Panther rally falls short against Williams

MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, Williams held off a late surge by the Middlebury College football team to earn a 37-27 win over the host Panthers. Williams (3-1) had a slight edge in yardage (454-403), but with an effective ground game that translated into a major advantage in time of possession (38:38-21:19) over the 1-3 Panthers.
During the game, Middlebury quarterback Donald McKillop became the school’s all-time leader in passing yardage (4,856), surpassing Mike Keenan, who threw for 4,544 from 2002 to 2004. Linebacker Eric Kamback also tied the school’s single-game record of 20 tackles, set by Josh Bonifas in 1996.
Williams tallied on six of its first seven possessions. Ryan Lupo (136 yards on 37 carries) opened the scoring with a five-yard touchdown run at 8:44 of the first quarter. Lupo caught a 19-yard pass and rushed for 22 yards on the drive.
The lead grew to 10-0 later in the quarter on a 36-yard field goal from Scott Sobolewski. The kicker struck again from 29 yards out at the 11:35 mark of the second quarter. Next, the Ephs drove 49 yards on seven plays, and Lupo capped the march from one yard out to make it 20-0.
The Panthers then got on the board by driving 58 yards to make it 20-7 with 3:35 left in the half. A 39-yard connection from McKillop to Erik Rostad helped set up McKillop’s 14-yard TD run. Williams answered with a 28-yarder from Sobolewski to close the half.
The Ephs opened the second half with a 10-yard run from Matt Coyne to make it 30-7. A 30-yard connection from QB Pat Moffitt (14 of 24 for 163 yards) to Nick Caro set up the score.
Middlebury then got rolling. A 74-yard drive ended in a five-yard strike from McKillop to Matt Rayner at 4:44 of the third quarter. McKillop found four receivers on the drive, and Rostad picked up a 13-yard run.
Following a defensive stop, the offense moved 75 yards in 2:33. McKillop hit Tim Monaghan for 10, James Millard for 11 and Rostad for 23 yards to open the drive, and finished it with an eight-yard toss to David Reed to make it 30-20 early in the fourth quarter. Three series later, McKillop hit Millard for a 61-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 30-27 at 8:46.
Williams drove to the Panther six on its next possession, but the Middlebury defense held on fourth-and-three, giving Middlebury the ball back at 4:31. But the Panthers had to punt, and Williams took over on the Middlebury 42 and marched for the clinching score, a three-yard run by Lupo.
McKillop hit 28 of 47 passes for 315 yards and rushed for 41 yards. Millard caught eight passes for 118 yards, while Rostad caught seven passes for 105 yards. Kamback’s big day led the defense, while Andrew Durfee added 15 tackles; Connor Green, 12; and Michael Bilodeau, 11. The Panthers play at Bates this coming Saturday.

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