CASTLETON, Vt. – Pacing the Castleton University football team's ground attack on Saturday, Moe Harris carried the ball for 40 yards to set a new career program record for total rushing yards. The record-setting carry occurred on the very first drive as the senior back took the ball for seven yards and a first down. Yet, despite the effort, Plymouth State's even-keeled offensive and defensive work led the visitors past the Spartans 38-0 at Dave Wolk Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Castleton falls to 0-1 after dropping the season-opening contest, while Plymouth State moves to 1-0 during the young campaign.
Moving down the field with ease, the Plymouth State offense was in rhythm from the opening snap. Controlling the pace of the contest, the Panthers put together multiple drives consisting of 10-plus plays and more than five minutes.
Jumping out to a 7-0 lead, Zack Edwards connected with Matt Ordway on a 10-yard toss in the back-right corner of the end zone. During the second quarter, David Hamilton made it a 14-0 game after breaking out for a 15-yard rush around the left side. Capping off the first-half scoring, Hamilton and Edwards hooked up for a touchdown as the former broke several Spartan tackles.
On each of the first few Plymouth scoring drives, the Castleton defense turned in effort after effort on the first two downs forcing the offense to make a difficult decision on third down. Although the Panthers had success early, Castleton was able to turn the tables later on and forced five failed third-down conversions.
Chris Rice led the squad with 11 tackles, including two for a loss. The Bethel, Conn. native also forced and recovered a fumble in the fourth. Luc Issa (9), Seth Gewanter (7) and Dustin Rock (7) combined for 23 stops to boost the defensive effort.
Offensively for Castleton, quarterback Mitchell Caron started and threw for 111 yards on 15 completions. The senior connected with four receivers as Adnane Adossama racked up 50 receiving yards including a 14-yard catch. Anthony Martinez (5) and Ryan Barry (3) combined for eight catches and 56 yards.
Late in the contest, a product of the recovered fumble, Caron nearly connected on a long fourth-down play with Harris. Spreading the line with five wide receivers, Harris raced down the near sideline breaking free enough to get fingers on the pass, but unable to reel it in.
On the ground, Caron kept the ball or rushed nine times. Meanwhile, Calvin James accumulated 99 all-purpose yards with the majority coming on the kickoff return. The sophomore averaged 24.3 yards per return and a long return of 35 hash marks.
Mike Morgan notched six punts on the afternoon with a total of 203 yards – an average of 33.8 per – and downs two balls inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Prior to kickoff on Saturday, Castleton's Spartan Stadium was dedicated in honor of former University President Dave Wolk. The facility will now be formally referred to as Dave Wolk Stadium.
Football returns to action at 2 p.m. on Saturday as it travels to face Fitchburg St. in a nonconference contest. In 2017, the two teams fought a close battle through three periods before the visiting Falcons scored three times in the final period to seal the deal.
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