Game Notes: Maine Maritime Academy at Plymouth State University

Game Notes: Maine Maritime Academy at Plymouth State University

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Saturday's Game: Maine Maritime Academy (0-1) at Plymouth State University (1-0), 1:00 p.m., Charles L. Currier Memorial Field, Plymouth, N.H.

Series History: The Panthers hold a 22-7 all-time advantage over the Mariners, in a rivalry that dates back to 1971.

Last Meeting: The two teams last faced off in 2012, in Castine. The Panthers defeated the Mariners 13-7 on September 15, 2012.

Maine Maritime Academy's Last Game: Maine Maritime Academy football fell to SUNY Maritime 24-21 last Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Reinhart Field.

The Mariners amassed 268 yards of total offense, including 202 passing yards but the Privateers scored 17-unanswered points in the final five minutes, including a 43-yard field goal with one second left in the game, to secure the come-from-behind victory.

The Privateers scored on the opening drive, a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown carry from Hezekiah Williamson and an extra point from Joseph Gagliardi.

The Mariners forced a fumble on the Privateers' next drive setting up a 7-play, 46-yard drive that was capped off by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nikolas Moquin (Goffstown, N.H.) to Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine) and a good extra point from Maxwell Horton (Eliot, Maine) to tie the game at 7-7.

Maine Maritime's defense forced a Privateer punt and Moquin connected with Casale again, this time on the first play of the Mariners' drive, with a 33-yard toss, to make it 13-7.

The Mariner defense came up big at the end of the half, when Joel Bennett (Chelsea, Maine) picked off SUNY's Robert Wheeler and the Mariners entered halftime with a six-point lead.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Mariners extended their lead to 21-7 when Moquin connected with Mason Kaserman (Portland, Maine) for a 54-yard touchdown reception and then ran the ball in for the two-point conversion, but the Privateers answered with a touchdown of their own on their next drive to cut the lead to 21-14.

SUNY's defense came up with an interception on the Mariners' drive and the Privateers used a 7-play 35-yard drive to tie the game at 21-21. The Mariners were forced to punt with less than a minute remaining and the Privateers escaped with the victory on the foot of Gagliardi, who hit a 43-yarder with one second left.

Moquin led the Mariner offense completing 12 passes, for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while Casale led the receivers with 95 yards on five catches and two touchdowns.

Defensively Spencer Baron (Mariaville, Maine) led the Mariners with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, a fumble recovery and a broken up pass. Terrell Thomas (Auburn, Maine) racked up nine tackles, six solo, and Bennett had seven tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.

Wheeler led the Privateers with 148 passing yards on 15 completions, a touchdown and 99 rushing yards on 16 carries. Liam Bailey led the Privateer defense with seven tackles, four solo, and a tackle for a loss of one yard.

Plymouth State's Last Game: Senior David Hamilton rushed for a career-high 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Plymouth State University to a 23-17 win over Castleton University in non-conference football action at Dave Wolk Stadium last Saturday afternoon.

With the game tied at 17-17 in the fourth quarter, Hamilton found the end zone from two yards out to secure the win.

Sophomore Brett Lavanchy went 15-of-21 for 124 yards and a touchdown in his debut as the Panthers' starting quarterback. He was two-for-two on the game-winning drive, converting a third-and-three and fourth-and-13 to set up the game-winning score.

Senior Matt Shea set the tone for the PSU defense, leading all players with 11 tackles, as the Panthers knocked off Castleton in the season opener for the fourth straight year.

Castleton was the first to score, marching 90 yards down field in 11 plays, capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by Simon Davis Jr, who dove into the end zone to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
PSU came right back to even the score on the ensuing drive, methodically covering 52 yards in 7:28 over 13 plays. Hamilton picked up two yards to convert a fourth-and-one, then pushed the pile into the end zone from two yards out to make it 7-7.

Both teams punted on their next drives, but Castleton regained the lead on a 19-yard field goal after converting a pair of fourth downs on the drive. The Spartans got all the way to the PSU two-yard line, but the defense held strong to force the hosts to settle for three points.

Plymouth took over with 2:17 left in the half and managed the clock perfectly to even the score. Junior Ryan Milliken  set up the Panthers with great field position after returning the kickoff 52 yards to the Castleton 46-yard line. With 49 seconds left in the half a key roughing the passer on fourth-and-ten gave PSU a fresh set of downs and freshman Dan Carey was good from 32 yards to make it 10-10 at the intermission.

Sophomore Gavin Moody returned the second half kickoff 27 yards and Hamilton snapped off runs of 34 and 22 yards before Lavanchy connected with Moody from 17 yards out to put the Panthers in the lead, 17-10.
After both teams had drives fizzle, the hosts capped a 15-play, 73-yard drive with a four-yard TD run from Matthew Hesford to knot the game at 17-17 late in the third quarter.

Both sides were forced to punt on their initial drives in the fourth quarter, but PSU chewed up yardage on its second drive to pull in front. Starting from midfield, Lavanchy found sophomore Zach Caffrey for 19 yards on a third-and-three, and later hit Moody for a 17-yard gain on a fourth-and-13, to set up Hamilton's game-winning touchdown.

Pinned deep in their own territory after forcing a Castleton punt, the Panthers handed off to Hamilton for consecutive runs of 16 and 12 yards and the offense was able to run out the clock.

About the Panthers: Plymouth State competes in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). They are coached by Paul Castonia, in his 17th season. In 2018, the Panthers went 6-4 overall and 5-3 in MASCAC play. Plymouth was selected to finish fourth in their conference this season, behind Framingham State, WestConn and Bridgewater State. Saturday is Plymouth's home opener.

Weekly Honors: Maine Maritime's Spencer Baron was named to the Noontime Sports Teams of the Week after he tallied 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one pass break-up, one fumble recovery, and a half a tackle for a loss for two yards in the team's season opener.

Plymouth Senior David Hamilton was named to the MASCAC Football Weekly Honor Roll after rushing for a new career high to lead the Panthers to a 23-17 win at Castleton University.