New Hampshire Football Report

Plymouth State 21, Husson 20

BANGOR, Maine– Senior Manny Sanchez (Hartford, Conn.) rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown to take home Most Valuable Player honors as Plymouth State University rallied from a 20-0 deficit to top Husson University, 21-20, in the New England Bowl at Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex on Saturday.

Plymouth State won its first postseason game since capturing the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl over Bridgewater State in 2007.


Husson opened the scoring with a 44-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, then doubled the lead on its next possession to go up 14-0 with 3:45 left in the first. Another PSU turnover gave the Eagles a short field and the hosts converted with a 22-yard TD run, but the extra point sailed wide to make it 20-0 with 4:15 left in the half.

Plymouth State got the ball back with 1:29 left before the break after a Husson fumble and sophomore quarterback Braden Lynn hit graduate student Jake Donahue for a 20-yard gain on fourth-and-15. Two plays later the duo connected again for a 4-yard TD and the game went into halftime 20-7.

Husson had a chance to extend the lead but missed a 22-yard field goal wide right and PSU responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 1-yard TD run by graduate student Thanos Boulukos (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) to make it a one-score game with 5:02 left in the third.

The Eagles converted a fourth-and-one from the PSU 8-yard line early in the fourth, but a Husson fumble was recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

Sanchez jump-started a drive midway through the quarter with a 21-yard run and five plays later his 8-yard TD run and the extra point put the Panthers ahead, 21-20, with 5:49 remaining.

The PSU defense forced back-to-back plays for a total loss of 22 yards on the ensuing drive, forcing a Husson punt with 3:41 on the clock, and the Panthers were able to run out the clock.

Plymouth State endsed the season with a 9-2 mark, while Husson moves to 5-6.

The Basics:

  • Plymouth State 21, Husson 20
    • Plymouth State (9-2)
    • Husson (5-6)

How it Happened:

  • Senior Luc Normandeau (Dover, N.H.) picked off the Husson quarterback at the PSU 26-yard line to stop the Eagles’ opening drive, but a PSU fumble on the ensuing drive was returned 44 yards for a touchdown as the hosts went up 7-0.
  • After a Plymouth State punt, the Husson offense went back to work, driving 61 yards on seven plays to make it 14-0 with 3:45 left in the quarter.
  • Normandeau forced a fumble early in the second quarter and the Panthers took over in Husson territory. Lynn and Donahue connected for an 11-yard gain to open the drive, and Lynn converted a third-and-seven with a 9-yard pass to junior Nikos Bouzakis (Farmington, Conn.) as the Panthers got the ball to the Husson 4-yard line. PSU came up empty, though, as the 24-yard field goal attempt drifted wide left.
  • PSU got the ball back quickly, but Husson got an interception and six plays later a five-yard TD run pushed the margin to 20-0.
  • Another interception set up Husson to extend the margin before the half, but senior Christian Paillet (Nashua, N.H.) jumped on a loose ball and the offense settled in. Lynn opened the drive with a long, 41-yard run, and on fourth-and-15 from the Husson 31-yard line, Donahue hauled in a 20-yard pass to move the chains. Two plays later the duo hooked up again, with Donahue snagging a four-yard TD throw to put the Panthers on the board, 20-7.
  • Husson missed a chance to extend the lead early in the third when the Eagles missed a 22-yard field goal.
  • Plymouth State took over at its own 20-yard line and a healthy dose of Sanchez carries ended with a one-yard Boulukos dive. Sophomore Seth Disalvo (North Andover, Mass.) drilled the extra point to make it 20-14.
  • The Eagles answered with the longest drive of the day, marching 70 yards down field, but a fumble at the PSU 1-yard line was recovered in the end zone by junior Mike Terrazzano (Pelham, N.H.) for a touchback.
  • PSU went three-and-out, but the defense held to get the ball back near midfield with 8:45 remaining. Sanchez opened the drive with a 21-yard rush and later in the drive Sanchez found paydirt from eight yards out to tie the game and Disalvo’s extra point gave the Panthers a 21-20 lead.
  • Junior Emmanuel Ughu (Milford, N.H.) had a tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a five-yard loss, and the Husson center snapped the ball prematurely leading to a 17-yard loss to set up third-and-32 from the Husson 5-yard line. The hosts picked up 21 yards through the air but were forced to punt with 3:41 left and PSU was able to run out the clock.

By the Numbers:

  • Sanchez finished with 131 yards on 30 carries and his 12th TD of the year. He also rushed for 131 yards during the previous meeting in week two.
  • Lynn ended up 13-for-25 for 124 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, while rushing for 42 yards.
  • Donahue caught six balls for 67 yards and a score.
  • The PSU defense had seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage, with Ughu posting two.
  • Normandeau had four tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
  • Senior Cooper Varano (Manchester, N.H.) led the defense with nine tackles, including five solo stops and one tackle for a loss.
  • The Plymouth State defense was credited with four turnovers after recovering three fumbles and Normandeau’s interception, though PSU also turned the ball over four times.
  • PSU was making its 19th postseason appearance. The Panthers played in the NCAA Tournament in 1984, 1994, 1995, 2008 and 2017, while appearing in ECAC bowl games 13 times. This was Plymouth State’s first appearance in the New England Bowl.
  • Plymouth State moves to 4-2 all-time against the Eagles, winning each of the two meetings this season. PSU topped Husson in week two by a 17-0 score.


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