PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) rushed for 118 yards and senior Dustin Matthews (Eliot, Maine) scored two touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University past MIT, 30-27, in a tightly-contested New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Currier Field.
Senior Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, Conn.) also had a dazzling day for the Panthers for the second week in a row. He collected two interceptions on defense for the second straight week, and his special teams performance included several big plays: a career-long 62-yard punt that put MIT inside its five-yard line; a 57-yard kick-off return in the fourth quarter that set up the winning score; and a career-long 42-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter that ended up as the difference in the game.
The win improves Plymouth State to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the NEFC. MIT drops to 1-4 and remains winless (0-3) in conference play.
Both teams traded scores in the first half, with the Panthers striking first when freshman quarterback Joey Avila (Gloucester, Mass.) found senior James Liddel (Shelton, Conn.) with a 7-yard scoring strike midway through the opening quarter. Avila completed another seven-yarder to Foglia early in the second frame for PSU's second touchdown of the game.
Sandwiched in between PSU's first two touchdowns, MIT was able to tie the score at 7-all following a 4-yard scoring pass from sophomore John Wenzel (Mandeville, La.) to senior Justin Kresz (Tarpon Springs, Fla.). The Engineers drew even again with 5:05 left in the first half, when Wenzel rumbled in from 15 yards.
Plymouth State took the lead for good with just 26 seconds remaining before the intermission as Matthews dove in from a yard out. That touchdown was set up by two big plays from Mulcahy, the 62-yard punt that pinned MIT on its own 4-yard line and an interception at the Engineer 30-yard line.
Listed as a defensive back, Mulcahy kicked three extra-points, punted three times for 135 yards (45 yard avg.), returned two kicks for 75 yards (with a long of 57 yards), registered four tackles and two interceptions. This coming on the heels of a similar performance one week ago against Nichols College when he had two interceptions, four pass break-ups, two tackles, four extra-points and a kick return for a touchdown.
MIT made things interesting when reserve quarterback Peter Williams (Portland, Ore.) capped off a nine-play, 85-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown run, making it a three point game with just under a minute to play. Plymouth State was able to recover the onside kick and run out the clock.
Freshman Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) led the Engineers with 106 yards rushing on 25 attempts. Wenzel added 50 yards on the ground, including two touchdowns and Kresz finished with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. The Engineers outgained PSU 256-208 in total yards.
PSU plays three of its final four games on the road, beginning next Saturday at Boyd Division-leading Endicott College. MIT returns home to host Western New England University next Saturday.
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