Edwards continues strong play for Panthers
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior wide receiver Jakarrie Washington (Everett, Mass.) accounted for 190 all-purpose yards, while his teammates combined for four rushing touchdowns to lead the Corsairs to a 29-13 victory over Plymouth State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football contest Saturday afternoon on Cressy Field.
UMass Dartmouth won for the third time in its past four contests to improve to 3-1, including 2-0 in the conference circuit. The Panthers fell to 1-3 and 0-2 in the league.
Freshman quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) was a bright spot for PSU, completing 84-percent of this passes (21-for-25) for 176 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Brandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) pulled in a game-high seven catches for 41 yards and a TD.
The Corsairs utilized a balanced attack to produce 476 yards of total offense, including 244 on the ground. Washington was the catalyst, gaining a season-high 112 yards on just six carries to average 18.7 per rush. Classmate Stephen Roy (Northboro, Mass.) gained 78 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while junior quarterback Cory Burnham (Essex, Mass.) added a pair of one-yard plunges. Junior Mike Slaughter, Jr. (Springfield, Mass.) gave the hosts a 22-7 advantage heading into the locker room with a one-yard score.
Burnham completed 15-of-27 passes for 232 yards without committing a turnover. Washington was his favorite target, pulling in five catches for 78 yards. Roy recorded 21 of his 54 receiving yards on a check at the line of scrimmage.
UMass Dartmouth marched down the field over the span of eight plays, 67 yards on its first possession to take the early advantage. Burnham hit junior Kevin Wadsworth (Bridgewater, Mass.) with a 41-yard strike to the Panthers' one-yard line. Facing a fourth and goal shortly thereafter, Burnham converted a quarterback sneak to crack the scoring column. The Corsairs tried for a two-point conversation, but the passing attempt failed.
Plymouth State took its only lead of the contest late in the first quarter with a six-play, 54-yard drive. Edwards jumpstarted the drive with a 20-yard rush to the 34 that was amplified by a 15-yard personal foul. Five plays later, sophomore Andrew Reardon (Rockland, Mass.) capped the drive with a one-yard run.
UMass Dartmouth responded with 16 unanswered points in the second quarter to seize control of the contest. Washington sparked the Corsairs' second scoring possession with a 73-yard end around to set the hosts up on the visitors' two-yard line. Three plays later, Burnham strolled in from a yard out.
After a quick stop, UMass Dartmouth appeared to extend its advantage, but lost the ball as the runner was crossing the plane. Plymouth State took over from its 20-yard line, but the Corsair defense forced another three-and-out. On the ensuing play, sophomore Jon Biggs (Stone Mountain, Ga.) blocked the punt and the ball bounced out of the end zone for a safety.
On the subsequent free kick, junior John Beardsley (Essex, Mass.) put the hosts in great field position with a 20-yard return to the UMass Dartmouth 42. Three plays later, Burnham connected with Washington for a 40-yard reception to the Plymouth State two yard line. Three plays later, Slaughter registered his first rushing touchdown of the season.
The Corsairs sustained their momentum through the halftime intermission, taking just three minutes, 14 seconds to travel 53 yards on nine plays. UMass Dartmouth continued to feature a balanced attack, gaining 31 yards on the ground and 22 in the air. Roy capped the drive with a three-yard run to give the hosts their largest lead of the contest, 29-7.
The Corsairs' defensive attack limited the Panthers to 234 total yards of offense. Biggs reached double digits in tackles for the second straight contest with 10 stops, including seven solo. Sophomore Brandon Miller (Holden, Mass.) was one tackle off the lead, while senior Anthony LaRose (Dorchester, Mass.) registered three sacks.
PSU returns home to host Westfield State University next Saturday at Currier Field. UMass Dartmouth returns to action on Saturday at MASCAC preseason favorite Framingham State University.
(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)
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