Szulc with three more TD receptions in setback
DANBURY, Conn. – Sophomore Jacob Szulc (Concord, N.H.) hauled in five passes for 82 yards and three scores, but the Plymouth State University football team fell 37-29 to Western Connecticut State University in the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) opener for both schools at the Westside Athletic Complex on Saturday night.
With PSU trailing 14-0 after the opening quarter, junior Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) connected with Szulc on an eight-yard strike to cut the deficit in half. WCSU running back Kyle McKinnon (New London, Conn.) had staked the home team to the two score lead after back-to-back touchdown runs, as he plowed in from four yards out just 3:45 into the contest, then dove in from two yards out with 4:05 remaining in the opening quarter.
Western Connecticut kicker Jordan D'Onofrio (Orange, Conn.) connected on a 22-yard field goal attempt to put the Colonials up 17-7, but Edwards capped a 78-yard drive with a 31-yard scramble up the middle of the field to make it 17-14.
The Colonials got the touchdown right back, however, as Austin Calamita (North Branford, Conn.) caught a pass and scampered down the right sideline for a 46-yard touchdown. Calamita had a big day for Western Connecticut as he caught six balls for 132 yards and the one TD.
The Edwards to Szulc connection worked again for the Panthers as the duo hooked up for yet another touchdown from 40 yards out with just over a minute remaining in the half. WCSU entered the intermission with a 24-21 lead.
The scoring offense for both teams settled down in the second half, but WCSU quarterback Quinn Fleeting (Windsor, Conn.) connected with Jawad Chisholm (Bridgeport, Conn.) from 49 yards out, and Dimitrios Tsesmetzis (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) from four yards away to build a comfortable 37-21 lead with 10:39 to play.
Edwards connected with Szulc for the third time with 6:46 remaining, and Edwards scrambled in for a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 37-29. The Colonials had a chance to ice the game, but a 31-yard field goal attempt missed wide right and PSU had 1:22 remaining to march the length of the field for the tying score. Ryan Jarzavek (Cromwell, Conn.) ended the Panthers comeback hopes with an interception and the Colonials ran out the clock for the win.
With his three receiving TDs, Szulc is now tied for first in the nation with eight touchdowns on the season. Edwards finished 18-of-43 for 205 yards and sophomore David Hamilton (Westville, N.J.) led the PSU ground attack with 47 yards on 18 carries.
Freshman kicker Jeremy Martin (Charlton, Mass.) had a nice game for the Panthers, averaging better than 44 yards on six punts, including two inside the 20-yard line and one booming 63 yarder. He also averaged 51.6 yards per kickoff, while connecting on three-of-three extra points.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 2-1 (0-1 MASCAC) and will look to rebound against MASCAC foe UMass Dartmouth next Saturday (Sept. 23) in the annual Homecoming game. Kick-off is set for 1:00 p.m.
– 30 –