Panthers put up a season-high 463 yards of offense in setback
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Senior quarterback Brad Skeffington (Salem, Mass.) amassed 341 yards of total offense Saturday afternoon, including 186 yards on the ground, and accounted for five touchdowns to lead Massachusetts Maritime to a 48-27 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Plymouth State at Clean Harbors Stadium.
Skeffington got the host Buccaneers (4-5, 3-4 MASCAC) on the board just 2:54 into the contest with a seven-yard touchdown run, and he extended that margin to 13-0 with 3:47 to play in the opening stanza by connecting with junior Cody Stahmer (Wareham, Mass.) on a 53-yard scoring strike. The visiting Panthers (2-7, 1-6 MASCAC) sliced their deficit in half with 18 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a 27-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) to fellow freshmanBrandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), but Skeffington's 76-yard scoring scamper (the longest of his career) 15 seconds into the second stanza restored Massachusetts Maritime's 13-point edge (20-7).
Plymouth State then took advantage of a short field on the ensuing possession to close back to within seven on senior Andrew Vollaro's (Higganum, Conn.) one-yard plunge, but the hosts used a second Skeffington-to-Stahmer scoring strike from 22 yards out as well as a four-yard touchdown run by sophomore Richie Phillips (Onset, Mass.) to build a 34-13 advantage at the break.
Skeffington capped a six-play, 64-yard opening drive after intermission with his third rushing touchdown of the afternoon that extended the Buccaneer lead to 41-13 just 1:36 into the third quarter, but Vollaro answered back with his second visit to the end zone of the day from five yards out for the Panthers just under four minutes later. The teams also traded scores in the opening 5:26 of the fourth frame to account for the final margin, as sophomore Kenny Pierce's (Beverly, Mass.) 86-yard touchdown run was followed by a seven-yard hook-up from Edwards to senior RJ Kasper (Killingworth, Conn.).
Pierce rushed for a career-high 240 yards on just 21 carries and eclipsed the 1,000 yard rushing mark (1,144) in the win for Massachusetts Maritime, as the Buccaneers amassed 499 total rushing yards as part of 654 yards of total offense. Skeffington, who carried 16 times for his 186 yards on the ground, added 155 more yards through the air that included the two touchdown passes totaling 75 yards to Stahmer.
Edwards completed 25-of-48 passing attempts for a season-high 397 yards and his two scores in the setback for Plymouth State, as the Panthers were held to 66 rushing yards as part of a total offensive output of 463 yards on 85 plays for the afternoon. Drumgole hauled in eight receptions for 172 yards for the visitors, who also received 95 receiving yards on five catches from Kasper.
Junior Marshall McCarthy (Duxbury, Mass.) paced Massachusetts Maritime defensively with a career-high 14 total tackles that included 12 solo stops, a pair of sacks, 4 ½ tackles for losses totaling 15 yards and his first career interception, while freshman Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.) added seven solo stops and a career-high four pass break-ups for the Buccaneers.
Senior Zack Wilkins (West Simsbury, Conn.) led Plymouth State with nine total tackles (six solo), a sack and a blocked kick, while junior Zach Ziemba(Manchester, N.H.) added seven solo stops for the Panthers, who also received seven tackles and a sack from sophomore Joe Esposito (Hackettstown, N.J.).
The hosts have won all three meetings from the visitors since the formation of the MASCAC in 2013, as the two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense for the second time in three years.
Massachusetts Maritime hosts Bridgewater State in the 37th Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented By Ocean Spray next Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium beginning at noon, while Plymouth State travels to Fitchburg State for a MASCAC outing that kicks off at 3:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of Massachusetts Maritime Sports Information)
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