PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Matt Verenini (Averill Park, N.Y.) kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:50 to play Saturday, leading Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to a 17-14 victory over Plymouth State College in a non-conference football game at Currier Field.
The outcome spoiled a record-breaking performance by PSC tight end John Walters (Wells, Maine), who caught a PSC single-game mark 12 catches for 180 yards.
The game featured a lot of offense but mistakes from both schools. PSC racked up 465 yards of total offense but turned the ball over seven times (three interceptions, four fumbles), and RPI compiled 399 yards of offense but was flagged for 14 penalties for 124 yards.
RPI took a 6-0 lead into halftime, as senior Kevin Siska (Alden, N.Y.) caught a 10-yard pass from Flynn Cochrane (Kent, Wash.) with 1:15 on the second-quarter clock. Verenini’s extra point kick attempt failed.
PSC took the lead midway through the third quarter on a 12-yard run by sophomore Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.), and the PAT kick by Jay Zinis (Manchester, N.H./West) made it 7-6.
The Engineers regained the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when senior Joe Prymas (Vernon, N.Y.) scored on a five-yard run. Cochran completed a two-point conversion, catching a pass from quarterback Dan Cole (Albany, N.Y.).
The Panthers evened the game when Russ Massahos (Windham, N.H.) recovered his own fumble in the end zone on a play that started at the RPI five-yard line. Zinis’ extra point tied the score at 14-apiece with 5:48 to play, setting up Verenini’s game-winning kick.
PSC drove into RPI territory in the closing seconds, but a Bicchieri pass reception fell short on fourth down.
Walters’ single-game record 12 catches breaks the old mark of 11, held by Scott Anson against Massachusetts Maritime in 1982.