New Hampshire Football Report

Plymouth State 21, Mass. Maritime 7

BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Senior Manny Sanchez (Hartford, Conn.) ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, and the Plymouth State University defense forced three turnovers as the Panthers topped Mass. Maritime Academy, 21-7, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football game at Clean Harbors Stadium on Saturday.


The win pushes the Panthers to 8-1 (6-1 MASCAC) and sets up a winner-take-all clash with league-leading UMass Dartmouth next Saturday (Nov. 12). The winner will claim the MASCAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

The Panthers got on the board early in the second quarter after senior Christian Paillet (Nashua, N.H.) picked off a Buccaneers pass and returned it to the Mass. Maritime 15-yard line. Sanchez took over from there to give PSU a 7-0 lead just three seconds into the second quarter.

The PSU defense was at it again as senior Luc Normandeau (Dover, N.H.) forced a fumble on MMA’s second play of the following drive. Junior Emmanuel Ughu (Milford, N.H.) recovered and four plays later sophomore Matthew Griffing (West Brookfield, Mass.) scored on a 13-yard run to double the margin.

The home team responded with a 91-yard drive resulting in a touchdown to make it a 14-7 game and the score remained that way into halftime.

Neither side was able to move the ball much during the third quarter, but the Panthers put together a seven-play, 79-yard drive early in the fourth to restore the two-score lead. Sophomore Braden Lynn (Littleton, Mass.) hit senior Bryan Warren (Pine Bush, N.Y.) for a 12-yard completion to jumpstart the drive and PSU picked up 19 yards on a throw to graduate student Jake Donahue (Hudson, N.H.) ahead of a 15-yard penalty on the home team. On third-and-11, Lynn hooked up with Warren for a 28-yard TD strike to give PSU a 14-point cushion, 21-7, and the Panthers’ defense held strong to preserve the win.

Mass. Maritime dips to 3-6 and 3-4 in conference action.

The Basics:

  • Plymouth State 21, Mass. Maritime 7
    • Plymouth State (8-1, 6-1 MASCAC)
    • Mass. Maritime (3-6, 3-4 MASCAC)

How it Happened:

  • After a three-and-out, the Buccaneers moved the ball to the PSU 15-yard line, but a 32-yard field goal try missed wide right.
  • Plymouth State was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, but freshman Conner Sheehan (Dover, N.H.) pinned the Bucs deep in their own end.
  • Paillet came away with his first career interception, returning it 25 yards to the Mass. Maritime 15-yard line.
  • Sanchez pounded the ball in from a yard out early in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.
  • The PSU defense had a 4-yard tackle for a loss on the next play from scrimmage, then Normandeau stripped the Bucs receiver and Ughu recovered at the Bucs 31-yard line.
  • PSU covered the 31 yards in four plays, with Griffing finding pay dirt from 13 yards out to extend the lead to 14-0.
  • Mass. Maritime responded, though, marching down field for a 14-play, 9-1yard drive that ate up over 7:30 and resulted in a one-yard TD run to cut the margin to 14-7 at the half.
  • Normandeau recovered a fumble midway through the third quarter to give PSU the ball in Bucs’ territory, but the defense held on a fourth-and-one to give the hosts the ball back.
  • PSU used a pair of long passes to Warren and Donahue, coupled with a Bucs’ tripping penalty, to move the ball to the Mass. Maritime 27-yard line. On third-and-11, Lynn was flushed from the pocket and nearly sacked, but was able to throw on the run to find Warren in the end zone for a 28-yard score to put some distance between the two teams.
  • Mass. Maritime was able to move the ball to the PSU 29-yard line late in the fourth quarter, but the defense forced a turnover on downs and Plymouth State was able to run out the rest of the clock.

By the Numbers:

  • Lynn completed 9-of-15 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.
  • Sanchez had 26 carries for 86 yards and a score, while Griffing ran the ball six times for 31 yards and a TD.
  • Warren hauled in four balls for 53 yards, including his 28-yard TD catch, while Donahue added two catches for 24 yards.
  • Normandeau led the defense with seven tackles, all solo, and added a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
  • Senior Quinn Girard (Glens Falls, N.Y.) and sophomore Gustavo Regalado (Lawrence, Mass.) posted six tackles apiece, with Regalado adding a pair of pass breakups.
  • The Panthers’ defense had six tackles for a loss, with senior Tracy Cristiano (Thornton, N.H.) recording a pair of sacks.
  • PSU improves to 8-3 against the Bucs and has won each of the last six meetings.
  • The win sets up a showdown with UMass Dartmouth for the conference title next weekend, though the Corsairs have won three straight and eight-of-ten against the Panthers.

Up Next:

Plymouth State wraps up the regular season with a huge Senior Day matchup against UMass Dartmouth at Panther Field next Saturday (Nov. 12). Kickoff is set for noon.


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