PSU Football holds off Castleton in season opener

PSU Football holds off Castleton in season opener

Hamilton rushes for 146 yards and two scores in win 

            CASTLETON, Vt. – Senior David Hamilton (West Deptford, N.J.) rushed for a career-high 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Plymouth State University to a 23-17 win over Castleton University in non-conference football action at Dave Wolk Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

            With the game tied at 17-17 in the fourth quarter, Hamilton found the end zone from two yards out to secure the win.

            Sophomore Brett Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.) went 15-of-21 for 124 yards and a touchdown in his debut as the Panthers' starting quarterback. He was two-for-two on the game-winning drive, converting a third-and-three and fourth-and-13 to set up the game-winning score.

            Senior Matt Shea (Windham, N.H.) set the tone for the PSU defense, leading all players with 11 tackles, as the Panthers knocked off Castleton in the season opener for the fourth straight year.

            Plymouth State (1-0) opens its home schedule on Saturday (Sept. 14) when Maine Maritime comes to Currier Field. The Spartans (0-1) visit Fitchburg State next week.


            The Basics:

            Plymouth State 23, Castleton 17


            Plymouth State (1-0)

            Castleton (0-1)


            How it Happened.

  • Castleton was the first to score, marching 90 yards down field in 11 plays, capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by Simon Davis Jr, who dove into the end zone to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
  • PSU came right back to even the score on the ensuing drive, methodically covering 52 yards in 7:28 over 13 plays. Hamilton picked up two yards to convert a fourth-and-one, then pushed the pile into the end zone from two yards out to make it 7-7.
  • Both teams punted on their next drives, but Castleton regained the lead on a 19-yard field goal after converting a pair of fourth downs on the drive. The Spartans got all the way to the PSU two-yard line, but the defense held strong to force the hosts to settle for three points.
  • Plymouth took over with 2:17 left in the half and managed the clock perfectly to even the score. Junior Ryan Milliken (Lebanon, N.H.) set up the Panthers with great field position after returning the kickoff 52 yards to the Castleton 46-yard line. With 49 seconds left in the half a key roughing the passer on fourth-and-ten gave PSU a fresh set of downs and freshman Dan Carey (Plymouth, N.H.) was good from 32 yards to make it 10-10 at the intermission.
  • Sophomore Gavin Moody (Warner, N.H.) returned the second half kickoff 27 yards and Hamilton snapped off runs of 34 and 22 yards before Lavanchy connected with Moody from 17 yards out to put the Panthers in the lead, 17-10.
  • After both teams had drives fizzle, the hosts capped a 15-play, 73-yard drive with a four-yard TD run from Matthew Hesford to knot the game at 17-17 late in the third quarter.
  • Both sides were forced to punt on their initial drives in the fourth quarter, but PSU chewed up yardage on its second drive to pull in front. Starting from midfield, Lavanchy found sophomore Zach Caffrey (Hampton, Conn.) for 19 yards on a third-and-three, and later hit Moody for a 17-yard gain on a fourth-and-13, to set up Hamilton's game-winning touchdown.
  • Pinned deep in their own territory after forcing a Castleton punt, the Panthers handed off to Hamilton for consecutive runs of 16 and 12 yards and the offense was able to run out the clock.


            Inside the Numbers:

  • Hamilton's previous high was 138 yards on the ground in last year's win against Mass. Maritime.
  • Senior Nick Lancia (Bedford, N.Y.) added 44 yards on 13 carries.
  • Junior Zach Swanson (Meredith, N.H.) had five catches for 36 yards, while Moody grabbed two balls for 34 yards and a score.
  • In his collegiate debut, Carey went two-for-three on extra points and converted the 32-yard field goal while also amassing 260 yards on kickoffs (52.0 avg.).
  • Shea finished with a game-high 11 tackles, while junior Elijah Bussell (Athens, Maine) made eight stops.
  • Juniors Derrick Terrazzano (Manchester, N.H.) and Trevor Hnyda (New Milford, Conn.) each had a sack and sophomore David Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) recorded three tackles and two pass breakups.


            Straight from the Coach's Mouth:

             "We're happy about earning a win against a very good Castleton team," said head coach Paul Castonia. "We still have a lot of work to do."


            Up Next:

  • Plymouth State celebrates its home opener on Saturday (Sept. 14) with a 1:00 p.m. kickoff against Maine Maritime.



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