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Summer Snapshot: Plymouth South Panthers

This is the fourth installment in our "Summer Snapshot" series, checking in with some of Massachusetts' top teams leading into the MIAA football season. To see all of our Summer Snapshots, CLICK HERE.

Whether it was the wild hook-and-ladder to clinch its first playoff berth in school history, the see-saw playoff battle with Natick, or the ensuing controversy, Plymouth South sure had a flair for the dramatic in 2012. The question now remains, after an historic season for the ages, and returning most of its core intact -- including tailback Dylan Oxsen, last year's state leader in rushing touchdowns -- do the Panthers have another magical run in them?

In the newly-aligned MIAA State Championship format, the Panthers will be one of several favorites in Division 3 Southeast. We checked in with the Panthers in an afternoon trip to the world-famous Plimoth Plantation living museum, in one of the most entertaining photo shoots of our operation's four-year history.

PLYMOUTH SOUTH AT A GLANCE

Coach: Scott Fry

Last Season: 8-4, lost in Div. 2A Playoffs

Final ESPN Boston Rank: 22

Returning Starers: 14 (seven offense, seven defense)

Key Losses: QB Jason Lamb, OL/LB Derek Anderson

Key Returnees: Sr. RB/LB Dylan Oxsen, Sr. C Brendan Harty, Sr. RB/LB Anthony Schena, Sr. OL/DL Shaun Duncombe, Sr. LB Matt Bremis

Overview: After a dismal 2011 campaign, the Panthers had one of the state's most dramatic turnarounds in 2012, led by an explosive breakthrough by Oxsen (2,100 rushing yards), who led the state in rushing touchdowns (40) to earn a spot on ESPN Boston's All-State Team. The switch to a pistol offense last summer seemed to work wonders for the Panthers, maintaining Wing-T and I-formation principles, but creating new angles and elements of unpredictability with them for one of the state's most potent rushing attacks. They will have to find a suitable replacement for Lamb, but most of the offensive line returns and the defensive front seven should be solid again with a linebacking corps led by Schena and Bremis. Overall, Oxsen was as tough as they come between the tackles last season, and will be expected to shoulder another Yeoman's workload this fall if the Panthers are to repeat their success from last fall. Especially when you consider how many contenders lie in the South region of D3, between Nauset, Dartmouth and Whitman-Hanson in the southeast or Bishop Feehan, North Attleborough and Walpole in the southwest.