WORCESTER, Mass. – The Plymouth State University football team defeated the Worcester State University Lancers by a score of 16-6 in a defensive battle between the two teams Saturday afternoon in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup.
September 30, 2017
Score: Plymouth State 16, Worcester State 6
Records: Plymouth State (4-1, 2-1 MASCAC) | Worcester State (3-2, 2-1 MASCAC)
Despite an interception from Worcester State's Rafael Guzman (Cambridge, Mass.) early in the first quarter, the Lancers were unable to convert a 35-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. On the next drive, the Panthers put a dent in the scoreboard when Plymouth's Mitch Banuskevich (Milford, N.H.) broke out a 70-yard rush for a Panther touchdown; the point after was no good.
Worcester State's next drive resulted in a pass interception by Plymouth's Brady LaFrance (West Paris, Maine) at the Plymouth 8-yard line, and returned it to the midfield to begin the second quarter ahead 6-0 and the possession in their hands.
Noah Brum (Honolulu, Hawaii) was able to get the offense moving, completing 17-of-22 passes for 119 yards in the first quarter, while Plymouth State led in the rushing game, recording eight runs for a total of 118 yards.
Both teams were unable to sustain drives through out the second quarter, as both the Worcester and Plymouth defenses held strong throughout.
The special teams for Plymouth helped in the battle for field position as the punter Jeremy Martin (Charlton, Mass.) was able to pin the Lancer offense back at their own one yard line following their second possession in the frame.
After a Worcester three and out, junior quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) was able to lead a 6-play 36-yard drive for Plymouth, which resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Martin, putting the visitors up 9-0.
Both of Worcester State's next two drives resulted in an interception – once by Plymouth's Matt Shea (Windham, N.H.) and another from Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H.) with just six seconds remaining in the half.
After a missed field goal attempt by the Lancers, Edwards led an 8-play, 75-yard drive resulting in an Edwards 29 yard touchdown pass to Jacob Szulc (Concord, NH.) for the 15-0 game. Following a good kick from Martin, the Panthers fueled a 16-0 lead.
Worcester was able to put points on the board with a 3-play, 53-yard drive capped off with a Dexter Andrews (Boston, Mass.) 14-yard rushing touchdown with 9:32 remaining in the game. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good, leading to a 16-6 score.
Each team was unable to advance more than 14-yards in each occurring drive.
DOWN FOR THE COUNT
- For Worcester State, Brum completed 44-of-63 passes (69.8%) for a total of 274 yards and threw four interceptions. Plymouth State's Edwards completed 11-of-21 passes (52.38%) for a total of 140 yards and one touchdown pass.
- On the receiving end for Plymouth State, Szulc led the way with four receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown, as for the Lancers' Kharif Pryor (Brooklyn, N.Y.) caught fifteen passes for 97 yards.
- The Panthers leading rusher was Banuskevich, with 22 rushes and 157 yards with one touchdown score off the 70 yard rushing attempt. The rushing leader for the Lancers was Andrews, who had 16 carries for 86 yards with a touchdown.
- The Panthers' defense was led by Shea and Prince Gbaley (Manchester, N.H.) who both logged 10 tackles apiece. The Lancers' defense was led by Mike Quinn (Sutton, Mass.) with 12 tackles (seven solo).
- Plymouth's Joe Esposito (Hackettstown, N.J.) had the sole sack for the Panthers, while Worcester's Eric Nunez (Milford, Mass.) notched one for the Lancers.
- The Panthers' Gblay and Grant McGregor (Burlington, Conn.) broke up two passes each.
- There were 11 total penalties - seven of which were on Plymouth, and four against the Lancers. The Lancers penalties cost them 35 yards, while the Panthers lost 87 yards.
- The Panthers went 2-for-3 in red zone scoring chances, while Worcester State went 1-for-3.
- Worcester State held a 360-324 margin in total yards (274-140 passing).
- Time of Possession, Plymouth State (31:42) Worcester State (28:18)
Worcester State is on the road next Saturday (Oct. 7), as they head to Western Connecticut for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Panthers return home on the same date and host Bridgewater State in a 1 p.m. game.