CASTINE, Maine — What started off as an offensive slugfest turned into a runaway as the Plymouth State University Panthers turned five Maine Maritime Academy fumbles into 19 points.
The Mariners matched the Panthers early on as each team scored on its first two possessions, but PSU scored 32 unanswered points on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Ritchie Field and won the New England Football Conference Championship game 46-16.
Tailback Jeff Mack ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries to lead the 10-1 Panthers’ offense.
The Mariners, who wind up the season with a 7-4 record after winning the NEFC Bogan Division title, were led by backup quarterback Matthew Rende of Augusta, who carried the ball 19 times for 92 yards. He also scored on a two-point conversion rush. Rende was in for Tyler Angell, who missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury.