GAME #2: U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1-0) at Plymouth State University (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007, 1:30 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – After a non-conference victory to open the 2007 season, Plymouth State University begins New England Football Conference play this Saturday with a home game against the United State Coast Guard Academy.
The Panthers and Bears will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Currier Field. It is Crossover Day in the NEFC, with each Boyd Division school facing a Bogan Division school. The outcomes will not be reflected in the divisional standings, but could be used for tiebreaker purposes at the end of the season. PSU faces Coast Guard, as they were the two schools who joined the conference prior to last season.
PSU is coming off a 41-30 non-conference victory over Mount Ida College, capturing the season debut for the first time since winning 24-10 at Rensselaer to begin the 2000 campaign. The 41 points also marked the Panthers’ highest-scoring output since tallying more than 40 points in the final three games of the 2001 season. PSU ran the ball on 70 of 79 plays from scrimmage, and held possession of the ball for nearly 40 minutes. Running backs Brandon Clough (Gonic, N.H./Spaulding) and Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H./Milford) both rushed for over 100 yards, and quarterback John DeMarco (Milford, N.H./Milford) scrambled for 88 yards.
The defending Bogan Division champions after going 7-0 last season, Coast Guard won a thriller in this season’s opener last Saturday, defeating Merchant Marine 36-31. Senior quarterback Christian George had 312 yards of total offense, including the game winning 10-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds left which capped a wild fourth quarter that featured 41 points. Merchant Marine had two chances from the Coast Guard 18-yard line in the final seven seconds, but a pair of incomplete passes sealed the win. The game featured 964 yards of total offense, 528 by Coast Guard. The Bears, who lost to Curry in last year’s NEFC championship game and to Bridgewater State in the ECAC North championship, won their ninth consecutive regular season game last week and goes for No. 10 this Saturday.
NEFC schools play their divisional conference schedule the next seven weeks, with the Bogan and Boyd Division champions meeting for the NEFC title on Nov. 10.
CAREER SERIES: Plymouth State and Coast Guard have met 14 times since the first meeting in 1988, when the Bears defeated the Panthers, 28-19, in the ECAC North Championship. PSU won eight of 12 meetings between 1992 and 2003, when both teams were members of the now-defunct Freedom Football Conference. The teams did not meet in 2004 and 2005, and Coast Guard routed Plymouth State, 35-7, when the series resumed last season in New London, Conn. PSU leads the all-time series 8-6, and is 4-3 against the Bears here at Currier Field.
NEFC HONORS: Plymouth State RB Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H.) was selected to the NEFC Weekly Honor Roll after last week’s season opening win over Mount Ida. Mack rushed for 110 yards and three touchdowns while catching two passes.
PSU AT CURRIER FIELD: The Panthers continue to enjoy success at Currier Field, capturing over two-thirds of the contests. Plymouth State now has an all-time home record of 126-54-3 for a .697 winning percentage. PSU was 3-1 at home last season and is 7-3 at home since 2005.
PSU FOOTBALL HISTORY: After beginning its football program in 1970, Plymouth State was a member of the NEFC from 1971-91, winning or sharing nine titles in those 21 seasons. The Panthers won or shared eight straight NEFC championships from 1981-88. PSU has the 15th-highest career winning percentage (.628) among all NCAA Division III football programs.
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