Panthers reverse Corsairs course in latest contest

by Christopher Cohen, Sports Editor

The UMass Dartmouth football team traveled to Plymouth, New Hampshire as they took on the Plymouth State Panthers for their second of seven consecutive Little East Conference contests.

After besting Westfield State 41-21 in front of the home crowd, the Corsairs looked to leap above the .500 mark and extend their record to 3-1.

Unfortunately, the Panthers had other plans as they limited the Corsairs to just fourteen points in a 30-14 defeat in Plymouth. The Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak against UMass Dartmouth, dating back to the 2011 season. The win also marked Plymouth State’s first victory against the Corsairs in New Hampshire since 2008.

A 23-yard completion would cap off a successful first drive by the Panthers as the hosts jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead.

A fumble on the kick return would put the ball back into Plymouth State’s control, however a quarterback rush would force a fumble into the hands of UMass Dartmouth’s Louis Petrella.

The Corsairs would not repeat past mistakes, and the offense wasted little time in getting Stephen Roy into the end-zone on a 10-yard run to cap off the Corsair offense’s first drive of the contest.

The two teams would finish the first quarter tied 7-7 with plenty of time to shake up the momentum.

Plymouth State would reach the end zone once in the second quarter, while the Corsairs were held back from any breakthroughs as the teams broke for the locker room with the Panthers up 14-7.

Out the gate for the Corsairs was quarterback Cory Burnham who caught his first receiving touchdown of his collegiate career in the opening drive of the second half. Wide receiver Matt Mitchell found Burnham for a 25-yard reception as the Corsairs would conclude their offensive production for the evening.

Plymouth State would kick a field goal, and later intercept the ball for a 91-yard return to the end zone to lift the Panthers up 23-14 before the start of the fourth quarter.

The Panthers would break through into the end zone once before the close of the fourth quarter to reach ahead for the 30-14 lead.

Burnham led the Corsairs with 147 yards through the air, while Stephen Roy led UMass Dartmouth’s ground attack for a game-leading 103-yard performance. This was Roy’s first 100-yard performance of the 2016 fall season.

Sophomore standout Abbi Bamgbose received credit on 59 of Burnham’s 147 yards to lead the Corsairs sky squad.

Despite besting the Panthers in passing and rushing yards, the ability to control the ball was the Corsairs poisoned apple as they lost the ball four times, including the crucial pick-six return in the third, as opposed to the Panther’s single giveaway.

The loss to the Panthers marked the first time this season that the Corsairs have been held to under 20 points as they prepare to host conference rival Framingham State this Saturday.

Framingham State is the reigning MASCAC Champion as the Corsairs welcome their guests to kickoff homecoming weekend and open the October season.

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