Middlebury eleven shuts down visiting Bobcats, 35-6

MIDDLEBURY — Panther quarterback Matt Milano threw for a career-high four touchdown passes to lead the Middlebury College football team to a 35-6 win over visiting Bates (1-3) this past Saturday. The 3-2 Panthers earned their 26th consecutive victory over Bates and will return to action this Saturday at Trinity.
Middlebury took advantage of an early turnover vs. Bates. After Nate Leedy picked off a pass at the Bates 33-yard line, Milano hit Brendan Rankowitz over the middle for a 33-yard scoring strike on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
Bates responded on its next possession when Matt Cannone hit Mike Tomaino on a slant pattern, and Tomaino turned it into a 74-yard touchdown run to make it 7-6 following a missed extra point.
Middlebury took a 14-6 lead at 12:35 of the second quarter when Milano found Matthew Minno for a 21-yard touchdown pass. The drive was kept alive by a key third-down conversion from Milano to Ian Riley.
Bates later drove to the Middlebury 32, but turned the ball over on downs when Addison Pierce made a big stop on a fourth-and-one play.
The lead increased to 21-6 just 31 seconds before halftime when Jake Vacovec recovered a fumble in the end zone after a bad snap.
Milano hit four receivers on a 32-yard drive with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter to put his team on top, 28-6. An 11-yard fourth-down conversion pass from Milano to Riley kept the drive alive. Rankowitz pulled down a two-yard toss in the back right corner of the end zone for the score.
The Bobcats hoped to take advantage of a fumble late in the third quarter, but turned the ball over themselves when Vacovec picked off a Cannone pass at the Panther 46. The lost fumble was the first for Middlebury in 19 games, dating back to September of 2012.
Milano later found Minno over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown.
Middlebury outgained Bates 331-185 yards, including a 287-92 advantage through the air. Milano finished 29 for 43 for 287 yards, while Drew Jacobs led the rushers with 42 yards on 16 carries. Rankowitz caught seven passes for 65 yards, while Minno snagged five for 91 yards.
Tim Patricia paced the Panther defense with seven tackles and two sacks, while Pierce added seven tackles and Albert Girioux made six tackles and forced a fumble.

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