Panthers NCAA bound after earning MASCAC automatic qualifier
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University moved up to second place in the seventh edition of the Grinold Chapter New England Division III football weekly rankings following the team's 24-7 victory over Fitchburg State University on Saturday.
Springfield College (149 points) remained in the top spot as the only remaining undefeated team, but a loss by last week's number two Trinity College opened the door for PSU to move up. The Panthers received one first place vote for 127 points. Amherst College, which defeated Trinity over the weekend, jumped up to third with 108 points, with Husson (103 points) and Framingham State (90 points) completing the top five.
Trinity (78 points), Western New England (60 points), WPI (34 points), Western Connecticut (33 points) and Curry (22 points) round out the top ten.
The Panthers relied on an opportunistic defense to wrap up the regular season with a win at Fitchburg. The defense forced three turnovers and added two scores as Plymouth State rolled. PSU finished the season with a 9-1 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), which guaranteed the team at least a share of its first MASCAC title.
The Panthers will receive the MASCAC's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Football Tournament as PSU defeated Framingham State in overtime, 16-13, on October 14. It will be the program's fifth appearance in the tournament and first since 2008. PSU will learn its seeding and opponent for the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Division III Football Selection Show, which will air on NCAA.com on Sunday, November 12 (5:30 p.m.).
The New England Division III Football Poll is presented by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation, which also serves as the title sponsor of the weekly Gold Helmet Awards presented by the New England Football Writers Association throughout the season.
A 15-member panel representing all five New England Division III playing conferences serves as the voters in this year's poll. For more information on the Grinold Chapter of the National Football Foundation, please visit www.grinoldchapter.com.
GRINOLD CHAPTER NEW ENGLAND DIVISION III FOOTBALL POLL
Week #7 – November 6, 2017 (First Place Votes in Parentheses)
|Rank||School (FPV)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|2||Plymouth State (1)||9-1||127||3|
|7||Western New England||7-2||60||9|
Also Receiving Votes: Salve Regina (12), MIT (8), Middlebury (1)
***With contributions from Grinold Chapter of the National Football Foundation***
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