CASTLETON, Vt. – Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns for the fourth time in his career, leading Castleton State College to a 35-7 win over Plymouth State University in non-conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
The win was the first for Castleton over a non-conference opponent in its brief history and came in front of nearly 3,000 fans on military appreciation day.
Brozowski, who has now gone over 400-yards eight times in his career, connected on 18-of-25 attempts in the first half for 308 yards and three touchdowns, staking the Spartans to a commanding 28-7 lead at halftime. The senior quarterback hooked up with Kevin Alberque (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) for all three first-half strikes, tying the program record. Alberque led six Spartan receivers with six catches for 139 yards. Junior Brandon Boyle (Springfield, Vt.) caught five passes for 99 yards and a touchdown and senior Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, N.Y.) added four catches for 84 yards, while rushing 12 times for 55 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield.
Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) led the Plymouth State ground game with 96 yards and the lone Panther touchdown on 20 attempts. Quarterback Jake Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) added 43 yards on 13 attempts and freshman Bemnet Banks (Springfield, Mass.) saw six carries in the second half for 40 yards.
Castleton wasted little time displaying its vaunted offense as Brozowski needed just four plays to register the first touchdown of 2012. After a rush and two first-down strikes to Boyle and Carpenter, Brozowski hooked up with Alberque over the top of the defense for a 49-yard touchdown on the game's first drive.
The Spartan defense – which was gashed for nearly 300 yards by the Panthers last season – held Plymouth State scoreless over its first four possessions, forcing a pair of three-and-outs. Brandon Bergeron (Hartford, Vt.) also had the first of his two interceptions on the opening Panther drive, while Josh Osborne (Island Heights, N.J.) and Cody TanCreti (Hartland, Vt.) stopped the Panthers on downs on the final drive of the quarter.
The Spartans opened the second quarter in the same fashion as the first, rattling of a four-play, 66-yard touchdown drive in just one minute and 29 seconds, capped by a Brozowski-to-Alberque touchdown for 57 yards.
Plymouth State answered with a methodical nine-play, 73-yard scoring drive that spanned four minutes and 27 seconds to slice the lead in half with 7:24 remaining before halftime. Foglia was featured heavily in the drive, starting with a 32-yard burst up the middle and finishing with a four-yard plunge off the left tackle for the touchdown.
The Spartans strung together touchdown drives on each of its next two possessions, and the defense once again held on downs, this time at midfield on a Todd Carr (Ticonderoga, N.Y.) stuff. Brozowski drove Castleton 80 yards on nine plays in just under two minutes, with Carpenter punching it in from one-yard out to make it 21-7. Then, he followed with a five-play 50 yard drive in less than a minute and a half to push the lead to 28-7. Brozowski found Alberque from seven yards out to finish the drive, but it was an impressive hook up with Denny Wilhelm (Glens Falls, N.Y.) on second and five that went for 25 yards that keyed the drive.
Castleton's final touchdown came on a perfect 65-yard hook up with Boyle, on a mirror image of the two long hook ups with Alberque.
The Castleton defense limited the Panthers to 300 total yards and finished with a program-record 112 tackles, including 15 from Carr and 10 each from Andrew Pursell (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Osborne. The Spartans also forced five turnovers as TanCreti had an interception to end the first half, while Carr and Ethan Macrua (Granville, N.Y.) each recovered a fumble.
Louis Montegari (Wanaque, N.J.), Chris Smith (Merrimack, N.H.) and Mark Hennessy (Westford, Mass.) led the Panthers with six tackles apiece. Wyatt Huston (North Scituate, R.I.) and Matt Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) each had four tackles (three for loss) and one-and-a-half sacks. Fiore added a fumble recovery and four quarterback hurries while Huston chipped in two forced fumbles and three quarterback hurries.
In what was the mutual season opener for both teams, Castleton improves to 1-0 for the second time in program history, while Plymouth State falls to 0-1 for the first time since 2009. Both teams return to non-conference action next Saturday with the Panthers hosting Mount Ida at 1 pm and the Spartans traveling to Endicott for a 12 noon kick-off.