Panther football prevails, now 2-0
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College football team on Saturday improved to 2-0 with a 28-9 win over Colby (0-2) in the Panthers’ home opener. Middlebury returns to action at Amherst on Saturday.
Vs. Colby, Middlebury took a 2-0 lead when Nate Leedy blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety at 7:58 of the first quarter. The Panthers scored again after a Colby punt put the ball at the 50. Quarterback Matt Milano hit tight end Trevor Miletich twice on the drive before a 10-yard connection to Ian Riley for the touchdown.
Tim Patricia picked off a pass on Colby’s ensuing drive, and then the Panthers marched 73 yards on nine plays to take a 14-0 lead. Tanner Contois caught a 22-yard pass before Milano and Miletich connected in the corner of the end zone on a six-yard strike.
In the second quarter, a booming 79-yard punt by Colby’s John Baron put Middlebury on its own one-yard line. Three plays later, the hosts were unable to get a punt away as Justin Lamere pushed Panther punter Charlie Gordon out of the end zone for a safety.
Middlebury took a 21-2 lead at 5:25 of the second quarter after an 11-play, 87-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jared Lebowitz to Ryan Rizzo. Lebowitz aided the drive with a 15-yard rush and a 39-yard strike to Conrado Banky. That score stood at the half.
An interception by Middlebury’s Kevin Hopsicker with 7:38 remaining gave the Panthers the ball on their own 24-yard line. Six plays later, Milano hit Banky for a 60-yard touchdown reception and a 28-2 lead with 4:39 remaining.
Colby scored on its final drive, moving the ball 74 yards on 11 plays in 4:01. Gabe Harrington hit Mark Snyder for 25 yards on the drive before Jabari Hurdle-Price scored from two yards out.
Milano finished the day 21 for 33 passing for 258 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Lebowitz completed five of nine attempts for 77 yards. Rizzo finished with seven receptions for 62 yards, while Banky (123 yards) and Miletich (30 yards) each caught five passes. Diego Meritus gained 39 yards on 24 rushes and caught four passes for 51 yards.
For Colby, Harrington completed 17 of 36 passes for 142 yards, while Hurdle-Price gained 66 yards on 20 carries.
Defensively, Panther senior Tim Patricia finished with seven tackles, one for loss. Addison Pierce made six stops, two for lost yardage, forced a fumble and broke up a pass.
The Panthers outgained the Mules, 389-237 yards, but Colby held a 36:06 to 23:54 edge in time of possession.