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Panther football falls on final play

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College football team dropped a heartbreaker on Saturday to visiting Williams, which scored two touchdowns in the final 4:31 to erase a 12-point deficit and win, 27-26.
The result left Middlebury and Williams in a four-way tie with Wesleyan and Tufts for second place in NESCAC with 4-1 records. First-place Trinity (5-0) will visit Middlebury on Oct. 28, but first the Panthers must take care of business this weekend at Bates (0-5).
The decisive play came with no time left on the clock: Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron found Frank Stola in the end zone from 15 yards out on the game’s final play. On the previous play Maimaron ran for 17 yards. Those plays capped an 80-yard march that began on the Williams 20 with 2:19 to go, with the Ephs having no timeouts.
Maimaron, who completed 21 of 29 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 93 yards and a TD, completed eight passes on the decisive drive. The Ephs also recovered their fumble on the march.
Middlebury scored on its first drive, when quarterback Jared Lebowitz (24 of 37 passes for 304 yards and three TDs) hit Maxwell Rye for a 19-yard score.
The Panthers added to their lead when John Jackson recorded a safety by blocking a punt in the end zone. The play was set up by a 72-yard punt by Rye that pinned Williams on its 1-yard line.
In the second quarter Williams blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt by Carter Massengill. Massengill converted on Middlebury’s next possession, this one from 25 yards out to make it 12-0 with 7:27 left in the first half.
The Panthers drove 83 yards on their opening drive of the third quarter, but Massengill’s 25-yard field goal sailed wide left.
Williams made it 12-7 at 6:36 of the third quarter, when Maimaron connected with tight end Justin Burke on a 22-yard touchdown pass.
Middlebury answered: A 40-yard connection from Lebowitz to Rye set up a 2-yard pass to running back Peter Scibilia.
The Ephs made it 19-14 early in the fourth on Maimaron’s 5-yard quarterback rush up the middle. 
Middlebury made it 26-14 with 9:02 to go, when Aidan Power caught a 21-yard strike over the middle from Lebowitz. A 28-yard pass from Lebowitz to tight end Frank Cosolito aided the drive.
Williams answered by driving 75 yards to cut the lead to 26-21 at 4:31 on a 10-yard rush by Rashad Morrison. The Panthers then failed to move, and Williams had enough time for the winning drive.
Middlebury outgained Williams, 432-378 yards. Scibilia rushed for 62 yards on 18 carries, while Maxim Bochman caught five passes for 61 yards. Rye finished with a career-high 133 yards receiving on seven catches with a touchdown. He also averaged 50.2 yards on his four punts, including two inside the 20 and a 72-yarder. Aaron Slodowitz made 18 tackles, Kevin Maxwell made 16 stops, and Jackson had 11.

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