Football Team Earns NESCAC Honors - Woodring is Player of the Year, McKillop is Rookie of the Year, Ritter is Coach of the Year
November 15, 2007
Nine members of the Middlebury College football team were honored today when the NESCAC announced its all-league teams. Senior Erik Woodring (Cos Cob, Conn.) was named the Defensive Player of the Year, first-year quarterback Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) was deemed the Rookie of the Year, while head coach Bob Ritter was named the Coach of the Year.
Earning first-team honors were Woodring, senior running back David Randolph (Madison, Conn.), senior offensive lineman Nick Welch (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), junior Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.), senior defensive back Brian Young (W. Bloomfield, Mich.) and senior punter Jack Britton (Carmel, Calif.). Holding a spot on the second-team were senior defensive lineman Chad Guerrero (Essex, Vt.), senior linebacker Nathan Clancy (Elmhurst, Ill.) and sophomore kick returner James Millard (Greenwich, Conn.). The group helped lead the Panthers to the 2007 NESCAC Football Championship with a 7-1 mark in league play.
Woodring earned first-team honors for the second straight year after an amazing season at linebacker for the Panthers. He led the NESCAC in tackles this season with 106, 30 more than his next peer in the league. Woodring also paced the league in tackles for lost yardage with 15.5, while earning two sacks and picking off a pass. He forced and recovered two fumbles, while breaking up five passes. On five different occasions he earned 14 or more tackles in a game, earning NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors three times this season. He had 19 tackles against Williams this season and ended his career with an 18-tackle performance at Tufts. Woodring ends his career as the school's all-time leading tackler with 307.
McKillop was consistent all season long as the team's rookie quarterback. He ended the season as the league's fourth rated passer with a 114.5 efficiency rating, just two points from the second spot. McKillop completed 129 of 228 passes for 1,379 yards this season, with 11 touchdown passes. The rookie ended the year second on the team in rushing with 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns, averaging 23.4 yards/game. McKillop was named the conference's Rookie of the Week three times, throwing for a season-high 227 yards in a win at Bates. He threw for two or more touchdown passes in a game five times in '07.
Randolph led the Panthers in rushing this season with 75 yards/game, gaining 600 yards on 161 carries with seven touchdowns. He ranked third among all NESCAC running backs with his 75 yards/game, while tying for the team-lead with his seven touchdowns in '07.
Opening up holes for Randolph this season and helping to protect McKillop was Welch at left tackle. He was part of an offensive line that was second in the league in rushing offense and led the league with just seven sacks allowed in '07.
Matson had a big year as a receiver, leading the team with 31 receptions for 423 yards, averaging 13.6 yards/catch. The junior's seven touchdowns were second in the NESCAC, while tying him with Randolph for the team-lead. Matson caught three touchdown passes earlier this season in a win over Colby.
Young earns a spot on the team in Middlebury's defensive backfield. The senior was eighth on the team in tackles this season with 17 solo and 27 total. He led the team with three interceptions, two of them coming in a win over Hamilton, where he also earned seven tackles. Young also recorded four pass break-ups this season.
In his first season as the team's punter, Britton earns all-conference honors. The senior led the league in punting with a 39.5 yard average and a long of 63 yards. He had seven punts of over 50 yards this season and eight inside the opponent's 20 yard line.
Guerrero earns second-team honors for the second consecutive year. He finished the season with 24 total tackles, including 8.5 for lost yardage, second on the team. Guerrero also earned two sacks this season, one in each of the final two games of the year.
Clancy was second on the team in '07 with 65 total tackles. He also recovered a team-high four fumbles this season, while forcing three. The senior had 6.5 tackles for lost yardage to go along with three pass break-ups and an interception. He recorded 10+ tackles in back-to-back games this season against Trinity and Hamilton.
Millard earns a spot as a specialist as the team's kick returner. The sophomore got the season off to a great start as he returned the opening kick of the season 80 yards for a touchdown at Wesleyan. He averaged 22 yards/kick return, gaining 418 yards on the season.
Ritter earns NESCAC Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Panthers to the 2007 NESCAC Championship with a record of 7-1. Middlebury returned just half of their starters from a year ago, but didn't miss a beat as they improved on a 6-2 record with just one loss this season. Ritter's squad ranked in the top three in the league in 9 of 11 team statistical categories this season. He also helped develop rookie quarterback Donald McKillop into the league's rookie of the year this season. Ritter now owns a career record of 32-24 through sevens seasons.