PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team jumped out to a 19-0 lead over Mount Ida College early in the second quarter Saturday afternoon, but had to hold off a wild rally late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mustangs, 19-13, in a non-conference match-up at the Mount Ida Athletic Stadium.
Trailing by six points with the ball at the PSU 10-yard line and less than a second to go in the game, Mount Ida junior quarterback Scott Drosendahl (East Aurora, N.Y.) eluded pressure from the PSU defense and aired out a pass to the back right corner of the end zone. Junior Nick Lynch (Hampton Bays, N.Y.), who only played in the final two plays of the game, maintained possession between two defenders, but the line judge ruled the catch incomplete, ending the game.
Junior Andrew Foglia led the Panther offense with his second straight 100-yard rushing performance. He finished with 118 yards on 11 carries (10.7 avg.) with one touchdown.
The Mustangs, who trailed 19-7 at halftime, pulled to within six points with eight minutes remaining in the final quarter but was unable to complete a valiant comeback. Mount Ida drops its second non-conference loss in as many weeks, while the Panthers improve to 2-0.
The visitors controlled the first quarter, starting on the opening possession. PSU drove down the field on a nine-play, 55-yard drive capped off by a six-yard punch in by junior quarterback Chris Rigoli. PSU scored again on its next possession, finishing an eight-play, 51-yard drive on an 11-yard scamper by sophomore quarterback Josh Morgan. The extra point kick failed, keeping the score at 13-0.
It only took two plays for the Panthers to find the end zone for the third time in as many possessions early in the second quarter. Foglia broke out a 62-yard run from scrimmage for the commanding 19-0 advantage early in the second stanza. Foglia is averaging 9.3 yards on his 29 carries this season.
The Mustangs found the end zone on their next possession on an 11-play, 65-yard drive. Senior running back Johrone Bunch carried the ball nine times during the drive racking up 58 yards. The Mustangs scored on a seven-yard strike to sophomore Jordan Hyman.
Each team had three possessions in the third quarter with neither team able to convert. The Mustangs had the ball on the Plymouth State 13-yard line but were unable to convert a fourth and two. Mustang freshman punt returner Jovan Wilkins returned a punt 71 yards to the PSU six-yard line, but the visitors stuffed the Mustangs at the goal line forcing another turnover on downs.
The Mustangs pulled to within striking distance (19-13) on a five-play, 51-yard drive that finished with a scoring pass from Drosendahl to junior Matthew Valentini with eight minutes to go in final quarter.
The hosts took over with 2:28 to go in the game and moved the chains all the way down to the Panther 10-yard line. Drosendahl put two passes into the end zone but both fell incomplete giving the Mustangs one final chance with less than a second to go. Drosendahl looked to Lynch in the corner of the end zone on the final play but the call did not go in the Mustangs favor.
The Panthers were led defensively by senior linebacker Nicolas Keene with a game-high 13 solo tackles and a sack for a loss of 11 yards.
PSU returns home to host Bridgewater State University next Saturday in the New England Football Conference crossover game at Currier Field. The Mustangs are idle next Saturday and back in action in two weeks when they host non-conference Hartwick College.