WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College seniors will play at home for the final time on Saturday and get a chance to win a third straight game when the football team entertains Tufts University at 12:30 p.m. at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium.
For those unable to attend the game, Colby will have a Webcast at http://www.firstteambroadcasting.com/events/2011/11/05/football-colby-vs-tufts/
The contest will mark the final home game for Colby seniors Shayne Begin, Ian Borthwick, Patrick Cronin, Tom Duffy, David Grean, Bill Hudson, Nick Kmetz, Brian Mellett, Spenser Merwin, Sam Nuber, Rich Poirier, Tripp Stevens, Connor Sullivan, Johnny Swinehart, Rob Turner, Connor Walsh, and David Welsh.
The seniors will play their final game a week from Saturday when the Mules visit Bowdoin College with the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) title on the line. Colby made that happen with a convincing 37-13 romp of Bates last Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium. Bowdoin and Bates will meet in Lewiston today, but either way the Mules can win the outright title with a victory against Bowdoin.
Colby (2-4 overall) has won two straight games and has allowed just 20 points against Hamilton College and Bates. First-year linebacker Henry Nelson has made a big impact after moving into the starting line-up. He led the Mules with nine tackles and an interception against Bates, plus is first on Colby in total tackles with 44.
Mellett and junior defensive back Derrick Beasley both have 41 total tackles and Beasley leads the team in tackles for loss (4.0). Christian Romano has 31 tackles to rank fourth on the team, while Begin is fifth on the team in tackles with 29 and leads in interceptions. Junior defensive end Ryan Veillette has 25 tackles and leads the way in sacks with 3.5. Philip Amato and Lester Batiste each have 22 tackles.
Walsh was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week after catching a pass for a touchdown, throwing a touchdown pass, and running for a score in the win against Bates. He ranks seventh in the league in both catches per game (32 total) and yards per game (56.0). Walsh has 336 yards receiving this season and has now thrown two touchdown passes in two attempts. He has 1,194 career receiving yards and 2,257 all-purpose yards.
Merwin has 16 catches for 270 yards (team-best 16.9 yards per catch) from his tight end spot and ranks 10th in the NESCAC in yards per game (45.0), while Michael Lahiff has 16 grabs for 154 yards. Nick Joseph has three touchdown catches in the past two weeks and has 14 catches to go along with five touchdowns this season.
Kmetz is completing 62.1 percent of his passes and has 1,149 yards passing in six games. He also has thrown for seven touchdowns. Kmetz went over 5,000 total yards for his career during the game and has 5,114 (534 rushing). Kmetz is second in the NESCAC in total offense (211.8) and is fifth in passing yards per game (191.5).
Borthwick leads the ground game with 212 yards on 60 carries, while Luke Duncklee has 196 yards on 35 rushes (5.6 per rush). Duncklee has nine kickoff returns for a 20.7-yard average.
While Kmetz and Colby moved up to sixth in the NESCAC in total offense (322.0), Tufts does have the top team in the conference in pass defense at just 132.7 yards per contest. The Jumbos, however, are ninth in the conference in rush defense (194.2), while Colby is fifth at 123.5.
The key to the game might be Tufts (0-6 overall) and its struggling offense. The Jumbos are last in the league in scoring offense (8.0) and have been held under 10 points in four of the their six losses.
Tufts has fallen this season in away games at Hamilton (24-16), Bates (28-9), and Williams (38-17). The Jumbos have lost home games to Bowdoin (27-6), Trinity (9-0), and Amherst (30-0).
Tufts has the NESCAC's leading tackler in Zack Starzynski, who has 78 total tackles (42 solo) and 5.5 tackles for loss. J.T. Rinciari is second in total tackles with 39. The Jumbos have had problems this season putting pressure on the quarterback with just three sacks to the opponent's 24.
Ryan Pollock is the main main at running back with 267 of the Jumbos' 274 net rushing yards this season. He also ranks second on the team in receptions with 15 for 110 yards. Dylan Haas is a receiving threat with 31 catches for 334 yards (55.7 per game) for quarterback Johnny Lindquist, who has 900 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Fans of both teams will likely never forget last year's 42-41 come-from-behind win for Colby at Ellis Oval/Zimman Field. Kmetz hit Merwin on a 1-yard scoring pass and kicker David Bendit nailed the extra point with no time on the clock. Colby had scored with 5:20 left in the game on another Kmetz touchdown throw to cut the lead to 41-35. Kmetz threw for 392 yards and set a school record for completions in a game (40). The Mules had 608 yards of total offense in the game.