Colby runs over Hamilton for NESCAC win
CLINTON, N.Y. -- Colby College quarterback Justin Ciero '16 threw for 187 yards and a touchdown and ran for 108 yards and two more scores as the Mules defeated the Hamilton College Continentals 37-18 in a NESCAC game at Hamilton's Steuben Field on Oct. 19.
Colby (2-3, 2-3 NESCAC) rushed for 209 yards and limited the Continentals to just 21 on the ground. The Mules won their sixth straight game against Hamilton and lead the all-time series, 20-14.
Carl Lipani '17 ran for two touchdowns, Luke Duncklee '15 caught 12 passes for 117 yards and Louw Scheepers '15 booted a 30-yard field goal for Colby. CT Harris '15 led the defense with 11 tackles, including four of the Mules' six sacks. Christopher Marano '17 and Jac-Antoine Mantu-Caron '17 added one sack apiece, and Jason Buco '15 and Randy Person '15 intercepted one pass each. Colby's defense held the Continentals to just 3 of 16 on third-down conversions.
James Stanell '14 ran for 69 yards and one touchdown for Hamilton (0-5, 0-5). Chase Rosenberg '17 was 23 of 37 passing for a season-high 273 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Joe Jensen '15 and Pat Donadio '15 recorded TD catches. Alex Mitko '16 was credited with a career-high 13 tackles and John Phelan '16 added 10 stops. Nick Flora '16 picked up his first career sack and returned Ciero's quick-kick 47 yards late in the fourth quarter.
The Mules jumped out to a 20-0 lead and the Continentals didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the day. Hamilton was pinned deep in their own end on its first drive and Patrick Donahoe '16 was forced to punt from his own end zone. Zach Padula '15 returned Donahoe's punt 15 yards to the Hamilton 30, and it took Colby just four plays to reach the end zone. The Continentals were flagged for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and on third-and-nine, Ciero found Nick Joseph '15 wide open on the left side of the end zone for a 14-yard TD pass with 11:22 left in the first quarter. The extra-point was blocked and the Mules led, 6-0.
Colby scored on their next possession after a 37-yard punt gave the Mules the ball at their own 45. Colby was flagged for a delay of game and then Ciero ran 19 yards for a first down to the Hamilton 41. Six plays later, Lipani ran off right tackle and into the end zone from the 4 with 7:48 remaining in the first. The PAT was good and the Mules pushed their lead to 13-0.
Colby went up 20-0 on a drive that spanned the first and second quarters. A 30-yard punt by the Continentals gave the Mules the ball at the Hamilton 47 and it took Colby seven plays to score. Ciero ran three times for 26 yards on the drive, including a 4-yard scramble into the end zone just 43 seconds into the second quarter.
The Continentals got on the board on an 80-yard drive that took just six plays. Rosenberg was 4 of 4 for 85 yards on the drive that ended with his roll to the right and 43-yard heave to Donadio, who caught the ball on the right side of the end zone with 8:17 to go in the second. The PAT hit the right upright and Hamilton still trailed 20-6.
The Mules started their next drive with great field position once again after a 50-yard kickoff return by Padula to the Continentals' 44-yard line. A 15-yard personal foul call on Hamilton was sandwiched between two Ciero completions to Thomas Brewster '16 for 18 more yards, and Colby had a first down at the 11. Lipani ran the next play up the middle, broke a number of tackles and powered into the end zone with 6:20 left. The extra-point was good and the Mules led, 27-6.
The Continentals pulled within 27-12 with an 11-play scoring drive that covered 63 yards late in the half. Rosenberg was 6 of 6 for 60 yards but Stanell scored the touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1. He took the handoff from Rosenberg, dove over the middle of the line and into the end zone with 13 seconds remaining. The PAT was blocked and Colby led by 15 at the half.
The Mules scored on their opening drive in the second half. Padula returned the kickoff 29 yards to the Colby 46 and it took the Mules just seven plays to make the score 34-12. Ciero completed two passes to Duncklee for 41 yards, and Ciero ended the drive with a 14-yard run. He faked the handoff to Lipani, ran off left tackle and reached the ball over the goal line with 11:06 to go in the third.
Hamilton went three-and-out on its first drive and Colby was back in business. The Mules chewed up more than five minutes off the clock on a 12-play, 49-yard drive that ended with Scheepers' field goal that made it 37-12 with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter. A 9-yard pass from Ciero to Ryder Arsenault '17 on fourth-and-seven at the Continentals' 28 was the key play. Colby had the ball for more than 18 minutes in the second half.
Hamilton accounted for the final margin on its first drive in the fourth quarter. Rosenberg was 5 of 5 for 75 yards and the Continentals were helped by a defensive pass interference call. On fourth-and-goal from the 13, Jensen ran a fade route to the back-right corner of the end zone and Rosenberg found him for the touchdown with 7:32 left. Stanell appeared to run for the two-point conversion but Hamilton was flagged for holding, and Rosenberg's pass attempt on the next play was no good.
The Continentals go back on the road for a NESCAC game at Williams College on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Mules host in-state rival Bates College back in Maine next Saturday.