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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: October 10, 2009
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. --- Chris Copeland had a collegiate-high 17 tackles, Peter Scheve made the defensive play of the game, and David Bendit got a chance at redemption after the Mules pulled out a thrilling 16-13 overtime win against Wesleyan University on Saturday.
Colby and Wesleyan are both 1-2 overall. The Mules are now 2-1 in overtime games since the NCAA started the extra time format back in 1996. Colby, now 2-0 in overtime road games, took a 10-7 victory in four overtimes at Bates College in 2006 and lost at home to Bates by a 20-17 score in 1999.
Copeland, a senior safety, was all over the field with his 17 tackles and was part of a defense which allowed Wesleyan just 163 yards of total offense. Thomas Duffy made nine tackles, while Roger Bel had seven stops and an interception.
Scheve and teammate Shayne Begin combined to make the big defensive play in overtime. With Wesleyan quarterback Joe Giaimo about to make the first down on a quarterback sneak, Scheve forced a fumble and the ball was recovered by Begin to thwart the Cardinals' overtime opportunity.
The Mules were up next and took over on Wesleyan's 25-yard line for their first overtime chance. Connor Walsh rushed right on the first play for 17 yards to the Wesleyan 8-yard line and the Mules were already in field goal range. The Mules safely had three straight rushes to get the ball to the 5-yard line and Bendit nailed the 22-yard field goal for the game-winning points.
Bendit had made his first extra point of the day, but he missed two in a row after the Mules had tied the game at 13-13. He got the second extra try after a Wesleyan penalty for a personal foul. Bendit made his next kick count in overtime.
Colby sophomore quarterback Nick Kmetz completed 21-of-32 for 197 yards and one touchdown. He also led the Mules' ground game with 16 rushes for 52 yards. Walsh added 35 yards on seven rushes (5.0 per carry) and also caught three balls for 17 yards. Patrick Burns led the Mules in receiving yards with 51 on three catches, while Spencer Merwin finished with five grabs for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Wesleyan darted out to a 13-0 halftime lead after the Mules had problems on special teams to give the Cardinals drive starts at Colby's 18 and 23-yard line. The Cardinals needed three plays to go the 18 yards and Giaimo scored from 3 yards out to give the home team a 7-0 lead with 6:34 to go in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Wesleyan took over on the 23-yard line and used six plays to take the 13-0 lead. Greg McDonough scored from 1 yard out for the score, but Wesleyan kicker Matt Alexander missed what turned out to be a key extra point.
Colby's offense finally got into gear at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter with 13 unanswered points. The Mules drove 59 yards on eight plays to cut the margin to 13-7. Kmetz hit Merwin on a 7 yard scoring pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. Andrew Graham had the key catch on the drive with a 24-yard grab from Kmetz to get the ball to the Wesleyan 10-yard line.
Wesleyan punter Kyle Weiss did his job with a 50-yard punt to Colby's 11-yard line after the Cardinals were stopped on the ensuing drive. The Mules, however, put together a 17-play, 89-yard drive to tie the game on Michael Cuqua's 2-yard scoring run. Kmetz had a 15-yard run on a 3rd-and-12 situation, while the quarterback also completed an 8-yard pass to Merwin on a 4th-and-4 at the Wesleyan 43-yard line.
Colby had a golden opportunity to win the game in regulation when Wesleyan botched a punt and the Mules took over on the Cardinals' 14-yard line with 2:26 to play. A penalty hurt on the drive and Colby lost the ball on downs with 1:32 to go.
Colby, which had 299 yards of total offense, had a 19-12 edge in first downs. The Mules also were a solid 3-for-6 in red zone opportunities (inside the opponent 20-yard line).
Casey Sullivan added six tackles, including a sack, for Colby on defense. Bel also had a sack to go along with his interception and Richard Newton finished with one interception.
Colby will play host to Amherst College on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium. The Lord Jeffs took a 20-10 home win over Middlebury in their game Saturday.
Colby 16, Wesleyan 13
Colby............... 0 0 0 13 3 - 16
Wesleyan University. 7 6 0 0 0 - 13
1st 06:34 WES - J. Giaimo 2 yd run (M. Alexander kick), 3-18 1:13,
2nd 05:14 WES - G. McDonough 1 yd run (M. Alexander kick failed), 6-23 2:18,
4th 14:54 COLFB09 - Spencer Merwin 7 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 8-59 3:26,
04:15 COLFB09 - Michael Cuqua 2 yd run (David Bendit kick failed), 17-89 8:16,
OT 15:00 COLFB09 - David Bendit 22 yd field goal, 5-20 0:00,
FIRST DOWNS................... 19 12
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 42-102 37-57
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 197 106
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 33-21-1 23-11-2
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 75-299 60-163
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 1-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-0 1-33
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-48 3-31
Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-11 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-18.5 5-30.6
Fumbles-Lost.................. 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards............... 6-46 8-52
Possession Time............... 32:55 27:05
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 15 5 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 5 1 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-6 2-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-12 4-16
RUSHING: Colby-Nick Kmetz 16-52; Connor Walsh 7-35; Michael Cuqua 13-24; Conor
Tidgwell 4-3; TEAM 1-minus 1; Connor Sullivan 1-minus 11. Wesleyan University-S.
Dwyer 15-59; V. Miller 8-22; G. McDonough 3-5; T. O'Neal 3-0; J. Giaimo 7-minus
6; TEAM 1-minus 23.
PASSING: Colby-Nick Kmetz 21-32-1-197; Michael Cuqua 0-1-0-0. Wesleyan
University-J. Giaimo 11-20-1-106; B. DuBois 0-3-1-0.
RECEIVING: Colby-Spencer Merwin 5-22; Patrick Burns 3-51; Andrew Graham 3-37;
Connor Walsh 3-17; Michael Cuqua 2-28; Kenneth Prior 2-21; Conor Tidgwell 2-12;
Matt Hellinger 1-9. Wesleyan University-M. Dudley 4-41; K. Weiss 2-23; S. Dwyer
2-10; M. Ferris 1-13; P. Modera 1-13; T. O'Neal 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Colby-Roger Bel 1-11; Richard Newton 1-0. Wesleyan University-J.
Stadium: Corwin@Andrus Field Attendance: 1500