Football Ends Season With Win Over Tufts

November 13, 2004

11/13/04 - Middlebury finished 4-4 for the fourth straight season as they picked up a 10-6 win over Tufts (2-6) in the season finale for both teams. The Panther defense held Tufts to -8 yards rushing on 31 carries on the afternoon, while the Jumbos held the Panthers to nine yards on 31 carries.

Middlebury took a 3-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter on a 23-yard field goal from Steve Hauschka. The score came after Coleman Hutlzer forced a fumble on the Tufts seven-yard line to set up the short kick.

Following a three-and-out drive, the Panthers drove 66 yards on four plays to take a 10-0 lead at the 3:13 mark of the first quarter. Mike Keenan hit Cleaver for a 38-yarder to set up the drive, while connecting with Mike Murray from 28-yards out to cap the drive. The touchdown pass was the 38th of his career for Keenan, breaking Peter Mackey's record of 37 set from '71-'73.

The Middlebury defense smothered Tufts through its first six possessions, allowing -6 yards on 18 plays. An uneventful second quarter saw eight punts, with the Panthers taking a 10-0 lead into the halftime break.

The Jumbos had a chance to get on the board late in the third quarter as a Middlebury fumble on a punt left Tufts the ball on the Middlebury 19 yard line. Three plays later, the Jumbos had lost 22 yards and were forced to punt.

Tufts had a short drive to the Middlebury nine early in the fourth quarter, but Phil Scialdoni's 26-yard field goal was wide left, keeping the Jumbos off the board.

Keenan was intercepted by Mike McCann on the Panther's next drive, leaving Tufts the ball on the Middlebury 19. This time, the Jumbos took advantage as Casey D'Annoflo found Steve Menty from 15 yards out at the 11:57 mark of the fourth quarter. The score made it a 10-6 game after a missed extra-point.

Tufts would threaten late in the game as D'Annolfo drove them down the field, sparked by a 29-yard catch by Kevin Holland. The drive ended as Rich Decembrele broke up a pass on a fourth down play from the Middlebury 45.

Keenan ended the day 18 of 40 for 206 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He broke the school's single-season record with 1,726 yards passing in '04. The senior ends his career holding school records for most completions in a game (31), in a season (155) and in a career (397). He also holds marks for passing yards in a game (427), season (1,726) and in a career (4,544), as well as touchdown passes in a game (5) and in a career (38).

His top target for the past three seasons has been Tom Cleaver, who caught nine balls today for 128 yards. He ends his career with school records for most catches in a season (62), most yards receiving in a season (943) and in a career (1,974). The marks for most catches and yards receiving in a career were broken today.

Defensively, Decembrele paced the team with 10 tackles, including three pass break-ups.

D'Annolfo went 18 of 43 for 172 yards with a touchdown for Tufts. <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Holland had a big day receiving with 10 catches for 105 yards, while Bryan McDavitt set a NESCAC record with 14 punts, averaging 31.6 yards/boot on the day. McDavitt had nine tackles to lead the defense, while Chris Lawrence had eight, with four coming for lost yardage. (box)

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