Middlebury

Football Breaks School Marks As Panthers Top Bates

October 23, 2004

10/23/04 - Middlebury accumulated its third highest offensive output in school history with 570 yards of total offense as the Panthers (2-3) defeated Bates (1-4), 42-31 on Alumni Field. Middlebury quarterback Mike Keenan broke school records for most completions in a game (31), most yards passing (427) and most total offense (433). His top target, Tom Cleaver, tied a school record with 15 receptions and broke a school mark with 256 yards receiving.

Both teams came out firing as they each scored touchdowns on their first two lengthy possessions. Bates opened the game with a 13-play, 71-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead on a four-yard rush by Eric Obeng.

Middlebury answered with a very similar drive as Stefan Hrdina scored from two yards out to tie the game at seven.

On the ensuing kick-off, Bates ate up 5:35 on a 12-play drive, capped off with a one-yard run by Obeng, his second touchdown of the game.

The Panthers answered as Keenan found Cleaver for a 26-yard scoring strike to tie the game at 14 with 12:33 left in the second quarter.

Middlebury took its first lead of the game with good field position after a defensive stand. The 44-yard drive ended with a three-yard pass from Keenan to tight end Jamie Staples, making it a 21-14 game at the half.

Bates took advantage of a Middlebury fumble in the third quarter, with a 20-yard field goal from Tyler Schmelz at the 8:53 mark.

The Bobcats regained the lead on their next drive as a 33-yard rush by Ron DiGravio set up his own one-yard plunge to give Bates a 24-21 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

Dom DiDomenico gave Middlebury a 28-24 lead late in the third quarter with a six-yard rush to cap a 61-yard drive. The touchdown was the first of three straight for the Panthers as they gained some breathing room.

Three plays after an interception by Ed Allen, Keenan found Mike Murray for a 41-yard touchdown, with Murray eluding a pair of defender on his way to the end zone.

Cam Brooks recovered a fumble forced by Coleman Hutlzer on the Bates 29-yard line, setting up a short drive that consumed 3:57. Hrdina capped the drive with his second touchdown of the day as he scored from one yard out to make it a 42-24 game with 8:17 left to play.

An interception by Hutlzer ended the next Bates possession, before the Bobcats scored the final touchdown of the game at 5:44 on a one-yard rush by Brandon Colon.

Keenan ended the game 31-45 for 427 yards with three touchdowns on the afternoon. Cleaver caught 15 passes for 256 yards, while Murray had a big day with nine receptions for 111 yards. Each of the two had a touchdown catch, as did Staples. DiDomenico rushed for 51 yards with a touchdown, while Hrdina scored a pair with 50 yards on the ground. Rich Decembrele led the defense with 10 tackles on the day.

Colon went 17 of 32 for 234 yards and a pair of interceptions for Bates. Dylan MacNamara caught seven balls for 98 yards, while DiGravio sparked the offense with a career-best 142 yards rushing on 26 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Mike Horan paced the Bates defense with 15 tackles. (box)