Worcester, MA --- Junior Kemani Jones (Milton, MA) amassed 191 yards of total offense which included 170 yards on the ground and two total touchdowns to help pace Worcester State to a 36-3 victory over Plymouth State in MASCAC football action this afternoon.
The Lancers (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC), who had never beaten the Panthers in all four previous matchups, were also led by senior Pat Viencek (Bernardston, MA) who added 178 yards passing and four scores through the air.
Senior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA) and classmate Jack Sprague (Maynard, MA) both hauled in six receptions each and one score each.
Plymouth State (1-7, 0-6 MASCAC) was led offensively by senior Mark Hennessy (Westford, MA) who had 17 carries for 84 yards.
Senior Bryan Narcisse (Medway, MA) propelled the Blue and Gold defensively with 13 tackles (eight solo) and two sacks as classmate Sean Hanley (Wilmington, MA) registered eight tackles, two TFL and one sack.
Senior Mike Goulden (Rehoboth, MA) also chipped in with an interception and two pass breakups as the Lancer defense limited the Panthers to 157 yards of total offense – including 43 passing yards.
Freshman Blair Zentek (Simsbury, CT) distinguished himself for PSU with eight solo stops and two blocked PATs in the first half and sophomore Will Perotti (E. Canaan, CT) snatched two interceptions for the Green and White.
Plymouth State jumped on the board first, taking advantage of a fumble on the opening kickoff when senior Rob Giles (Derry, NH) connected on a 40-yard field goal just 2:45 into the contest for the early 3-0 edge.
Worcester State though shrugged off the turnover as the offense scored three touchdowns by the intermission to open up a 22-3 margin, with the last score culminating in a seven-yard hook-up between Viencek and Hippert.
The Lancers took over the 9-3 lead after the end of the first quarter on a 19-yard shovel pass from Viencek to Jones at the 10:03 mark before Paz unleashed his sixth field goal of the season on a 29-yarder four minutes later.
WSU added their other score in the second quarter on a 12-yard scoring strike from Viencek and Sprague to go up, 15-3 with 9:02 left in the stanza. Freshman Donnell Boyd (Brooklyn, NY) put the hosts in Plymouth State's red zone with a 29-yard interception return.
After Worcester State ballooned their lead to 29-3 on a 10-yard flick by Viencek to freshman Isaiah King (Richmond, VA), the hosts put the game away in the fourth on a 72-yard touchdown dash by Jones with 6:56 remaining in regulation.
The best opportunity for Plymouth State to get back into the contest came on a 16-play, nine-minute drive that started on their own 25 and ended on the WSU 17. With a fresh set of downs inside the Lancer red-zone, the defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs.
Goulden also picked off the third play of PSU's next drive and freshman Nic Wojnar (N. Grafton, MA) caused a turnover on a muffed punt to seal up the victory for the home team.
Hippert moved into second on the all-time receiving yardage list passing current student assistant coach AJ Scerra (2010-13) as he now has 2,513 yards in his outstanding career.
Jones also became the seventh WSU rusher to go over the millennial plateau as he now has 1,009 yards, which ties for the conference lead.
Despite the two blocked PATs on the Lancers first two scores, Paz still eclipsed the single-season record for extra points with three for a sum of 37. He broke the previous mark held by Jose Ribero that was set in 1996.
19 seniors were recognized in a brief pre-game ceremony for playing their final home contest.
Both squads continue MASCAC play this Saturday. Worcester State heads to Westfield State for a 1 PM matchup while the Panthers host Mass Maritime at noon.