GAME #7: Bentley College (2-5, 2-4 EFC) at Plymouth State College (2-4, 1-3 FFC)
Sat., Oct. 21, 2000, 12:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H. (WMUR-TV)
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – After three consecutive Freedom Football Conference road games, Plymouth State College celebrates Homecoming this Saturday with a non-conference match-up against Bentley College.
The Panthers and Falcons will kick off at 12:07 p.m. Saturday at Currier Field, a game that will be televised live on WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H. The Panthers are hoping the home-field advantage will help stop a three-game losing skid, while the Falcons, a member of the Division II Eastern Football Conference, are also looking for a jumpstart in what has been a sub-par campaign.
Saturday will mark just the third career meeting between these two schools, and oddly, the home team has yet to win. The Falcons captured the 1998 contest in Plymouth, 30-17, taking a 30-0 lead and cruising to the win. Ted Larkin passed for 245 yards and two touchdowns for Bentley, and Russ Massahos registered his first career 100-yard rushing game for PSC. The Panthers returned the favor last season at Bentley Field, recording eight sacks and two interceptions and pulling off the 17-12 victory.
The combination of a rugged schedule and injuries to the offense has hindered PSC (2-4, 1-3 FFC) in recent weeks, leading to losses in the last three games. Two of the three were at Western Connecticut and Springfield, a pair of Top 20 teams which are a combined 12-1 and outscoring opponents a combined 619-239. During the Kings Point game two weeks ago, the offensive line had only one healthy starter in the line-up, and halfback Russ Massahos was also out. Several of the wounded have returned, and PSC is hoping to regroup and turn in a strong second half of the season.
Bentley (2-5, 2-4 EFC) is fifth place in the Central Division of the EFC, behind AIC, Pace, Bryant, and Assumption, and ahead of Stonehill. The Falcons are led by senior QB Ted Larkin, who holds New England Division II records for career passing yards (7,128) and total offense (7,236). Bentley finished 4-7 overall last season, but had an 8-2 mark in 1998 and holds a 160-56-2 mark in the 22 years under head coach Peter Yetten.
WEEKLY FFC HONORS: With a season-high 20 tackles and a fumble recovery against Springfield, LB Chris Kelliher became the second Panther to earn FFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, joining Mike Pelletier, who earned the honor twice in September. Kelliher was also on the ECAC New England Weekly Honor Roll. RB Russ Massahos scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, made his second appearance on the Weekly Honor Roll.
2000 PSC WEEKLY HONORS:
Sept. 10 DB Mike Pelletier (FFC Def. Player/Week), WR Nate Sergent (FFC Honor Roll)
Sept. 24 DB Mike Pelletier (FFC Def. Player/Week, ECAC NE Honor Roll),
RB Russ Massahos (FFC Honor Roll)
Oct. 9 LB Chris Kelliher (FFC Honor Roll), RB Jason Bordas (FFC Honor Roll)
Oct. 16 LB Chris Kelliher (FFC Def. Player/Week, ECAC NE Honor Roll),
RB Russ Massahos (FFC Honor Roll)
DUALING QBs: With the Panther offensive line battered with injuries, PSC head coach Chris Rorke continues with a platoon system at quarterback. Sophomore Matt Simpson has started all six games, but has been replaced every second offensive series the last two games by junior Zach Matthews. Both Simpson and Matthews had experience as a starter entering the season, Simpson starting nine game last season and Matthews getting the nod in nine outings in 1998.
PSC AT CURRIER FIELD: PSC continues to have success at Currier Field. The Panthers are 1-1 at home this season (a loss to nationally-ranked Brockport and a win over regionally-ranked Norwich), and now has an all-time home record of 112-35-3 for a .757 winning percentage. The Panthers are 30-9 (.769) at home the last eight years, and they were 38-13-1 (.740) in the ‘90s.
A LOOK AHEAD: Including today’s game, PSC plays three of its final four games at Currier Field. The Panthers make their final road trip next week to Coast Guard, then return home to host Mount Ida and WPI in the final two games. Bentley wraps up its season with three straight EFC games against Assumption, LIU/C.W. Post, and Stonehill.