Ephs down Middlebury 41-17 for fourth win in a row
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – On a cool, overcast Weston Field that featured a slow and slippery track, NESCAC's top ranked passing offense from Middlebury averaging 329.3 yards a game met up with the conference's top overall defense in Williams (264.3) and it was all Williams as the Ephs rolled to a 41-17 win.
Eph senior QB Pat Moffitt stole the show from Middlebury's senior QB Donald McKillop who was the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year last year. Moffitt connected on 17 of 28 tosses for 334 yards four TDs to lead Williams.
Eph sophomore WR Darren Hartwell tied the Eph single game record for most TD catches in a game with three and he accounted for 180 yards with a long of 92. Williams set a school record for most total offense in a game with 609, eclipsing their previous high, which was recorded vs. Middlebury in 2008.
When asked why he talked all week about running the ball and then on the first play threw a bomb, Eph rookie head coach Aaron Kelton responded, "we're going take what you give us and we can hurt you in a lot of ways and when Darren has a step he's gone."
"We were better on both sides of the ball, but we still have a long ways to go and four tough games," stated Kelton.
Junior center Vince Nistico emphasized the importance of the Hartwell game-breaker by noting, ""It was very important to get out on top early for us [offense], but also for our defense."
With the win Williams moves to 4-0 on the year, while Middlebury falls to 1-3.
Williams won the toss and deferred. Middlebury started on its own 38 and after a first down the Panthers punted to the Ephs 8-yard line. On Williams first play from scrimmage from their 8-yard line Pat Moffitt hit Darren Hartwell in stride at the 30 on the left sideline and Hartwell took it the distance for six. The PAT by Chris Cleary was good and Williams led 7-0.
On their second possession from their own 37, the Ephs used three runs by Ryan Lupo for two first downs, then two passes to JC Stickney put the ball on the Middlebury 20. Moffitt then found Tomas Kearney on the left side and his run and dive put the ball in the end zone. PAT was good giving Williams a 14-0 lead.
Pat Moffitt and Darren Hartwell teamed up for a second score. Moffitt hit Hartwell behind the line of scrimmage on the left side and the sophomore made a quick cut inside and scored from the Middlebury 30. The PAT Failed and the Ephs led 20 with 5 minutes left in the first quarter.
With 46 seconds left in the first quarter Middlebury got on the scoreboard on a 16-yard field goal by Anthony Kuchan on an 11-play drive. Williams 20, Middlebury 3.
The Ephs christened the second quarter by driving 67 yards on 11 plays with a 5-yard TD run by Alex Scyocurka capping the drive. Cleary converted the PAT to put Williams up 27-3 with just over 11 minutes to go in the half.
After stopping Middlebury on their own 24–yard line the Ephs scored another six when Alex Scyocurka went off right tackle 59 yards to pay dirt. The PAT by Chris Clearymade it 34-3 Williams with 3:26 to go before intermission.
A 30 yard-screen pass, catch and run from Donald McKillop to Andrew Pumley put the Panthers on the Eph 9-yard line with 1:49 left in the half. The Middlebury drive was thwarted when McKillop's next pass bounced off the hands of a Panther receiver and into the hands of Eph middle LB Dylan Schultz.
Middlebury's last possession of the half started on the Williams 42 after short Eph punt. McKillop scrambled to convert on fourth down deep in Eph territory to keep the drive alive and then he hit WR Nick Resor on a four-yard TD pass to make it 34-9. The PAT by Anthony Kuchan made it 34-10 Williams with 18 seconds left in the half.
Middlebury's first possession of the second half started on their own 20 after the Eph punt resulted in a touchback. McKillop and the Panthers then opened up their short passing game and mixed in some counter runs and drove the ball to the Williams 25 where they faced a fourth and 13. McKillop's pass intended for Alex Englert was broken up on the 2-yard line by Eph defensive back Hunter Lent.
The Ephs then moved the ball over the 50 with a 31-yard pass from Moffitt to Hartwell, which put the ball on the Middlebury 31. Alex Scyocurka then ran 22 yards off left tackle to the 9-yard line and Moffitt closed the drive with a lofted pass for 9 yards to a leaping Darren Hartwell to put the Ephs up 40-10. The PAT by Cleary boosted the Eph lead to 41-10 with just less than four minutes left in third quarter.
A 15-yard completing on the final play of the third quarter gave Donald McKillop the record for most passing attempts in New England Division III history. With his 60 attempts through three quarters, Middlebury quarterback Donald McKillop set the New England Division III record for most attempts in a career with (1,111 in 26 games). He surpassed James Williams of Western Connecticut, who threw 1,110 times from '06-'09 in 39 games. On the day McKillop was 35-74 (one more attempt than his first appearance on Weston Field) for 302 yards and one TD.
The final score of the game came in the fourth quarter when Middlebury polished off a 78-yard 16-play drive with a two-yard run by Andrew Pumley. Kuchan converted the PAT to make the final 41-17.
Defensively the Panthers were led by Matthew Cawley who notched eight tackles on the day, six of which were solos. The Eph defense was led by Pat Barren who recorded 9 solo tackles and had four assists along with a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery. "We came out a little sluggish in practice this week and the coaches got after us a bit," said Eph LB Barren. "We wanted to contain their offense. Keep them in front of us. We gave up some yards and I was not happy about giving up the late TD, but overall I would give our defense a B+."
Middlebury's Alex Englert had a game-high 9 catches on the day and he turned the tosses from McKillop into 101 yards. Darren Hartwell led the Ephs with his five catches, three for TDs and rang up 180 yards receiving. Hartwell also chipped in 49 returns yards with 37 on four punt returns and he had one 12-yard kickoff return.
Eph freshman Alex Scyocurka led all rushers with 132 yards on 11 carries and scored two TDs with a long of 59 yards.
Next up for the Ephs is a road contest in Medford, MA versus the Jumbos of Tufts University next Saturday at 1:30 p.m.