H.) booted a 25-yard field goal, giving the Panthers a 10-7 advantage. That score was set up after freshman Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) hit sophomore Jake Becker (Portsmouth, N.H.) with 41-yard pass completion that gave the Panthers the ball at the CU 11-yard line.
CU took the lead for good later in the second quarter when junior Corey Brimmer (Niantic, Conn.) rumbled in from two yards out. That score completed a nine-play, 84 yard drive.
Pelz-Walsh finished with eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown while Makai Hawkins, (Bronx, N.Y.) Jordan Goodrich (Essex, Vt.) and Porcelli each caught five passes for a combined 108 yards. CU senior Brett Denning (North Adams, Mass.) led the Spartan defense with five tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss.
Plymouth State was led by Edwards, who completed 15 of 25 passes in his first collegiate appearance. Classmate Brandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sanai, N.Y.) had four catches for 23 yards in his debut at wide receiver. Junior RJ Ramsden (Florence, Mass.) led a stingy PSU defense with 10 tackles and an interception. Zentek had a good day on the field, recording five tackles, an interception, a pass break-up and a blocked field goal attempt.
Both teams hit the road next week for non-conference games. Castleton travels to Salve Regina while PSU is at Mount Ida.
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