PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Charlie Schubert (Manchester, NH) scored on a 56-yard reception Saturday to lead Plymouth State College to a 16-7 win over Salve Regina University in the season opener for both schools at Currier Field.
The victory gave PSC revenge, as Salve had handed the Panthers a 36-6 verdict in the last game of 1998, the ECAC Northeast Championship. It also made new PSC head coach Chris Rorke a winner in his collegiate coaching debut.
Schubert was hit in stride down the right sideline midway through the third quarter from sophomore quarterback Justin Connors (Andover, Mass.), who was making his collegiate debut. Connors finished with 10 completions on 22 attempts for 175 yards, including four completions to Schubert for 77 yards.
The Panthers also got 98 yards rushing on 24 carries from sophomore Russ Massahos (Windham, NH).
The Seahawks got between 60 and 75 yards rushing from three different running backs. Junior Luke Arnold (Westerly, RI) rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries, sophomore Fred Bucco (Warwick, RI) gained 66 yards on nine attempts, and senior Mark DeBiasio (North Attleboro, MA) finished with 61 yards on 21 carries.
Salve took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 38-yard pass play from junior Jeff Wright (Wickford, RI) to freshman Ron Casper (Middletown, RI).
PSC got on the board late in the first quarter when senior Colt Meredith (Saugus, Mass.) blocked a punt near the Salve goal line, and classmate John McLaughlin (East Bridgewater,, Mass.) picked up the loose ball and returned it two yards for a TD. The Panthers botched the extra point attempt, and trailed 7-6.
Freshman Jay Zinis (Manchester, NH) kicked a 19 yard field goal late in the second quarter to give PSC a 9-7 lead at the intermission.
The Seahawks had two golden opportunities to score in the third quarter but came up empty. Twice the Panthers fumbled deep in their own territory, but both time the PSC defense held and Salve turned the ball over on downs inside the Panther five-yard line.