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September 10, 2011

MUSTANGS MAKE LATE COMEBACK, FALL SHORT ON FINAL PLAY

Saturday, September 10, 2011(Newton, Massachusetts) - On the final play of the contest trailing by six points (19-13) with under a second to go, Mount Ida College football junior quarterback Scott Drosendahl (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) eluded pressure from the visiting Plymouth State University defense and aired out a pass to the back right corner of the end zone.   Junior Nick Lynch (Hampton Bays, NY/Hampton Bays), who only played in the final two plays of the game, maintained possession hauling in the catch between two defenders and came down appearing to be in bounds on the corner line.  Unfortunately for Mustangs, the line judge ruled the catch incomplete handing the visiting Panthers the 19-13 non-conference victory Saturday afternoon on a gorgeous day in Newton, Massachusetts. 

The Mustangs, who trailed 19-7 at halftime, pulled within six points with eight minutes remaining in the final quarter but was unable to complete a valiant comeback.   Mount Ida drops their second non-conference loss in as many weeks falling to 0-2 on the season with a bye coming up next weekend.  The Panthers improve to a flawless 2-0 heading into week three against visiting Bridgewater State University. 

The visitors controlled the first quarter of play starting on the opening possession after Mount Ida deferred on the coin toss.  The Panthers drove down the field on a nine play, 55 yard drive capped off on a six yard punch in by Plymouth State junior quarterback Chris Rigoli (Wantagh, NY/Seaford) with 8:37 remaining in the stanza.  Following the point after attempt by senior kicker Christian Mulcahy (Norwich, CT/St. Bernard's) the Panthers held the 7-0 advantage. 

Two costly penalties by the Mustangs on their first drive forced a three and out punt giving the visitors the ball on the 50 yard line.  It didn't take long for the Panthers to find the end zone finishing an eight play, 51 yard drive on their second possession of the game for the 13-0 lead on a 11 yard scamper by sophomore quarterback Josh Morgan (Foster, RI/Ponaganset).  Mulcahy could not convert the point after attempt, kicking it into the line, keeping the score at 13-0.

Another three an out by the Mustangs on their second possession of the contest put the visitors on their own 31 to start the second quarter.  It only took two plays for the Panthers to find the end zone scoring for the third time in as many possessions. Plymouth State junior running back Andrew Foglia (Montauk, NY/East Hampton) broke out a 62 yard run from scrimmage finishing in the Mount Ida end zone for the commanding 19-0 advantage early in the second stanza.

The Mustangs woke up out of their funk on the next possession finding the end zone for the first time on an 11 play, 65 yard drive.  Mount Ida senior running back Johrone Bunch (Meriden, CT/F.T. Maloney) carried the ball nine times during the drive racking up 58 yards in the process.  The Mustangs would score on a seven yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Jordan Hyman (Middletown, CT/Xavier) making it 19-7 in favor of the visitors with 8:20 remaining before the midway point.

Neither team could convert on any possession for the remainder of the second quarter, due to some very good defensive play especially from the Mount Ida defense who stymied the Panthers twice in the final eight minutes, with the score still standing at 19-7.

Each team had three possessions each in the third quarter with neither team able to convert.  On the second possession of the quarter for the hosts, the Mustangs had the ball on the Plymouth State 13 yard line but were unable to convert a fourth and two handing the ball back to the visitors.

Following a three and out by the Panthers, Mustang freshman punt returner Jovan Wilkins (Poughkeepsie, NY/Poughkeepsie) fielded the kick on the Mount Ida 23 yard line taking it back 71 yards to the visiting six yard line.  It looked as if the hosts would have an easy punch to pull within six, but the visitors stuffed the Mustangs at the goal line forcing turnover on downs. 

The following drive put the Mustangs within striking distance capping off a five play, 51 yard drive by Mount Ida that finished in the end zone on a pass from Drosendahl to junior Matthew Valentini (Lake Hopatcong, NJ/Jefferson TWP) making it 19-13 Panthers with eight minutes to go in final quarter.

The Mount Ida defense was the reason the Mustangs even had a chance to tie the game at the end of the contest halting the Panthers on the Mount Ida 21 yard line on the ensuing possession.  The hosts took over with 2:28 to go in the game and moved the chains all the way down to the 10 yard line.  Drosendahl put two passes into the end zone but both fell incomplete giving the Mustangs one final chance with under a second to go in the contest.  Drosendahl looked to Lynch in the corner of the end zone on the final play but the call did not go in the Mustangs favor taking the 19-13 loss going home on a sour note.

For Mount Ida offensively, Drosendahl completed 10 for 27 passes for 68 yards with no interceptions and two touchdown passes.  Bunch led the rushing game with 185 yards on the ground but was unable to find the end zone.  Valentini and Hyman hauled in a score a piece with Hyman compiling 47 yards through the air. 

Plymouth State was led offensively through a running back by committee with Foglia, Morgan, and Rigoli all tallying rushing touchdowns.  Morgan went 3-6 through the air with one interception for 66 yards.

Defensively, the Mustangs were led by five players with five solo tackles a piece.  Freshman linebacker Jah-son Johnson (Windsor, CT/Windsor) added five solo tackles and three tackle assists for 6.5 total while Wilkins and senior MacIntosh Bozier (Belmont, MA/Belmont) chipped in five solos and one tackle assist a piece.  Junior A.J. Knibbs (Spotswood, NJ/Spotswood) recorded the only sack for the Mustangs.  Wilkins added an interception as well.

The Panthers were led defensively by senior defensive end Nicolas Keene (Auburn, ME/Edward Little) with a game high 13 solo tackles and a sack for a loss of 11 yards. 

The Mustangs are back in action two weeks from today on homecoming when they host non-conference Hartwick College on September 24, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.