By Sean Kelly, Student Assistant
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Two of the four top weekly honors announced by the Freedom Football Conference this week are Plymouth State College players, thanks to their efforts in a 42-0-conference victory over Coast Guard last Saturday.
Sophomore Russ Massahos (Windham, NH) was selected FFC Offensive Player of the Week, and freshman defensive tackle Nate Laita (Dover-Foxcroft, ME) was tabbed FFC Rookie of the week for the second straight week. Seniors Eric Taylor (Saratoga, NY) and John McLaughlin (E. Bridgewater, MA) were named to the FFC Weekly Honor Roll. Massahos was also selected ECAC New England Offensive Player of the Week.
A sophomore running back, Massahos set PSC, Freedom Football Conference, and New England Division III records Saturday with six rushing touchdowns. Massohos, who finished the day with 189 yards on 11 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.
Laita was instrumental in Plymouth State’s defensive performance that held Coast Guard scoreless. The freshman tackle recorded seven tackles, five tackles for a loss of 16 yards, as well as having one fumble recovery and a pass break-up. This was the second straight week he has recived the FFC Rookie of the Week honor.
Taylor, a senior running back, registered his first career 100-yard game after taking over in the third quarter for Massahos. He rushed 11 times for 102 yards and caught one pass for 21 yards. He now leads the FFC in kick return average (21.8). In the ’98 campaign Taylor played linebacker and registered 26 tackles.
McLaughlin, also a senior, was selected to the FFC Special Teams Honor Roll for the first time this season. He returned four punts for 25 yards and one kickoff return for 61 yards. He also registered his second interception of the season, returning it nine yards.
The Panthers, 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the FFC, moved back into the ECAC New England Division III poll this week, into the seventh spot. PSC returns to non-conference action this Saturday when they travel to New Jersey to face Kean University in a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.