Football team opens new stadium with victory

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: September 27, 2008

WATERVILLE, Maine --- One game at the new Harold Alfond Stadium, one victory for the Colby Coll ege football team.

Colby (1-1) rushed for 223 yards and got a big game defensively as the Mules opened Harold Alfond Stadium in memorable fashion with a 24-19 victory over Middlebury College on Saturday. Middlebury (1-1) is the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champs and scored 42 points in a season-opening win over Bowdoin College.

Colby was opening up Alfond Stadium, a $6-million project that began construction in April.

The Mules opened up a 24-6 lead at one point before Middlebury scored two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game.

Colby quarterback Patrick Burns (Charles Town, W.V.) threw for three touchdown passes and ran for 62 yards on 13 carries. The Mules spread the wealth around on the ground with Dan Prunier (Merrimack, N.H.) and Michael Cuqua (Walpole, Mass.) each rushing for 64 yards. Roger Bel (Ridgefield, Conn.) made his rushes count with four for 27 yards.

Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) threw for 343 yards and one touchdown for the Panthers, who hurt their own cause with 12 penalties for 110 yards. Middlebury also managed just 55 yards of team rushing. Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.) caught 10 balls for 177 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers.

Colby scored first with just 2:03 to halftime when Burns connected with Bel for a 5-yard scoring strike. The Panthers took two penalties during the drive, including a 15-yard pass interference call.

Middlebury answered on the ensuing kick-off, marching 66 yards in 1:22 as McKillop finished the drive with a 1-yard scamper. McKillop connected with both Matson and James Millard (Greenwich, Conn.) for 19 yards apiece during the drive. The extra-point was blocked, leaving the Panthers with a 7-6 deficit.

A 40-yard return on the kick-off by Connor Walsh (Westwood, Mass.) put the Mules in position to extend their lead with about a minute to play. A 12-yard pass from Burns and a 10-yard rush led to a 42-yard field goal by Victor Gagne (Skowhegan, Maine) as time ran out in the half.

Colby took advantage of a failed fake punt by the Panthers early in the third, earning possession on the Middlebury 37. A Panther penalty on third and short kept the drive alive, before Burns hit Dan Prunier (Merrimack, N.H.) for a 3-yard touchdown pass to give the Mules a 17-6 lead.

The Panthers had another drive halted late in the third quarter as a 25-yard connection from McKillop to Millard was called back on a holding penalty. Following a punt, Colby drove 80 yards on 11 plays, taking 5:38 off the clock as they extended their lead to 24-6. Burns hit Prunier for 14 yards and had a 16-yard rush of his own to move the ball downfield. Burns capped the drive with a 21-yard connection to Matt Hellinger (Wilbraham, Mass.)

Middlebury answered on their next drive as McKillop hit Matson for 45 yards before scoring on a 2-yard run to make it a 24-13 game with 9:39 remaining.

Late in the fourth quarter, McKillop connected with Matson for an 8-yard scoring strike to make it a 24-19 game with 1:59 left to play. The onside kick failed as Colby was able to run out the clock and secure the win.

Chris Copeland (Rexford, N.Y.) made 11 tackles to lead Colby's defense. Denis Cronin (Westwood, Mass.) had a key second half interception for the Mules, while John Murphy (Hingham, Mass.) finished with eight tackles.

Eric Kamback (Mahwah, N.J.) led Middlebury's defense with 14 stops.

Colby 24, Middlebury 19

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
  -----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
  Middlebury..........  0  6  0 13  - 19
  Colby...............  0 10  7  7  - 24


  Scoring Summary:
  2nd 02:03 COL - Roger Bel 5 yd pass from Patrick Burns (Victor Gagne kick), 7-61 2:58, MID 0 - COL 7
      00:34 MID - D. McKillop 1 yd run (M. Wassel kick blockd), 6-55 1:22, MID 6 - COL 7
      00:00 COL - Victor Gagne 42 yd field goal, 4-22 0:17, MID 6 - COL 10
  3rd 07:47 COL - Dan Prunier 3 yd pass from Patrick Burns (Victor Gagne kick), 6-37 3:33, MID 6 - COL 17
  4th 11:00 COL - Matt Hellinger 21 yd pass from Patrick Burns (Victor Gagne kick), 11-80 5:38, MID 6 - COL 24
      09:39 MID - D. McKillop 2 yd run (A. Kuchan kick), 4-63 1:13, MID 13 - COL 24
      01:59 MID - A. Matson 8 yd pass from D. McKillop (D. McKillop pass failed), 7-62 1:18, MID 19 - COL 24
                                      MID      COL
  FIRST DOWNS...................       17       22
  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    27-55   46-223
  PASSING YDS (NET).............      343       92
  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  39-28-2  21-11-0
  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   66-398   67-315
  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
  Punt Returns-Yards............     2-17     2-32
  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     3-65     4-73
  Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0      2-0
  Punts (Number-Avg)............   4-36.2   7-34.6
  Fumbles-Lost..................      1-1      1-0
  Penalties-Yards...............   12-110    9-121
  Possession Time...............    24:54    35:06
  Third-Down Conversions........  5 of 14  6 of 14
  Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 3   0 of 1
  Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      3-3      2-2
  Sacks By: Number-Yards........      1-8      1-9
  RUSHING: Middlebury-D. McKillop 8-21; E. Rostad 8-17; G. Cooper 7-13; R. Bohling
  3-7; M. Wassel 1-minus 3. Colby-Dan Prunier 14-64; Michael Cuqua 11-64; Patrick
  Burns 13-62; Roger Bel 4-27; Connor Walsh 4-6.
  PASSING: Middlebury-D. McKillop 28-39-2-343. Colby-Patrick Burns 11-21-0-92.
  RECEIVING: Middlebury-A. Matson 10-177; C. Holm 5-36; T. Dillon 4-60; E. Rostad
  4-26; J. Millard 3-44; P. Kinchley 1-2; R. Bohling 1-minus 2. Colby-Connor Walsh
  4-20; Dan Prunier 3-25; Roger Bel 2-16; Matt Hellinger 1-21; Andrew Carey 1-10.
  INTERCEPTIONS: Middlebury-None. Colby-Denis Cronin 1-0; Richard Newton 1-0.
  FUMBLES: Middlebury-D. McKillop 1-1. Colby-Dan Prunier 1-0.


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