Football seniors to play final home game

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 5, 2009
Athletics Preview Photos

Dan Prunier

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College senior football players will compete at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium for the final time Saturday when the Mules entertain Tufts University at 12:30 p.m.

For those unable to attend the game, Colby radio station WMHB (89.7 FM locally) will broadcast the game at

Colby took a thrilling 34-27 win at home against Bates last Saturday. Tufts, which fell 13-3 at home to Amherst College last Saturday, is 2-4 overall. The Mules close out the season next Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Bowdoin for a chance to win the CBB title. Bates and Bowdoin meet Saturday in the second of the three CBB games between the three rivals.

Colby seniors Roger Bel, Stephen Carroll, Chris Copeland, Michael Cuqua, Matt Fait, Lamont Henry, Brian Leighton, Connor McKenna, Dan Prunier, Matt Quinlan, Carl Richards, Ben Robinson, Peter Scheve, and Casey Sullivan all play today for the final time at home. Marcus Bois Auban, the team's four-year video coordinator, also is a senior.

The seniors will get an opportunity to win their final two games after a crazy victory against the Bobcats last Saturday. Colby held a 34-13 lead with 5:59 to play, but Bates scored two touchdowns to make it 34-27 and then had a chance at 1st-and-goal on the Colby 5-yard line before the Mules held them on downs.   

Colby had its best day on the ground last week with 141 yards of rushing and four touchdowns. Dan Prunier, Nick Kmetz, Michael Cuqua, and Connor Walsh all had rushing touchdowns. Prunier had his top day of the season with 92 yards.

Kmetz also threw for a touchdown to co-captain Bel and finished with 214 yards passing. Kmetz ranks fourth in the conference in both total offense (214.5) and passing yards per game (190.3). He became the first Colby quarterback since Justin Smith in 2006 to go over 1,000 yards passing on the season and has 1,142 yards with two games remaining.

Patrick Burns leads Colby in total catches (20), receiving yards (358), average yards per game (59.7), and average yards per catch (17.9). The Mules have received great balance from the receiving corps. Connor Walsh has 18 catches for 151 yards, Matt Hellinger has 17 grabs for 188 yards, and Spencer Merwin has 17 catches for 157 yards.

The Mules were 6-for-6 inside the red zone (scoring inside the opponent 20) last week against Bates. The Mules are 14-for-21 for the season (67 percent).

Meanwhile, Colby's run defense is ranked third nationally at just 46.8 yards per game after the Mules held the Bobcats to 13 yards rushing. Colby has allowed minus-1 yards rushing in the last two games against Hamilton and Bates. Amherst (32.5 rushing yards allowed) and Redlands (41.00) are the only two Division III teams in the country ahead of the Mules.

The Mules also rank third in the conference in total defense (286.8 yards per game), while the offense is up to six and is close to fifth in the league at 287.5. Colby is third in the NESCAC in turnover ratio at plus-4. The Mules have lost just one fumble this season, the lowest total in the conference.

Copeland leads Colby in total tackles (58) and interceptions (2). Tom Duffy has 42 tackles and Brian Mellett has 33 stops.

Tufts has wins this season at Bates (15-7) and home against Bowdoin (25-22). The Jumbos have fallen at Wesleyan (7-3), at Williams (30-7), home to Trinity (10-3), and home to Amherst (13-3). The Jumbos have scored just 56 points (9.3 per game) this year, but the Tufts defense has been solid and has allowed 89 points.

Colby has a huge difference over the Jumbos in creating turnovers. The Mules have forced 14 turnovers (9 interceptions, 5 fumbles), while the Jumbos have created just four turnovers (2 of each).

Senior defensive back Tom Tassinari leads the Jumbos in total tackles (57), solo tackles (37), and pass break-ups (4). Junior linebacker Matthew Murray has 46 tackles and senior defensive back Alex Perry has 42.

Junior Pat Bailey is the main man on offense for the Jumbos. He leads the team in rushing (83 carries, 271 yards) and receiving (20 catches, 264 yards). Bailey also returns punts (18 returns, 99 yards) and kicks (6 returns, 105 yards).

Senior quarterback Tom McManama has completed 63 passes for 690 yards and four touchdowns. Bailey is his leading receiver and junior Billy Mahler has 10 grabs for 108 yards.




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