Panther football earns road win
HARTFORD, Conn. — The Middlebury College football team on Saturday snapped Trinity’s 53-game home winning streak with a 27-20 victory. It was the Bantams’ first home setback since Sept. 29, 2001, and their first loss of 2014 as they dropped to 5-1.
The Panthers improved to 4-2 as quarterback Matt Milano tossed four touchdown passes, three to Matthew Minno. They will visit Hamilton this Saturday before closing out their season by hosting Tufts on Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m.
Middlebury completed a 13-play, 91-yard drive for the game’s first touchdown when Milano connected with Minno on a 28-yard scoring pass.
Later in the second, Trinity answered with a drive from its own 23-yard line to the Panther five. But Middlebury’s Dan Pierce intercepted a Henry Foye pass and returned it 71 yards into Bantam territory.
Following the turnover, Milano found Minno from four yards out for another Middlebury score, and the Panthers led, 13-0.
Middlebury opened the third quarter with a successful onside kick, and capitalized just over 40 seconds later when Milano found Minno for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
On the ensuing Trinity drive, Michael Budness was stopped a yard shy of a first down on a fake punt. Later in the third frame, Trinity drove to the Panther three-yard line, but the Panthers stopped the Bantams on 4th-and-2 and regained possession.
The Bantams got on the board at 1:10 of the third quarter, taking advantage of the ensuing Middlebury punt from its own end zone when Foye connected with Nick Gaynor for a 33-yard scoring pass.
Trinity’s comeback hopes ended when Dan Pierce picked off backup quarterback Spencer Aukamp, who entered the game when Foye left after a Middlebury sack on an earlier drive. Middlebury took advantage of the turnover with a 26-yard pass to the end zone from Milano to Brendan Rankowitz with 6:07 remaining in the contest.
Milano finished 25-for-36 through the air for 286 yards. Ryan Rizzo had nine catches for 79 yards, Minno caught five balls for a game-high 90 yards, and Rankowitz added five catches for 75 yards. On the ground, Drew Jacobs totaled 64 yards on 17 carries. Foye finished 16-for-30 for 196 yards.
Pacing the Panthers defensively was Dan Pierce with 12 tackles including 1.5 TFLs along with two picks, while Addison Pierce recorded six tackles and a sack. Jake Clapp had two sacks, while Nate Leedy and Tim Patricia each had six stops. Middlebury held the Bantams to 85 yards rushing on 38 attempts.
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