Football team wins home opener over Panthers

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: October 2, 2010
Athletics Preview Photos

Conor Tidgwell

WATERVILLE, Maine --- After losing 45-0 at Middlebury College last year, the Colby College football team reversed fortunes with five touchdowns and a field goal in a 38-27 victory over the Panthers in NESCAC football Saturday at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium.

The Mules (1-1 overall) received two touchdown catches from Patrick Burns (Charles Town, W.V) on the offensive side of the ball and two interceptions and seven tackles defensively from Derrick Beasley (Andover, Mass.).

The two teams combined for 846 yards of total offense, but Colby and Middlebury also had eight turnovers in the game.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Mules went ahead 14-0 at intermission. Colby defensive end Ryan Veillette (Westfield, Mass.) recovered a fumble on Middlebury's 30-yard line. The Mules used five plays in 2:27 and went ahead for good when Connor Walsh (Westwood, Mass.) ran in from 4 yards out. Colby had its next score from tight end Spencer Merwin (Falls Village, Conn.), who took a short pass from quarterback Nick Kmetz (Laurel, Del.) and dove into the end zone to cap a 69-yard drive in eight plays.

The Panthers took advantage of a turnover in the third quarter when defensive back Connor Green (Wellesley, Mass.) intercepted a pass at Colby's 46-yard line and ran 11 yards to give his offense the ball at the 35-yard line. An unnecessary roughness penalty moved the ball to Colby's 20-yard line. Andrew Plumley (Burlington, Vt.) scampered 17 yards on his first run and then had a 3-yard scoring run to cut the margin to 14-7.

The Panthers had Colby pinned back on its own 2-yard line after a 42-yard punt by Anthony Kuchan (Wauwatosa, Wis.), but the Mules drove 98 yards in 10 plays to go up 21-7 on a 20-yard pass play from Kmetz to Burns. The big play on the drive was a 30-yard catch by Merwin on the first play of the drive.

Burns, who finished with six catches for 93 yards, had his second touchdown on a 35-yard pass play to finish off another long drive. The Mules took eight plays to drive 85 yards in 3:22 to go up 28-7. Walsh had a catch of 32 yards in the drive.

Middlebury cut the lead to 28-14 when Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) connected with Josh Amster (Encino, Calif.) on a 24-yard scoring pass. The Panthers took advantage of another fumble by Colby to get the ball on the Mules' 45-yard line. Middlebury attempted to pass on all seven plays in the drive.

Colby's defense again came up with a turnover when Shayne Begin (Hillsboro, N.H.) recovered a fumble on Middlebury's 22-yard line on a force by teammate Brian Mellett (Walpole, Mass.). The Mules had their drive stalled, but kicker David Bendit (Emmaus, Pa.) booted a 36-yard field goal for a 31-14 margin. Bendit had the best day of his collegiate career by nailing that field goal and making all five of his extra points.

Middlebury (1-1) refused to give up and drove 44 yards on four plays to cut the lead to 31-21. McKillop had a 30-yard completion to tight end David Reed (New Canaan, Conn.). McKillop had a rush for 8 yards and then capped off the drive by making a nice cut-back run to elude a defender and score from 6 yards out.

Burns recovered a Middlebury on-sides kick and returned the ball 6 yards to give Colby the ball at the Middlebury 31-yard line. Three plays later, Kmetz faked a handoff and raced 22 yards for a score of his own for a 38-21 margin with 4:37 to play.

The Panthers made quick work on a 9-play, 70-yard drive in taking just 1:12 off the clock before McKillop hit Matt Rayner (Andover, Mass.) on a 4-yard scoring pass. Middlebury once again tried an on-sides kick only to have Burns recover for a second straight time.

Kmetz finished with 259 yards of passing, 68 yards of rushing, and was part of four touchdowns. Conor Tidgwell (Southbury, Conn.) added 91 yards of rushing on 22 carries (4.1 per rush). Merwin had four catches for 84 yards and Walsh had three grabs for 65 yards.

McKillop threw for 312 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) had eight catches for 99 yards and Reed finished with 88 yards of receiving.

Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.) had a game-high nine tackles for Colby. Tom Duffy (Plymouth, Mass.) added eight stops.

Colby 38, Middlebury 27

Middlebury.......... 0 0 7 20 - 27     

Colby............... 0 14 7 17 - 38     

Scoring Summary:

2nd 12:54 COLFB10 - Connor Walsh 4 yd run (David Bendit kick), 5-30 2:27, MID 0 - COLFB10 7

     05:59 COLFB10 - Spencer Merwin 7 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 8-69 4:06, MID 0 - COLFB10 14

3rd 11:31 MID - A. Plumley 3 yd run (A. Kuchan kick), 2-35 0:17, MID 7 - COLFB10 14

     02:22 COLFB10 - Patrick Burns 20 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 10-98 4:49, MID 7 - COLFB10 21

4th 12:28 COLFB10 - Patrick Burns 35 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 8-85 3:22, MID 7 - COLFB10 28

     09:52 MID - J. Amster 24 yd pass from D. McKillop (A. Kuchan kick), 7-45 1:43, MID 14 - COLFB10 28

     06:09 COLFB10 - David Bendit 36 yd field goal, 4-3 1:46, MID 14 - COLFB10 31

     05:05 MID - D. McKillop 6 yd run (A. Kuchan kick), 4-44 0:57, MID 21 - COLFB10 31

     04:37 COLFB10 - Nick Kmetz 22 yd run (David Bendit kick), 3-31 0:24, MID 21 - COLFB10 38

     03:19 MID - M. Rayner 4 yd pass from D. McKillop (A. Kuchan kick failed), 9-70 1:12, MID 27 - COLFB10 38

                                     MID COLFB10

FIRST DOWNS...................      20      25

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   22-65  58-210

PASSING YDS (NET).............     312     259

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 52-32-2 30-14-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....  74-377  88-469

Fumble Returns-Yards..........     0-0     0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............     1-1     2-2

Kickoff Returns-Yards.........   7-107    3-28

Interception Returns-Yards....    2-17    2-23

Punts (Number-Avg)............  5-33.8  3-34.7

Fumbles-Lost..................     3-2     3-2

Penalties-Yards...............    6-44    7-80

Possession Time...............   21:50   38:10

Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 15 6 of 18

Fourth-Down Conversions.......  2 of 4  4 of 5

Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......     3-3     4-5

Sacks By: Number-Yards........     1-4    2-13

RUSHING: Middlebury-A. Plumley 12-40; D. McKillop 8-22; J. Amster 2-3.

Colby-Conor Tidgwell 22-91; Nick Kmetz 22-68; Spencer Gopaul 9-29; Connor Walsh

4-12; Connor Sullivan 1-10.

PASSING: Middlebury-D. McKillop 32-52-2-312. Colby-Nick Kmetz 14-30-2-259.

RECEIVING: Middlebury-Z. Driscoll 8-99; D. Reed 7-88; A. Plumley 7-58; J. Amster

4-39; M. Rayner 4-25; E. Rostad 2-3. Colby-Patrick Burns 6-93; Spencer Merwin

4-84; Connor Walsh 3-65; Andrew Graham 1-17.

INTERCEPTIONS: Middlebury-C. Green 1-11; M. Bilodeau 1-6. Colby-Derrick Beasley


FUMBLES: Middlebury-A. Plumley 2-2; M. Rayner 1-0. Colby-Nick Kmetz 1-1; Richard

Newton 1-1; Connor Walsh 1-0.

Related Links: