October 8, 2012

Middlebury moved to 3-0 for the first time since ’07 with a 24-3 win over Amherst (2-1) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers join Trinity and Wesleyan as the only undefeated teams in NESCAC play through three games. The Middlebury defense held the powerful Amherst offense to just 249 yards, as they entered the contest with an average of 439.5 yards/game.

Middlebury took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter on an 11-yard strike from junior McCallum Foote (Newton, Mass.) to senior tight end Billy Chapman (Greenwich, Conn.). The short five-play, 44-yard drive was set up by a 41 yard punt from senior Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) that left Amherst the ball at their own one. After a three-and-out, Middlebury began the drive on the Amherst 44.

The Panthers added to their lead in the second quarter with a six-play, 64-yard drive that took just 1:06. Foote hit Driscoll for 16 and 24 yards, while connecting with Chapman for 16 before his eight-yard touchdown reception.

After holding Amherst late in the quarter, Middlebury got the ball back on the 50 with 50 seconds remaining. Foote connected with senior running back Remi Ashkar (Glen Rock, N.J.) twice for 12 and 10 yards, with a 20-yard strike to another running back, rookie Harrison Goodkind (Branford, Conn.). Foote then earned the first rushing touchdown of his career, scoring from two yards out on a second and goal play.

Amherst scored its only points of the game on their opening drive of the third quarter. The 14-play, 61-yard drive ate up 6:21 off the clock, as Jake Schmidt connected from 29 yards to make it a 21-3 game at the 13:17 mark.

Middlebury drove 49 yards on its ensuing drive, reaching the Amherst 27 before Foote was intercepted by Robbie Heflin in the end zone. Amherst looked to get back into the game on the following drive, but a big tackle from senior Doug Rogers (Del Mar, Calif.) on a third-and-one play ended the short drive.

The Panthers gained some insurance in the fourth quarter, after a short punt left them at the Amherst 44. Eleven plays later, first-year kicker Jake Feury (Rockaway, N.J.) connected from 28 yards out for his first career field goal, making it a 24-3 game.

The teams exchanged the next six possessions, with the Panthers coming away with the 24-3 victory. Amherst had won three straight in the series, with Middlebury winning the previous three meetings from ’06-’08.

Foote finished the game 39-60 for 379 yards with two passing touchdowns and one on the ground. Chapman caught a game-high 12 passes for 110 yards with two touchdowns, while Driscoll hauled down 11 passes for 126 yards. Ashkar gained 79 yards on the day, 49 of them coming through the air. Rookie Tim Patricia (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the Panther defense with 12 tackles and a late interception, earning NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Sophomore Matthew Benedict (Eden, N.Y.) had nine stops with three pass break-ups.

• Football record: 3-0

• Up next: 10/13 @ Williams – 1:30