WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester State University Lancers earned a 13-10 senior day victory over the visiting Plymouth State Panthers Saturday afternoon in on John Coughlin Memorial Field.
With the win the Lancers advance to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). With the loss, the Panthers slip to 4-4 overall, and match the Lancers at 2-4 in the conference.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Lancers managed to score on their second drive of the second quarter. After the Lancers picked up 64 yards on 13 plays, Worcester's Noah Hwang (Brooklyn, N.Y.) listed a good 29-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead.
Just before the half, the Panthers knotted the score after Plymouth's Prince Gbaley (Manchester, N.H.) intercepted a Mike Kadlick (Dedham, Mass.) throw and returned the ball 44 yards to the Worcester's 16-yard line. Jeff Madden (Wolfeboro, N.H.) attempted a 36-yard field goal and just barely completed the task as the ball slipped over the golden post to tie the score at 3-3 going into the intermission.
The third quarter was much like the first – scoreless.
Worcester State once again took the lead in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard blocked punt return. The Panthers' Nick Dangora (Woburn, Mass.) punted the ball, however, Worcester's Theo Bryant (Lowell, Mass.) blocked the ball and at the Plymouth State 23-yard line, recovered it and passed to Mike Reed (Feeding Hills, Mass.) who rushed for 23-yards to the end zone for the touchdown. With a good kick from Hwang, the Lancers led 10-3 with 13:22 remaining in the game.
Just minutes later, Plymouth State's Mitch Banuskevich (Milford, N.H.) rushed for 36-yard for a touchdown on a fourth-down conversion. With a good kick from Madden the Panthers tied the score once again, now at 10-10.
Worcester State capitalized with four minutes remaining in the game when Hwang slotted a 33-yard field goal for the 13-10 lead. On the Panther's last drive, they drove 38 yards in eight plays, advancing the ball to the Worcester 22 yard line for a 39-yard field goal attempt. Madden's attempt missed wide right to turn the ball back to the Lancers with 34 seconds remaining on the clock, in turn, resulting in the 13-10 victory for the Blue and Gold.
Worcester State's Kadlick led the offense and completed 27 of 37 passes for a total of 241-yards – a career-high. On the receiving end was senior Arron Witkus (Chelmsford, Mass.) who tallied eight receptions for a total of 83 yards. Dan Orlando (Westborough, Mass.) picked up four receptions, while Tyler Barrie (Oxford, Mass.) and Connor Amann (Stamford, Conn.) had three apiece. Worcester's Matt Lezama (Milton, Mass.) and Dexter Andrews (Dorchester, Mass.) ran the ball for 32 and 20 net yards, apiece. Worcester's Mike Holder (Lowell, Mass.) held down the defense with a game-high 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Gaston Pastorino (Fitchburg, Mass.) led the team with two sacks and a total of seven tackles.
For the visitors, quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) completed 10 of 26 attempts for a total of 80 yards. Banuskevich led the team in net yards with 98 rushing yards and a touchdown. David Hamilton (Westville, N.J.) totaled 49 rushing yards, while Jacob Szulc (Concord, N.H.) led the team with 45 receiving yards. On the defensive end, Joe Esposito (Hackettstown, N.J.) collected 11 tackles and one sack, while Zach Ziemba (Manchester, N.H.) notched 10.
Worcester State held a 241-80 passing yard advantage over the Panthers. Despite the Panthers' wins, they were held to zero turnovers, while the Lancers turned the ball over five times (three interceptions, two fumbles) throughout the game.
The Lancers are on the road for their last two games of the season, traveling to Westfield State and Framingham State, Nov. 5 and 12. The Panthers host Mass. Maritime and Fitchburg State on the same dates.