Middlebury (3-1) at Bates(0-4)—Garcelon Field—Lewiston, Maine
Middlebury 3-1 is on the season after a 30-22 loss to Williams. Freshman quarterback Donald McKillop had his roughest outing of the season going 26-45 for 223 yards and threw five interceptions to go along with his two TD passes. On the bright side for the Panthers, David Randolph carried the ball 14 times for 124 yards and Andrew Matson had 11 receptions for 123 yards and two TD catches. Matson now has five touchdowns on the season.
The Panthers defense showed they are human as they allowed 402 yards in total offense to the Ephs, but held the NESCAC’s leading passer Pat Lucey to only 171 total yards and he did not throw a touchdown. The Panthers allowed 402 yards in total offense with 231 of those coming on the ground. Brian Morrissey had 27 carries for 137 yards and three scores, while Kevin Flynn added 66 yards on ten carries. Erik Woodring had 19 tackles, a fumble recovery and a blocked PAT as he earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Alex Buggy was strong as well with an interception to go along with three tackles.
The Panthers have played very well on both sides of the ball and have opened up the offense a bit this season. Coach Bob Ritter has some experience in the backfield with David Randolph, and receivers like Matson, Derek Polsinello and Timothy Dillon that can stretch the field. The receiving corps also does a very good job of blocking down field. On defense, Erik Woodring is having a career season as coming into today’s game he leads the conference in tackles with 59, has seven tackles for a loss, a sack, a fumble recovery and a blocked PAT. The defensive backfield is strong as well with Nathan Clancy, Brian Marcks, Brian Young and a host of others.
By the numbers, Randolph leads the team in rushing with 329 yards and three touchdowns. He is followed by freshman Gary Cooper with 136 yards and a pair of scores. On the receiving end, Matson leads the team with 17 receptions for 263 yards and five touchdowns. Timothy Dillon has caught 12 balls for 150 yards to rank second. On defense, Erik Woodring leads the team in just about all defensive categories. On special teams, James Millard is dangerous averaging 28 yards a return; he had an 80 yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening play of the season against Wesleyan. Middlebury ranks third in scoring offense at 26 ppg, and are fourth in total offense with 367 ypg. On defense, the Panthers allow 14 ppg and are second in the conference against the pass.
Bates is 0-4 on the year and have struggled this season. The Bobcats are coming off a 41-21 loss to Wesleyan, a game where Essex Junction native Zack Librizzi went 13-22 for 173 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Librizzi also carried the ball nine times for 121 yards and two scores, one of those scores was a 79 yard jaunt. For the Bobcats, quarterback Brandon Colon was 12-24 for 156 yards, did not throw a TD pass and had two balls picked off, one of them went back the other way 100 yards for a touchdown, that coming from John Freres. On the ground, Greg Thornton carried the ball 12 times for 51 yards while Judd Smith was 12 for 38 and two TD runs. Bates was able to convert 11 of 18 on third downs and helf a slight edge in time of possession.
By the numbers, Bates has been outscored 131-67 and are averaging 268 yards a game in total offense while allowing 410 a contest. Opponents average 219 yards a game on the ground with Bates averaging only 98. Quarterback Brandon Colon is 54-115 for 658 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Greg Thornton leads the way in rushing with 41 carries for 159 yards and a score. On the receiving end it is Matt Gregg with 14 catches for 174 yards and a TD; Ross Van Horn has 14 for 164 and Tom Beaton has caught 12 passes for 191 and two TD’s.
On the defensive end, Kyle McCallister leads the team and the conference with four interceptions running one back for a score. Todd Wilcox leads the team in tackles with 40 and tackles for a loss with three and a half. Graham Raymond is second on the team in tackles with 34 and has three and a half tackles for a loss.
Keys to the game:
Middlebury has to shake off their loss to Williams and that means quarterback Donald McKillop basically forgetting about his five interception performance against the Ephs. McKillop will have to regain the form of the first three games which he was stellar and made very few poor decisions and reads. On defense, the Panthers just need to do what they have been doing this season and that is attack as statistically, Bates has the worst defense in the league as they are allowing close to 33 points an outing.
Bates needs to be patient and somehow keep the ball away from Erik Woodring who has created havoc on defenses this year. They will also have to be quick on the passing game as with guys like David Ellis, Chad Gurrerro and a host of others, the Panthers will create problems in the backfield.
In other action, it is Colby at Hamilton, Wesleyan at Amherst, Bowdoin at Trinity and Tufts is at Williams.