Joey Zelkowitz scored on an eight-yard run with 4:03 remaining, giving Middlebury (3-1) a 21-14 victory over Williams (0-4) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers have now won 12 of their last 14 games and six straight at home. The Ephs have opened at 0-4 for the first time in 65 years ('47).
Middlebury drove 81 yards on 12 plays on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. Quarterback McCallum Foote found receiver Trevor Wheeler for 28 yards on the drive, before delivering the senior his first career touchdown with a 25 yard strike over the middle.
The Ephs looked to answer on their next drive, moving 60 yards before a 37-yard field goal from Joe Mallock missed wide left.
Williams got on the board in the second quarter, with a lengthy 16-play, 82-yard drive that took 8:08 off the clock. Quarterback Adam Marske hit Darrias Sime for 21 yards on the drive, as he connected with five different receivers marching down the field. Marco Hernandez scored with a one-yard scamper to make it a 7-6 game after a missed extra point.
Middlebury answered, driving 82 yards on just seven plays to take a 14-6 lead. Foote found Zelkowitz on a swing pass, as the rookie turned on the speed and raced 47 yards to the Williams 10. Following a two-yard rush from Zelkowitz, the two connected on the same play as Zelkowitz found paydirt from eight yards out. Williams had a late first half drive ending with a 37-yard missed field goal from Mallock.
The Ephs were unable to take advantage of a turnover in the third quarter as Tom Cabarle picked off Foote at the Williams six-yard line. Later in the quarter, the Ephs tied the game with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive. A Marske to Jeff Brewington connection of 25 yards and 23 yards on the ground from Alex Scyocurka sparked the drive. The score came on a third and two play as Marske found Alex Way for a short three-yard connection. The two hooked up again for a two-point conversion to knot the score at 14-14.
The game remained tied until the Panthers took over at their own 20 with 6:57 remaining. Matt Rea gained 25 yards up the middle on a third and two play to get into Williams territory. The Panthers continued to move the ball, with Zelkowitz reaching the eight on a seven yard rush up the middle. The following play, he carried the ball straight up the middle once again, scoring from eight yards out to put his team on top, 21-14.
Williams was forced to punt with 3:28 remaining and then held the Panthers to get the ball back on their own 34 with 1:00 left. The Ephs moved the ball to the Middlebury 48, before a completion with a lateral and a fumble ended their scoring bid on the Panther 37 with 12 seconds remaining.
Foote finished the day 20-37 for 247 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Zelkowitz accounted for 104 total yards, with six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. William Sadik-Kahn caught six passes for 66 yards, Wheeler caught the first four balls of his career for 69 yards with a score, while Rea gained 68 yards on the ground. Will Bain led all tacklers with 16 on the afternoon, Tim Patricia added 10, while Matt Crimmins had seven with 1.5 sacks and a pair of key pass break-ups.
Marske completed 28 of 48 passes for 276 yards with one touchdown for Williams. Scyocurka gained 62 yards on the ground, while Greg Payton caught a game-high nine passes for 89 yards. James Howe finished with eight tackles and 2.5 tackles for lost yardage, while James O'Grady had seven.
Williams held a 35:14 to 24:46 time of possession advantage in the game, holding a 401-358 edge in total yards.