MIDDLEBURY WINS HOME-OPENER
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury offense racked up 553 yards of total offense on its way to a 41-15 win over Colby (0-2) in the team's home-opener. The Panther (1-1) saw rookie quarterback McCallum Foote finish the day 28 of 44 for 380 yards with four touchdown passes. Middlebury returns to action next Saturday at Amherst, while Colby visits Wesleyan.
Middlebury scored on its opening possession, going 80 yards on six plays in just 2:01. Foote found tight end Billy Chapman for 22 yards and hooked up with Josh Amster for 52 yards to set up a two-yard rush from Remi Ashkar.
Colby answered with a drive to the Middlebury three before turning the ball over on a fumble. Middlebury returned the favor two plays later, setting up a 25-yard field goal from David Bendit to cut the lead to 7-3.
A 32-yard field goal from Middlebury's Mike Dola gave the Panthers a 10-3 advantage early in the second quarter, with linebacker Zach Roeder picking off a Colby pass to set up the team's next score. Following the turnover near midfield, the Panthers scored four plays later with a 33-yard hook-up between Foote and Zach Driscoll.
Late in the quarter, Middlebury drove 75 yards in just 2:05 to take a 24-3 lead on an 11-yard pass from McCallum to Ashkar.
Colby took over at their own 20, driving 80 yards on 12 plays with Nick Kmetz finding Connor Walsh from two-yards out to make it a 24-9 game at the half. Walsh caught three passes for 27 yards on the drive, with a key pass interference penalty in the end zone extending the drive with just seconds remaining in the half.
Dola's second field goal of the game (27 yards) at the 9:43 mark of the third gave Middlebury a 27-9 lead. Following a Colby failed fourth down conversion, Foote found Driscoll from 25-yards out to make it a 34-9 game at the 7:51 mark.
Middlebury added to its lead in the fourth quarter, as a 15-play, 80-yard drive took 5:28 off the clock. Ashkar rushed for 45 yards on the drive, with Foote finding Chapman from 10-yards out for the score.
Colby answered with a 64-yard drive, ending in a six-yard touchdown run from Luke Duncklee after he had a 51-yard gain earlier in the drive.
Middlebury punted its next possession away, before Nick Burdeau sacked Colby back-up QB Connor Sullivan and recovered the fumble with 1:25 left to play.
Ashkar earned his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 119 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown, while catching three passes for 28 yards and a score. Chapman finished the afternoon with 10 catches for 139 yards with a touchdown, while Driscoll caught seven balls for 99 yards, finding the end zone twice. Defensively, John Wiet led the team with 13 tackles, Roeder finished with eight and an interception, while Michael Bilodeau had nine with a fumble recovery. The Middlebury offensive line did not allow a sack on the afternoon, opening up holes for Ashkar most of the day.
Kmetz went 19 of 34 for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception, rushing the ball 15 times for 50 yards. Duncklee led the Colby rushers with 73 yards on six carries with a touchdown, while Walsh caught a team-high eight passes for 64 yards with a touchdown. Mike Hyatt had a huge game on defense for Colby, finishing with 18 tackles and a fumble recovery, while Brian Mellett added 10 stops.