Football wins third straight game
Phillip Amato ’13 nearly comes away with an interception during Colby’s 20-10 win over Tufts University
The Colby football team put forth another impressive showing in its home finale on Saturday, taking down Tufts 20-10 for its third straight win. After a disappointing 0-4 start to the season, the Mules have come on as of late and have a chance to salvage a .500 record and claim the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) championship when they travel to Bowdoin next Saturday, Nov. 12, in the season finale. After beating Bates last week, Colby earned a share of the CBB championship and could win its first outright title since 2004.
After allowing a Tufts touchdown on the opening drive, the Colby defense buckled down and allowed only a single field goal the rest of the game. Highlighted by sophomore Christian Romano’s two interceptions, Colby held the Jumbos to under 200 total yards, compared to 360 for the Mules.
Stingy defense has been crucial in the win streak; Colby’s opponents have averaged only 10 points per game over the last three weeks.
Senior tri-captain Nick Kmetz, one of 17 seniors playing their final game on Seaverns Field, equaled the score at seven later in the first quarter with the first of his two touchdown runs, this one from 17 yards out. The first half ended 10-7 in favor of Tufts after a field goal early in the second quarter put the Jumbos out in front once again.
Coach Ed Mestieri expressed some disappointment with the first-half performance. “I think we lost our composure a little bit in the first half. We regrouped at halftime and just told them to relax and settle down,” he said.
The Mules heeded Mestieri’s advice and took the lead late in the third quarter on a fourth and goal conversion from the one-yard line by Ian Leitch ’14. After junior Spencer Gopaul’s lunging effort at the end of his eight-yard run came up just short of the end zone, the Mules were stuffed at the goal line twice before they decided to roll the dice and go for the lead on fourth down.
Kmetz extended the Colby lead with an 11-yard touchdown rush—his second of the day—midway through the fourth quarter.
With the insurance touchdown making it 20-10, it was up to the defense to stand tall for the rest of the game in order to secure the win. Romano’s crucial second interception came in the Colby end zone, a stellar play that kept the Colby lead at 10.
Gopaul led a balanced Colby rushing attack with 57 yards on the ground. The Mules also received 20-plus yard contributions from Kmetz, Ian Borthwick ’12 and Luke Duncklee ’15. Kmetz completed 16 passes for 183 yards. Robert Turner ’12J had 64 yards receiving followed closely by Michael Lahiff ’13 with 59. Ryan Veillette ’13 led Colby defensively with nine tackles and two sacks. Henry Nelson ’15 also had eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Colby will play Bowdoin College in the final game of the season on Saturday in Brunswick, Maine.