Plymouth State falters in second half
PLYMOUTH - Western New England University scored 20 unanswered points in the second half Saturday and held off Plymouth State University's upset bid en route to a 23-3 win in New England Football Conference Boyd Division action at Currier Field.
The Golden Bears, which were tied 3-3 at halftime with PSU, improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the NEFC while the Panthers dropped to 2-6 and 1-4.
Western New England's Tucker Schumitz scored the game-deciding touchdown late in the third quarter. The Golden Bears, facing a third down and seven from the Panther 33-yard line, executed a double reverse play when quarterback John Krafick handed off to running back Kevin Cook, who was going to his right. Cook then gave Schumitz the ball on the reverse and he went down the left sideline 33 yards, breaking two tackles at the five-yard line, for the first touchdown of the game. Nick Fox-Edele added the extra point for the 10-3 advantage.
WNE tacked on two more touchdowns in the final quarter. Cook rumbled in from 28 yards out with just over eight minutes to play to give the visitors a 16-3 lead and then four minutes later Schumitz trotted in from 22 yards out. Schumitz's second touchdown run was set up by a Corey Brown interception. Fox-Edele's second extra-point accounted for the game's final score.
The Golden Bears went 63 yards on the game's open drive to the PSU 6-yard line but had to settle for a Fox-Edele 24-yard field goal.
The score held up until late in the second quarter when Panther kicker Nick Cavallo tied the game with a 24-yarder of his own. PSU's first points of the contest were set up when running back Andrew Foglia completed a 31-yard halfback option pass to Zac Iovanella, giving the Panthers the ball on the WNE 23 yard line.
Plymouth State had eight possessions in the second half but was forced to punt on five of those opportunities. Western New England outgained the Panthers 358-159 in total offensive yards, including 190-69 in the air.
Schumitz had a terrific all-around game for the Golden Bears finishing with 55 yards on just three carries (18.3 avg.) to go along with his two touchdowns. He also hauled in five passes for 77 yards.