Panthers set to defend MASCAC title
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team, coming off its most successful season in a decade, has announced its 2018 schedule.
The Panthers, led by back-to-back Champion's Choice Coach of the Year Paul Castonia, shocked their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) counterparts last fall on the way to the first MASCAC championship in program history. After a pair of non-conference wins to start the season PSU fell at Western Connecticut State University in the league opener, but responded with seven consecutive wins to claim the MASCAC title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time.
The defending champions will have an even more challenging schedule in 2018 as Husson University, another NCAA Tournament participant from last fall, has replaced now-defunct Mount Ida on the Panthers' non-conference slate.
PSU will kick off the season Sept. 1 at Castleton (1:00 p.m.) before enjoying an early bye week to prep for the eight-game MASCAC schedule. The Panthers topped the Spartans, 31-7, in last year's opener.
Plymouth opens its home schedule week three (Sept. 15, 1:00 p.m.) against Western Connecticut State, looking to avenge last season's lone regular season loss (37-29). During halftime the athletics department will honor the Plymouth State teams and individual athletes who participated in the NCAA Tournament during the 2017-18 school year.
The team travels to UMass Dartmouth on Sept. 22 (5:30 p.m.) where the Panthers will face the Corsairs under the lights. Last fall PSU routed UMD by a 37-7 score.
Plymouth returns to Currier Field for a Homecoming clash with Worcester State on Sept. 29 (1:00 p.m.). The green-and-white came away with four interceptions on the way to last season's 16-6 win over the Lancers.
The Panthers head back on the road for a rare Friday night game at Bridgewater State on Oct. 5 (7:00 p.m.). PSU used ten unanswered second half points to top the Bears, 17-7, last fall.
Plymouth remains on the road during week seven (Oct. 13, 12:00 p.m.) for a rematch with Framingham State, easily the most exciting of last season's wins. The Rams, who had won eight-of-nine MASCAC titles, found the end zone with less than six minutes to play but Plymouth blocked the PAT to keep the contest tied at 13-apiece. In overtime, PSU's special teams came up huge again, this time blocking a 40-yard field goal try before wrapping up the 16-13 win by converting a kick from 22 yards out.
The Panthers return home for a match-up with Massachusetts Maritime on Oct. 20 (1:00 p.m.), before traveling to Westfield State on Oct. 27 (2:00 p.m.). PSU cruised past the Buccaneers, 40-14, last fall, before blanking the Owls, 17-0, on Senior Day.
The Panthers wrap up MASCAC play at home against Fitchburg State on Nov. 3 (12:00 p.m.). Plymouth topped the Falcons, 24-7, to clinch last year's title.
The regular season comes to a close with a Senior Day contest on Nov. 10 (12:00 p.m.), when PSU hosts Husson in a clash of New England powers. The Panthers finished second in the final New England Division III Football Poll last fall, one spot ahead of the Eagles. Plymouth State will also honor current and former servicemen and women during halftime as part of the Athletic Department's Salute the Troops Weekend.
Refer to athletics.plymouth.edu for the most current information regarding all 24 of Plymouth State's athletic programs, as schedules are subject to change.
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