PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Russ Massahos (Windham, N.H.) rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, leading Plymouth State College to a 21-14 Freedom Football Conference victory over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) at Currier Field.
Massahos, who was also PSC’s leading receiver with three catches for 44 yards, scored on TD runs of one, 32 and 60 yards. He went into the end zone once in each of the first three quarters.
The victory improves PSC to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the FFC, while Kings Point falls to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Massahos capped a 13-play, 85-yard scoring drive on PSC’s first possession of the game, scoring from one yard out. Kings Point answered on its first possession with an 11-play drive, going 65 yards and tying the game at 7-7 on a three-yard run by senior Trenel Hardy (Westbury, N.Y.).
The Panthers took advantage of a Kings Point turnover for their second touchdown midway through the second quarter. On the first play after Panther senior Bobby Maylone (Manchester, N.H.) recovered a Mariner fumble at the Kings Point 32-yard line, Massahos went around the left end and into the end zone to give PSC a 14-7 lead.
Massahos gave PSC a 21-7 lead with 6:27 to play in the third quarter, rumbling 60 yards for his third TD of the day.
Kings Point made a valiant comeback late in the fourth quarter. Sophomore QB Dan Circelli (New Hartford, N.Y.) led a 12-play drive, hitting senior Will Felch (Lancaster, TX) with a two-yard TD pass with 1:27 to play.
Plymouth State recovered the on-side kick, put couldn’t run out the clock. Kings Point got the ball back with 54 seconds remaining, but the final drive was stopped by an interception by senior Tim Hersey (Bedford, N.H.).
The Panthers outgained the Mariners in total yards, 335-279. Circelli completed 27 of 51 pass attempts for 245 yards, and senior receiver Jay DeBruhl (Camden, S.C.) caught nine passes for 95 yards.
The PSC defense limited Kings Point to 34 yards rushing in 38 attempts. Senior Chris Kelliher (Goffstown, N.H.) and Maylone led the effort for the Panthers, making 13 and 10 tackles, respectively. Maylone also broke up two passes and recovered two fumbles.
The game was played under difficult circumstances for Plymouth State. The team dedicated the game to Charlie Chaves (Middletown, R.I.), a teammate who was killed in a traffic accident on Thursday night.
PSC has another tough FFC contest next Saturday at Currier Field, hosting defending champion and pre-season favorite Springfield College (12 noon) in the Homecoming contest.