PLYMOUTH, N.H. – It was Russ Massahos Day Saturday at Currier Field.
The sophomore running back from Windham, N.H. set Plymouth State College, Freedom Football Conference and New England Division III records Saturday with six rushing touchdowns, leading the Panthers to a 42-0 victory over the Coast Guard Academy.
Massahos, who finished the day with 189 yards on 13 carries, scored on runs of 22 and 50 yards to give PSC a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. He added scoring bursts from four and 57 yards in the second quarter as the Panthers led 28-0 at the half.
Massahos recorded his final two touchdowns in the third quarter from two and 12 yards out before taking the rest of the afternoon off. He now has 10 touchdowns and 832 yards rushing in PSC’s eight games.
The six touchdowns breaks the old Plymouth State record of five in a game held by Joe Dudek against Bridgewater State in 1985. The old FFC record of four was done five times, and the former New England mark of five was done 10 times, including Dudek.
“I’ve never had a better day rushing the football,” said Masshos. “I think I scored three touchdowns once in a high school game, but never did I think I would have a game like I did today. It’s an honor to break a record that was held by someone like Joe Dudek.”
Reserve running back Eric Taylor (Sartoga Springs, NY) took over from Massahos in the third quarter, and registered his first career 100-yard game. He rushed 11 times for 102 yards and caught one pass for 21 yards. The two Panther backs were instrumental in PSC outgaining Coast Guard 415-70.
The performance by Massahos overshadowed another outstanding job by the Plymouth State defense. PSC limited Coast Guard to 70 total yards on 67 plays, including a minus seven yards rushing. It is the second straight week PSC has held its opponent to negative rushing yardage, holding Bentley to a minus five rushing yards last Saturday.
A 5’10”, 205 pounder, Massahos also went wild last year against Coast Guard, rushing for a career-high 207 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. His two-game totals against the Bears are 45 carries, 396 yards (8.8 average) and eight touchdowns.
“I really didn’t do a lot of work today, because my line and the wide receivers gave me so many blocks,” said Massahos. “I never had so many holes before. I felt great, and I had a feeling that I would play well today. Hopefully this will be a good way for the seniors to remember their last home game.”
“Russ has been our featured back all year, and it was great to see him have a chance to display his open field running abilities,” said PSC head coach Chris Rorke. “The receivers gave him some great blocks downfield, and he took advantage of every opportunity he got.”
The victory improved PSC’s record to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the FFC. Coast Guard drops to 1-7 and 1-3.
The Panthers, who are still alive for an ECAC play-off berth, play their final two games on the road. Next Saturday PSC travels to Union, NJ, for a non-conference match-up against Kean University, then wraps up the regular season on Nov. 13 with an FFC battle at WPI.