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Martin’s Field Goal Takes Panthers to Victory

By Brianna Sinclair
On November 2, 2018


Down to under 10 seconds in the game, it was tied 7-7 in this Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference game. The Panthers set up for a field goal attempt by Jeremy Martin (Charlton MA) and Westfield State University was ready to stop the ball. But Martin’s kicked soared the 26-yards and the extra three points made the game for the Panthers.  

Even with snow, sleet, rain and wind, the Panthers were able to pull through and improve their record to 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the MASCAC. “Six of our eight games have been decided by 6 points or less.  We stress that any one play can determine the outcome of a game, so we try to practice and prepare knowing that,” head coach Paul Castonia said about their last three games. Flashback to two weeks prior to this game, Plymouth beat Framingham State 29-28 and the week after that, beat Mass. Maritime at home by three as well. “Hopefully we have learned that the margin for error is very slim in these close games.” 

Plymouth was the first to get on the board after their opening drive. After bringing the ball down 80-yards, Jacob Szulc (Concord NH) caught a pass right before the goal line and walked it in. Martin’s first kick was good as well, putting PSU up by 7. They’d keep Westfield quiet for the rest of the quarter and most of the second quarter. But Westfield found themselves on the one-yard line with just over four minutes left and were able to capitalize on it, to tie the game before the half. 

The third quarter was a back and forth drive contest between both teams. It was evident that weather was also affecting them greatly, as Plymouth fumbled twice in this quarter. It got the best of Westfield as well as they attempted a field goal late in the quarter on the seven-yard line. But their kicker stumbled and got a piece of wet grass before kicked, making the ball go slightly to the left and keeping the game tied. 

The final quarter was back and forth as well. But with about 3:30 left to go, Panthers had the ball and needed to convert. Quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield MA) converted on a third down and connected with Terrell Lewis (Nashua NH) for a 42-yard pass. That’s what led up to the Panthers being on there first down at the 20 and ran the clock down until the last possible second. 

“Our performance Saturday on offense was inconsistent.  We opened with a nice drive then were not able to sustain any drives.  We also struggled to hold on to the ball.  On defense, we played well but need to tackle better” coach Castonia said. Referring to PSU being outrun 197 yards to Westfields 323 yards. Westfield also had the ball in their possession for 15 minutes more than PSU. The number of fumbles also killed both teams, PSU with six and Westfield for seven. 

Panthers are back in action on the home field this Saturday for another MASCAC competition against Fitchburg State. “… we will have to tackle and pursue better against some very dangerous skill players on Fitchburg’s offense.  They are a very good running team. On offense, we need to sustain and finish on each of our possessions while improving our ball security.” Kick-off is set for noon. 

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