Noontime Sports is proud to announce its first-ever ‘Team of the Month’ award – a monthly honor for a school’s athletic team. And with it being the final day of September, we are pleased to announce that Plymouth State’s football team has earned our initial honor of ‘Team of the Month’ for September.
Under the direction of head coach Paul Castonia; the Panthers have enjoyed a successful start to their 2016 campaign, winning four-straight contests, including a dramatic overtime week two victory against Mount Ida College. Plymouth State’s four-consecutive victories match their start from 2007.
Plymouth State began its campaign with an impressive 20-7 win over Castleton on September 3 – it was the program’s first win in Vermont since September 4, 2010. First-year tailback David Hamilton rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries, along with one touchdown, while sophomore quarterback Zack Edwards completed 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards, while tossing one touchdown. Senior defensive back RJ Ramsden paced the Green and White’s defense with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops – he also recorded an interception.
One week later, the Panthers defense came-up with a critical stop in overtime to defeat Mount Ida by a score of 30-28 (OT). Edwards tossed three touchdowns in the win, first-year wide-out Jacob Szulc hauled in eight catches for 122 yards – he also caught a pair of touchdown passes – and junior defensive back Blair Zentek concluded the game with two pass break-ups, along with five total tackles.
A team effort on offense, defense and special teams helped the Panthers defeat Western Connecticut State University on the road in week three – the win was the program’s first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) victory of the season. Sophomore tailback Mitch Banuskevich highlighted the team’s rushing attack, tallying 78 yards on 15 carries, while Hamilton registered 33 yards on 14 carries and one score. Senior defensive back Zach Ziemba concluded the game with a season-best 13 solo-stops with one of those tackles being a tackle for a loss of two yards.
Last weekend, the Panthers’ bumped their win total to 4-0 as they defeated UMass Dartmouth at home by a score of 30-14. Hamilton rushed for his third touchdown in the season, while first-year defensive back Matt Shea registered a team-best eight solo stops.
The Panthers begin their October slate on the road tomorrow when they visit Westfield State for a 2:00 p.m. kick-off.