Football falls to Jeffs, Cardinals
Sophomore Spencer Gopaul takes a handoff up the middle. The Mules are 0-2 in the last two weeks, falling to Amherst and Wesleyan.
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Colby’s football team recently faced two tough weeks of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play, dropping decisions to Wesleyan University at home and Amherst College on the road. The Mules were unable to secure wins over the Lord Jeffs and the Cardinals (tied for first and third in the NESCAC, respectively).
On Saturday, October 9 the Mules played host to Wesleyan at Seaverns Field. Despite the efforts of quarterback Nick Kmetz ’12 (290 yards total with three touchdowns), Wesleyan’s Shea Dwyer excelled with 255 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 31 carries and led the Cardinals to a 27-20 victory.
The game saw records broken on both sides of the ball. Dwyer broke the Cardinals’ single-game rushing record for the second week in a row with 255 yards. The Mules’ Connor Walsh ’12, on the other hand, tied a long-standing Colby record with his 11 receptions, good for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Colby took an early 6-0 lead when Kmetz connected with Patrick Burns ’11 on a 25-yard scoring pass. David Bendit ’13 faltered on the extra point attempt.
In the second quarter, all eyes were on Dwyer as he scored two touchdowns: the first from 10 yards out and the second from 89. Before the half was over, Wesleyan upped their lead to 21-6 when quarterback Matt Coyne connected with Tim Morley for six.
The Mules returned from half-time refreshed and took the only score of the third quarter when Kmetz completed an eight-yard pass to Walsh.
The Cardinals retaliated in the final quarter with a 50-yard drive on seven plays. This drive ended with a short, three-yard scoring run from Dwyer, bringing Wesleyan’s lead to 27-13.
Colby responded with a 72-yard, 16-play drive that ended when Walsh received another scoring pass from Kmetz. After a failed Colby on-side kick, Wesleyan controlled the ball for the remainder of the game, bringing the final score to 27-20.
In addition to Kmetz’s and Walsh’s offensive efforts, Burns added 96 yards on six receptions. Colby had just 39 yards of total rushing.
Tom Duffy ’12 led the Mules’ defense with nine tackles. Derrick Beasley ’13 also made eight tackles. On the Cardinals’ side, Cameron Davila and Cyprian Oyomba each had eight tackles.
On October 16, the Mules took on Amherst College at Pratt Field in Amherst, Mass. Although Colby started fast with a 3-0 lead, the undefeated Lord Jeffs took the reins in the second quarter to secure a 30-3 win.
Colby possessed the ball for the majority of the first quarter, going 68 yards in 14 plays before Bendit kicked a 38-yard field goal, the longest of his collegiate career.
After forcing a punt at the Amherst 26-yard line, the Mules were unable to regain momentum in the second quarter. After two penalties, the Mules booted a punt from the two-yard line that landed on their own 30. The Lord Jeffs took control and never looked back when Mike Samela ran 21 yards for the score.
A turnover by Colby upped Amherst’s lead to 13-3. An interception at the Colby 27-yard line led to another score when Amherst quarterback Alex Vetras connected with Brian Murphy. The Lord Jeffs forced a fumble in the final minute of the half. Matt Pieterse picked up the ball and ran 81 yards for a score.
After entering the second half with a 20-3 lead, Amherst scored again after recovering a fumble on the Colby 39-yard line. Andrew Reed had the score after receiving a 15-yard pass from Vetras. An 18-yard field goal from Matt Rawson brought the Lord Jeffs’ lead to 30-3.
Walsh led the Mules’ offense with 69 yards of rushing and 62 yards in receptions. Conor Tidgwell ’11 rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries.
On defense, Duffy made a game-high 11 tackles. Brian Melett ’12 had nine tackles, and Ryan Murphy ’11 added eight.
Colby (1-3) will meet Hamilton College at home for a noon kickoff this Saturday, October 23.