Football suffers 45-0 loss to Middlebury
Colby is only two games deep into the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season and already the squad has experienced a hefty dose of adversity. After week one's gut-wrenching home loss in which the Mules gave up a late fourth quarter lead to Williams College, Colby traveled to Vermont last Saturday, October 3, only to suffer a 45-0 drubbing by the Middlebury College Panthers.
Colby (0-2) put up a fight late into the third quarter, when Middlebury (1-1) only held a 14-point lead. In the final 18 minutes of the game the floodgates opened. In just over a quarter of play, the Panthers logged 31 points, scoring on five consecutive possessions against the Colby defense. It was a stunning offensive onslaught for a game that seemed to be following such a simple progression for three quarters, and the Mules did not have an answer for the Middlebury attack on Saturday. The Panthers put up 526 yards of total offense. Panthers quarterback Donald McKillop had a stellar afternoon, throwing for 364 yards, completing 33 of 42 passes with three touchdowns and an interception. Although the Panthers' running game was held in relative check, posting only 2.8 yards per carry, they still managed to run for 100 yards. Possibly more important to the offensive success of Middlebury, was its ability to capitalize on every Colby mistake. Colby threw four interceptions on the day and the Panthers converted all four into scores: three touchdowns and one field goal. An efficient offense was what came together for Middlebury to put 45 points on the board.
Surprisingly, although the Colby offense was held without a scoring drive, the Mules were still able to move the ball down the field. Overall, Colby outrushed the Panthers (145-100) and had 320 total yards of offense. Quarterback Nick Kmetz '12 threw for 195 yards and had 48 yards rushing for the Mules. Michael Cuqua '10 led all rushers with 49 yards on eight rushes (6.1 yards per rush). Spencer Merwin '12 caught four balls for 61 yards. Matt Hellinger '11 added five catches for 47 yards and Patrick Burns '10 rounded out the receiving end, catching three balls for 43 yards.
Colby also had solid individual performances on defense. Chris Copland '10 led all tacklers with twelve on the day, while Thomas Duffy '12 added 10 tackles and a sack.
These few individual performances and the team-run defense of Colby remain the silver linings in this 45-0 loss. Ultimately, it was the playmaking ability of Middlebury that stopped any Colby momentum. Throughout the game the Panthers' defense halted Colby on offense by causing turnovers, while on offense the Panthers were always a threat with a big passing play. The Mules need to find a way to finish off drives moving forward in the season.
Colby's next game is at Wesleyan College this weekend on Saturday, October 10.