PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State College football team will make its second straight post-season appearance and 13th since 1983 this Saturday in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Northeast Championship game.
The Panthers are the second-seeded New England team, and will play this Saturday (Nov. 21) at top-seeded Salve Regina University. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Toppa Field in Newport, R.I. It is PSC’s 10th ECAC title game appearance, the most by any school, while Salve is playing an ECAC game for just the second time, the first coming in 1996.
Plymouth State completed its second straight 7-3 regular season under head coach Mike Kemp, and tied for second place in the Freedom Football Conference with a 4-2 mark. PSC went to Buffalo State last season for the ECAC Northwest Championship contest, but came home on the short end of a 21-17 outcome.
Salve completed a 9-1 regular season, winning its final nine contests to capture top honors in the New England Football Conference under head coach Tim Coen.
“We set some goals at the beginning of the season,” said Kemp, who is taking PSC to the post-season for the second time in his three years. “We wanted to win the conference, which we didn’t do. We wanted to win the fourth quarter, which we did seven out of 10 times, so we came pretty close. Our last goal was we wanted to win a play-off game. That put the pressure on us to play well enough to get to a play-off game, but now we have an opportunity to reach that third goal.”
This is PSC’s 10th trip to the ECAC play-offs. The Panthers have a 2-7 record in the previous nine, including a 35-24 win over Massachusetts Maritime in the inaugural ECAC Championship in 1983, and a 13-12 triumph over Ithaca in the snow in 1987.
PSC’s other ECAC appearances were in 1985 (Albany 33, PSC 21); 1986 (Alfred 30, PSC 3); 1988 (Coast Guard 31, PSC 14); 1990 (Union 33, PSC 19); 1991 (Cortland 21, PSC 6); 1993 (Rensselaer 13, PSC 0); and 1997 (Buffalo State 21, PSC 17).
“We’re excited to play Salve Regina because in the last three to four years they’ve been one of the better teams in New England,” said Kemp. “This gives us an opportunity for a playoff game against a quality opponent, and a chance to measure ourselves against their program.”