CLINTON, N.Y. --- The Colby College football team had to go all the way to New York to get the first victory of the season, but the Mules will take it after holding on for a 13-7 win over Hamilton College on Saturday in New England Small College Athletic Conference football at Steuben Field.
The Mules improve to 1-4 overall heading into next Saturday's rivalry game with Bates College at 1 p.m. at Harold Alfond Stadium. Colby had started the season with a brutal schedule, facing three teams (Trinity, Amherst, Wesleyan) with a combined 11-1 record heading into Saturday's play.
Colby's defense came to play and had seven sacks, three fumble recoveries, and three interceptions. Ryan Veillette tied for the team-high in tackles with 10 and had 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. Meanwhile, first-year linebacker Henry Nelson had another solid game with 10 tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack.
Colby started the game like the contest might be a high-scoring affair. On just the second play of their opening drive, Nick Kmetz connected with Nick Joseph on a 52-yard pass play for a 7-0 lead just a few minutes into the contest. Joseph found himself wide open in the center of the field and caught a perfect strike from Kmetz for the score.
Hamilton (2-3) had the only other points of the first half on a nine-play, 61-yard drive. James Stanell had a 2-yard scoring run for the touchdown with 5:21 to play in the second quarter.
The Mules' defense may have come up with the play of the game after a special teams mistake. The snap from center went over the head of Colby punter Connor Sullivan, who recovered the ball at the Mule 2-yard line with the score tied 7-7. Hamilton took over looking to make it 14-7 and have huge momentum, but Colby defensive back Shayne Begin intecepted an Eck pass in the end zone to end the scoring chance.
Colby's defense set up the final touchdown of the game. Hamilton had the ball at its own 28-yard line when Nelson had a sack on Hamilton quarterback Jordan Eck. The ball was recovered by Lester Batiste at the 7-yard line.
After a delay of game penalty on the Mules, Kmetz hit Michael Lahiff on a 12-yard scoring pass for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. The Mules did miss the extra point and only led by six points.
Colby's defense refused to budge the rest of the way. Batiste finished with seven tackles, a forced fumble, and the key fumble recovery. Brian Mellett also had seven tackles, while first-year Caleb Harris had 1.5 sacks. Derrick Beasley and Christian Romano also had interceptions.
Kmetz had the two touchdown throws to go along with 11 completions for 165 yards. Connor Walsh had five catches for 64 yards, Joseph had three grabs for 56 yards, and Spenser Merwin had three catches for 37 yards.
Colby 13, Hamilton 7
Colby............... 7 0 6 0 - 13
Hamilton College.... 0 7 0 0 - 7
1st 12:37 COLFB11 - Nick Joseph 52 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (Johannes Scheepers kick), 2-52 0:51, COLFB11 7 - HAM 0
2nd 05:21 HAM - J. Stanell 2 yd run (G. Hoy kick), 9-61 3:42, COLFB11 7 - HAM 7
3rd 08:04 COLFB11 - Michael Lahiff 12 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (Johannes Scheepers kick failed), 1-7 0:05, COLFB11 13 - HAM 7
FIRST DOWNS................... 11 18
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 37-30 26-4
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 169 247
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 25-12-2 46-26-3
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 62-199 72-251
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 1-8
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-21 2-44
Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-62 2-48
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-30.7 4-27.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-1 3-3
Penalties-Yards............... 6-27 6-63
Possession Time............... 28:53 31:07
Third-Down Conversions........ 7 of 16 2 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 2 2 of 4
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-2 1-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 7-53 4-28
RUSHING: Colby-Ian Borthwick 10-28; Luke Duncklee 9-23; Connor Walsh 6-20;
Spencer Gopaul 5-13; Ian Leitch 1-6; Nick Kmetz 5-minus 28. Hamilton College-J. Stanell 14-44; Z. Klein 2-11; N. Levy 1-0; J.
Eck 9-minus 51.
PASSING: Colby-Nick Kmetz 11-23-1-165; Brian Mellett 1-1-0-4; Luke Duncklee
0-1-1-0. Hamilton College-J. Eck 26-46-3-247.
RECEIVING: Colby-Connor Walsh 5-64; Nick Joseph 3-56; Spenser Merwin 3-37;
Michael Lahiff 1-12. Hamilton College-P. Donadio 7-77; K. Petrick 6-60; J.
Stanell 6-46; G. Hoy 4-44; Z. Klein 2-16; M. Shriver 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Colby-Christian Romano 1-62; Derrick Beasley 1-0; Shayne Begin
1-0. Hamilton College-D. Isenberg 1-39; D. Peters 1-9.
FUMBLES: Colby-Ian Leitch 1-1. Hamilton College-J. Stanell 2-2; J. Eck 1-1.
Stadium: Steuben Field Attendance: 997