PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) passed for 276 yards, ran for 110 and accounted for seven touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead Bridgewater State University to a 56-28 win over Plymouth State University in Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference football action at Currier Field.
BSU's offense racked up 512 yards of total offense while putting up a season-high 56 points. The Bears improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the MASCAC. PSU drops to 1-5 and 0-4.
McCarthy completed 18 of 29 attempts and threw for five touchdown passes. The five touchdowns in the air tied a school record and it was the second time he accomplished the feat this season. Junior wide receiver Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) was McCarthy's favorite target on Saturday as he hauled in nine passes for 175 yards and three scores.
Bridgewater scored on its first possession of the game, a three-yard run by McCarthy. The play was set up after the Bears recovered a PSU fumble on the Panther 29-yard line. On the ensuing possession, Plymouth tied the score at seven when freshman quarterback Ryan Perron (North Attleboro, Mass.) found senior wide receiver Zac Iovanella (North Andover, Mass.) for a 30-yard touchdown strike.
BSU then put the game away with 28 unanswered points before halftime. McCarthy hit Green with a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter that gave the visitors the lead for good. Green snatched his second score, a 29-yarder, to start the second session, and then linebacker Andrew Anderson (Portsmouth, R.I.) picked off a PSU pass on Plymouth's next possession and went 44 yards for the Bears' third score. McCarthy and Green hooked up one more time for a 42-yard pass play that made it 35-7.
Despite being down the Panthers showed some life at various points. Late in the second quarter junior Chris Smith (Merrimack, N.H.) returned a kick-off 80 yards for Plymouth's second touchdown and in the third quarter Perron hit junior tight end Ian Bures (Prospect, Conn.) with a 39-yard scoring strike on third down and nine. Senior running back Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.), who had 68 yards rushing, added a one-yard touchdown run toward the end of the third stanza.
The Bears scored two more times in the third quarter, one a McCarthy four-yard scamper and the other a pass to senior Jon Criscuolo (Guilford, Conn.). BSU rounded out its scoring on its first possession of the final frame when McCarthy found senior Chris Constantine (Hingham, Mass.) from 10 yards out.
Constantine finished with six receptions for 57 yards while Anderson led the defense with nine tackles to go along with his interception.
Perron, only in his second start at quarterback for PSU, completed 14 of 24 throws for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Stefano (Fryeburg, Maine) and Iovannella were solid at the wide receiver position registering five and four receptions respectively while Smith boosted the special teams with 186 return yards. Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) led the Panther defense with a game-high 12 tackles, including two for loss.
The Panthers hit the road next week for a game at Framingham State. Bridgewater returns home next week to host Westfield State.
Notes: McCarthy moved past Andy Brems (2000-03) into fourth place on Bridgewater State's all-time rushing list as he has accumulated 2,525 yard on the ground in four seasons with the Bears….McCarthy also passed Bruce Burley (2006-08) on the Bears' career scoring list as he is seventh all-time with 216 points (36 touchdowns)….McCarthy became just the fourth quarterback in BSU football history to surpass the 4,000-yard (4,110 yds.) passing milestone, joining Dan Maurer (4,628 yds.), BSU Hall of Famer Vince Hickey (4,530 yds.) and Adam Camobreco (4,407 yds.)….Green is now fifth all-time in career receiving yards at BSU with 1,542 and he is tied for sixth in receptions with 83. He moved past Jesse Teixeira (2005-06, 08-09) on the receiving yardage list and is tied with Mark Hull (2002-05) with the 83 receptions….Green's 992 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 2013 are second only to Ben Bascon's 1,067 yards (2005) and BSU Hall of Famer Andy Macaione's 15 touchdowns (1999) in the Bears' single-season receiving records. His 47 receptions is third behind Chris Joyce (65 in 2007) and Bascon (60 in 2005).