Football Clinches Share Of League Title With Shutout Over Hamilton

November 3, 2007

Middlebury (6-1) guaranteed itself at least a share of the NESCAC title with a 28-0 shutout over Hamilton (2-5) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The shutout is the third of the season and the fifth for the Panthers in their last nine games. Middlebury wraps up its season next Saturday at Tufts and can win the league out-right with a victory. Hamilton ends its year when they host Bates on Saturday.

Hamilton drove to the Middlebury 21 on its first possession, only to have a 38-yard field goal attempt by George Taylor blocked by Bill Greven. The Continental offense struggled early, with four interceptions, two punts and a missed field goal on its first seven possessions.

Middlebury took the lead late in the first quarter after a 14-play, 81-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Donald McKillop rushed for 26 yards on the drive, Eric Rostad gained 25, while Gary Cooper ran for six, including a two-yard touchdown run with 1:02 on the clock.

Hamilton's Dan Hood threw one of his five interceptions midway through the second quarter, leaving Middlebury the ball on the Hamilton 27 after the pick by Nathan Shreve. Three plays later, McKillop hooked up with Rostad for a 31-yard scoring strike to make it a 14-0 game.

The game was a little sloppy early in the third quarter with three turnovers on the first four possessions. Midway through the quarter, Middlebury's Tyler Owens blocked a punt that was returned 21 yards by Erik Woodring to the Hamilton six. Two plays later, McKillop hit Andrew Matson for a 22-yard touchdown on a third and goal play from the 22-yard line. The score was the seventh touchdown connection between the duo this season.

Hamilton was looking to answer on its next drive, but an interception by Alex Buggy at the Middlebury 25 put an end to the drive.

Leading 21-0 in the fourth quarter, the Panthers took over the ball on their own 48 after a failed fourth down conversion by Hamilton. Middlebury took 5:26 off the clock as they earned a commanding 28-0 lead with 6:22 remaining. Andrew Plumley rushed for 31 yards on the drive, while David Randolph earned the touchdown with a three-yard rush.

McKillop ended the day 14 of 27 for 170 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 33 yards. Randolph rushed for 39 yards and caught four passes, while Matson had three receptions for 40 yards. Woodring and Nathan Clancy each had 10 tackles for Middlebury, while Brian Marcks and Brian Young had seven apiece. Young had two interceptions on the day, while Robert Norberg had a pair of sacks.

Hood went 18 of 40 for Hamilton for 217 yards with five interceptions, hitting top target Scott Kleinklaus six times for 65 yards. Mark Snickenberger led all rushers with 55 yards on 21 carries. John Lawrence led the Hamilton defense with nine tackles.

Box Score