By George Hodgson, Student Assistant
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Four Plymouth State College football players have received recognition from the Freedom Football Conference for their efforts in a 25-20 win over W.P.I.
Junior kick/punt returner Brent Bardellini (Milford, MA) was named FFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight time. Senior wide receiver Joel Carey (South Pomfret, VT), junior defensive back Colt Meredith (Saugus, MA), and freshman Russ Massahos (Windham, NH) all received honorable mention.
The Panthers found themselves trailing 20-19 with less than three minutes to play in the game, and needed a big play to have any kind of chance to pull out a victory. Bardellini provided the lift by returning a kick-off 42 yards to the W.P.I. 36 yard-line, setting up the eventual game-winning score. Bardellini finished the day with three kickoff returns for 89 yards, and three punt returns for 26 yards. The junior also had a team-leading four catches for 49 yards. Bardellini finishes the regular season 1st in the FFC in all-purpose yards with 1,189 total yards.
Carey was PSC’s savior as he scored the game-winning touchdown. W.P.I. had PSC quarterback Zach Matthews on the run and no where to go on fourth down, until he found Carey breaking for the end-zone for a 29-yard completion. Carey finished the day with three catches for a team leading 51 receiving yards, and a touchdown.
Meredith led the defensive attack collecting eight tackles, five that were solo, and one pass breakup. The junior and his defensive company only allowed 90 yards rushing on 27 attempts. The defense came up real big by shutting down WPI four times at the Plymouth 10-yard line in the final seconds of the game.
Massahos led the Panther ground game with 91 yards on 22 carries. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage allowing running backs Jeff Parker (Norwich, NY), Bryan Sinatro (West Hartford, CT), and Massahos to find the open holes. The running backs gained 177 total yards on the ground, and pounded for two touchdowns. Massahos finishes his first season as a Panther with 517-yards rushing on 105 carries, averaging 4.9 yards an attempt.
PSC finishes the regular season 7-3 and 4-2 in the FFC. The Panthers finish 5th in the ECAC New England Division III poll, and have earned themselves a second seed in the ECAC Northeast Championship game. Plymouth State will travel to Rhode Island next Saturday (Nov.21) to face top-seeded Salve Regina University. Salve Regina finished 3rd in the ECAC polls and ended the regular season with a 9-1 record.