Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Trinity at Middlebury preview

Trinity(4-1) at Middlebury(4-1)—Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium—Middlebury, VT

Middlebury is 4-1 on the season after their 13-0 victory over Bates on Saturday in Lewiston. Donald McKillop was 19-31 for 227 yards, he did not throw a touchdown but did throw an interception. David Randolph had 20 carries for 88 yards and a one yard touchdown run; Gary Cooper added the other score for the Panthers. James Millard caught five passes for 80 yards in place of the injured Derek Polsinello and Charlie Holm caught five passes for 59. Penalties killed the Panthers as they had a touchdown run by David Randolph called back on a holding call, and Charlie Holm negated a big run with a personal foul penalty.

The Middlebury defense was outstanding in holding Bates to only 189 yards of total offense. Bates quarterback Brandon Colon was only 7-26 for 82 yards and was picked off twice. The first of those interceptions was picked off by Brian Young who ran it back 48 yards to the Bobcat seven yard line. Two plays later David Randolph punched the ball in from a yard out. Bates was able to keep the ball away from Erik Woodring, the Panthers leading tackler as he had only five stops on the afternoon. Nathan Clancy lead the way with seven stops, Michael Quinn added six. Middlebury sacked Colon twice with the sacks coming from Paul Thibodeau and Eric Kamback.

The Panthers out gained the Bobcats 378-189 and held the ball for five minutes longer than the Bobcats. Middlebury’s defense was able to hold Bates to only 2-13 on their third down conversions.

Middlebury comes into today third in total offense, second in rushing yards and are fourth in the conference in scoring at 24 ppg. The defense is going to be the key to this afternoon’s contest as they are number one against the pass, are second in scoring defense allowing nine points a game, but are seventh against the run. Middlebury is plus four in the turnover department which will be a factor today. Individually for Middlebury, Andrew Matson leads the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns with 21 receptions for 302 yards and is second in the conference intouchdowns with five. David Randolph is the team’s leading rusher with 90 carries for 407 yards and four touchdowns. Erik Woodring leads the conference in tackles with 64, he is in the running for the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Trinity shares Middlebury’s 4-1 record after their 54-13 victory over Bowdoin. Jordan Quinones carried the ball 15 times for 107 yards and two scores; Robert Jackson had 18 carries for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Eric McGrath was 15-29 for 197 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Justin Holliday. Holliday finished the afternoon with six receptions for 120 yards. The Bantams dominated on both sides of the ball as they outgained the Polar Bears 476-158 and held Bowdoin to only 74 yards on the ground. Trinity converted an incredible 15-19 on third downs and went 7-7 in the red zone.

Trinity is a team that is simply loaded on both sides of the football. Quarterback Eric McGrath is second in the NESCAC in passing with 1,259 yards and he leads the conference with 13 touchdowns. For the season McGrath is 93-185 and had thrown six interceptions to go along with his 13 touchdowns. Running back Jordan Quinones is fifth in the conference in rushing at 82 yards a contest. McGrath has some weapons to throw to in Joe Clark and Justin Holliday. Clark has 19 receptions for 339 yards and leads the NESCAC in touchdown receptions with seven. Also look out for Justin Holliday who has 17 catches for 250 yards. As a team, the Bantams lead the conference in scoring at 34 ppg, and are second in passing and in total offense. On defense, the Bantams are touch allowing 15 points a game, are third against the run and are second in total defense.

Keys to the game:

Middlebury HAS to control the football and play disciplined football. The Panthers have been plagued by penalties the last few weeks, and against a team like Trinity, that could hurt them. Donald McKillop has to take his time and be selective in his passing. Trinity is outstanding on the defensive end and will probably try to rattle the freshman QB. Trinity has 22 quarterback sacks on the year so the offensive line will have to be strong. On the defensive end they will have to try and contain Eric McGrath and all of his weapons as they can be deadly.

Trinity will have to play the style of play that has them scoring 34 points a game. McGrath is a good quarterback who has a balanced attack behind and in front of him. McGrath has an offensive line that has allowed only eight sacks this season. The defense will try to confuse Donald McKillop, and that is something that will be key as for the most part McKillop does not make many mistakes. The Bantams will also have to contain a very good Middlebury defense lead by Erik Woodring. The Panthers are very strong with a supporting cast of Alex Buggy, Chad Gurrerro, Brian Young and a strong host of others.

The Bantams lead the all-time series 23-8 and won last year’s meeting 40-9.

In other action, Amherst is at Tufts, Wesleyan is at Bowdoin, Hamilton is at Williams, and in a battle of winless teams, Bates is at Colby.

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