Sept. 26, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Plymouth State scored three times in the first 13:38 and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team, in the New England Football Conference Boyd Division opener for both teams at Cressy Field Saturday.
The Panthers, who got a 52-yard return of the opening kickoff by freshman defensive back Ray Boulay (Keene, NH/Keene HS) but were thwarted when sophomore linebacker John Cordasco (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Knolls HS) intercepted a pass from PSU junior quarterback J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, NH/Winnacunnet HS) on the Corsair 18-yard line, drove 67 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead on their second possession of the game. Freshman running back Ty Long (Dover, NH/Dover HS) ran 41 yards on the second play of the drive, and Brooks hit junior wide receiver John Creamer (Hanover, MA/Abington HS) for 17 yards and a touchdown to make it 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
After a UMD punt, Plymouth State scored again. Junior running back Chris Francher (Weare, NH/John Stark HS) raced 64 yards from scrimmage to make it 14-0 with 4:29 left in the first quarter. UMD senior Chris Pinheiro (Norton, MA/Norton HS) lost a fumble on the ensuing possession, and Brooks connected with senior wide receiver Alex Smith (Walpole, MA/Walpole HS) from 26 yards out with 1:22 to play in the first quarter to make it 21-0.
The Corsairs held the Panthers on their next possession and forced a punt, and then drove to the Plymouth State 41, running 13 plays, gaining 49 yards and holding the ball to 7:26. But Pinheiro's second down pass was incomplete, and sophomore running back Josh Marsh (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS/Iona) was stopped on third down, and UMD had to punt. PSU then drove 65 yards in three plays to score, with Brooks hitting sophomore wide receiver Sean Simpson (Derry, NH/Pinkerton Academy) for 51 yards and a score to make it 28-0 with 1:59 left in the first half.
UMass Dartmouth drove to the Panther seven-yard line on their first possession of the second half. But freshman quarterback Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Bridgton Academy) was hit as he pitched the ball, and junior defensive lineman Matt MacLean (Abington, MA/Abington HS) recovered for PSU at the 11-yard line. The Panthers then drove 89 plays for the final score of the game, with sophomore running back James Dionne scoring from 31 yards out.
UMass Dartmouth started their next series from their own 40 after the kickoff went out of bounds. The Corsairs drove to the Plymouth State five-yard line, but a 21-yard field goal attempt by freshman Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) sailed wide.
"Plymouth State is a very good football team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "They made it to the NCAA Tournament last year, and I think they're a better team this year. We stepped up and played better defense in the second half, and Brendan McNeish came in at quarterback and made some nice decisions. Our biggest job now is to keep our kids positive, upbeat, and working. They're a great group of kids, and that's what I talked to them about after the game." Marsh led UMass Dartmouth with 70 yards on 17 carries. The Panthers, who rushed for 315 yards, got 79 yards on five carries from Francher and 76 yards on nine attempts from Long. Brooks completed three of seven passes for 94 yards, with all three completions resulting in touchdowns.
Sophomore defensive back Shawn Manning (Mansfield, MA/Salisbury School) led UMass Dartmouth with 10 tackles, including four solos. Senior linebacker Harry Fallon (Hampton Falls, NH/Winnacunnet HS) made eight tackles for PSU, including five solos and a tackle for lost yardage.
The Corsairs dropped to 0-4 and 0-1 in the NEFC Boyd Division with the defeat, while the Panthers improved to 2-1 and 1-0 with the victory. UMD will visit MIT next Saturday afternoon, while PSU will visit Western New England.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL