Edwards, Hamilton lead Panthers in convincing win
CASTLETON, Vt. – Senior Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) threw for an efficient 207 yards and two touchdowns and junior David Hamilton (West Deptford, N.J.) accounted for 147 all-purpose yards and a pair of scores to lead the Plymouth State University football team over Castleton University in the season opener at Dave Wolk Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Edwards finished 17-of-22, connecting with Hamilton for a 38-yard score after hooking up with senior Matt Ordway (Walpole, Mass.) from ten yards out. Hamilton chewed up 109 yards on the ground on 22 carries and added the 38-yard TD catch as the Panthers controlled the clock on the way to the win.
Plymouth State (1-0) knocks off the Spartans (0-1) in the season's first game for the third straight year.
Plymouth State 38, Castleton 0
Plymouth State 1-0
How it Happened:
* After forcing a Castleton punt in its opening possession, the Panthers marched 88 yards downfield to score on the first offensive possession of 2018. Hamilton ripped off a 12-yard run and Edwards connected with sophomore Cooper Gorski (Weare, N.H.) for a 16-yard gain to set up Edwards' TD pass to Ordway for the early lead.
* PSU put together another lengthy drive in its second possession to double the lead. Hamilton rushed five times for 44 yards on the drive, finding pay dirt from 15 yards out to cap the 90-yard drive and make it 14-0 late in the first half.
* The Panthers picked up big chunks of yardage on their third drive, covering 70 yards in just four plays. Edwards hit junior Jacob Szulc (Concord, N.H.) for a 30-yard gain, then connected with Hamilton for a 38-yard score to push the lead to 21-0 just before the half.
* Senior Jeff Madden (Wolfeboro, N.H.) tacked on a 25-yard field goal as the next PSU drive stalled inside the 10-yard line to extend the lead to 24-0.
* The Plymouth State defense took over from there, limiting the Castleton offense from moving the ball and ultimately putting additional points on the board as well. In the opening minute of the fourth quarter, junior Matt Shea (Atkinson, N.H.) returned an interception four yards for a TD and 31-0 lead.
* Senior Brady LaFrance (West Paris, Maine) capped the scoring with a 39-yard pick-six to wrap up the convincing win.
Inside the Numbers:
* PSU now owns a slight 5-4 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 2010, with the Panthers winning the last three match-ups.
* The 38-0 win marked the largest margin of victory of the series.
* Plymouth scored on each of its first four possessions (3 TD, 1 FG), and five-of-seven to start the game.
* Plymouth recorded 21 first downs and 381 yards of total offense, compared to Castleton's nine first downs and 161 yards.
* The PSU defense limited Castleton to just 50 yards on the ground.
* Despite losing three of four starting defensive backs from a year ago, the Panthers came up with three interceptions on the day, returning two for scores.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We're happy to get a win to start the season," said head coach Paul Castonia, "but we've got a long way to go to get ready for WestConn."
* PSU enjoys an early bye week before opening the MASCAC schedule at home against Western Connecticut State on Sept. 15 (1:00 p.m.).
* The Spartans travel to Fitchburg State next Saturday (Sept. 8) for a non-conference match-up with the Falcons. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m.
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