Middlebury

FOOTBALL WINS OPENER

September 24, 2012

The Middlebury offense amassed 416 yards of offense, pulling away from Bowdoin to earn a 42-18 win in the season-opener for both squads. The Panthers return to action next week at Colby, while Bowdoin will host Amherst in its home-opener.

Middlebury junior Bryant Adams (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) picked off a Grant White pass and returned it 13 yards to the nine on Bowdoin’s opening possession of the game. Two plays later, junior McCallum Foote (Newton, Mass.) found senior Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) from three yards out for the 7-0 lead.

Leading 7-3, Middlebury drove 60 yards on 10 plays, with Foote finding sophomore Brendan Rankowitz (Westport, Conn.) for a 24-yard touchdown to make it a 14-3 game with 4:00 left in the first half.

Thomas Romero was intercepted on the Polar Bears’ ensuing possession, with an 18-yard return by junior Jared Onouye (Los Angeles, Calif.) leaving Middlebury the ball at the Bowdoin 20. On a fourth and six play, Foote found senior tight end Billy Chapman (Greenwich, Conn.) over the middle for the touchdown.

Bowdoin answered with a 77 yard drive on seven plays to make it a 21-9 game at the half. Romero found Nick Goldin for a 40-yard connection during the drive, with a 28-yard scoring strike to David Black.

Middlebury drove 78 yards on its opening drive of the second half, with senior Remi Ashkar (Glen Rock, N.J.) accounting for 21 yards on the ground and 21 through the air. The running back scored from one-yard out to give the Panthers a 28-9 advantage.

Bowdoin’s Jim Garvey kicked his second field goal of the game at the 8:21 mark, this one from 27 yards out to make it a 28-12 contest.

The Polar Bears scored on their third straight possession when the team drove 90 yards on 10 plays to cut the lead to 28-18. Romero found Christian Dulmaine for 35 yards before a four-yard rush from Greg Pierce into the end zone.

Bowdoin looked to further close the gap after a Middlebury fumble on its next possession. The Polar Bears took over at the Panther 26, but four plays later, turned the ball over on downs.

Middlebury drove 79 yards on its next possession, extending its lead to 35-18. A 20-yard pass to senior Josh Amster (Encino, Calif.) was the key play on the drive, as Foote hit Driscoll for a 19-yard scoring strike.

Following a Bowdoin punt, Middlebury scored for the final time with 3:07 remaining when Foote hit Chapman from 25 yards out in the corner of the end zone, making it a 42-18 final.

Foote finished the day 26 of 44, tossing for 285 yards with five touchdown passes. Ashkar rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground, catching three balls for 25 yards. Rankowtiz (77 yards) and Chapman (76 yards) caught seven balls apiece with Chapman scoring twice and Rankowitz finding the end zone once. Driscoll caught five passes for 74 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Senior John Wiet (Morristown, N.J.) paced the defense with 10 tackles and a sack, while rookie Tim Patricia (Los Angeles, Calif.) added nine stops. Driscoll punted the ball three times for an average of 40.7 with three landing inside the 20.

• Football record: 1-0

• Up next: 9/29 @ Colby