Football Defeats Trinity

October 27, 2007

Middlebury (5-1) picked up its first win over Trinity (4-2) in the last six years as the Panthers earned a key 23-14 NESCAC win over the Bantams. The Panthers entered the game ranked fourth in New England, while the Bantams sat in the second spot. The game took over 3:30 as it was delayed twice by lightning, on a rain-soaked Youngman Field. The Bantams had lost just three times in their last 46 contest entering the game. Middlebury now sits atop the NESCAC standings with Tufts, both boasting 5-1 records.

Trinity jumped out early as Eric McGrath hit Joe Clark with a 68-yard bomb down the left sideline, just five plays into the game.

Following a three-and-out by Middlebury, Trinity did the same, but a bad snap on a punt left Middlebury the ball on the Trinity 17. David Randolph took advantage of the good field position as he scored from three yards out to tie the game at seven.

Trinity answered on its next drive, as they marched 62 yards on eight plays, capped by a 14-yard screen pass from McGrath to Matt Stafford for the touchdown.

A 63-yard punt by Middlebury's Jack Britton gave the Panthers good field position on their next possession as the Bantams went three-and-out. Middlebury drove from the Trinity 31 to the 7, before fumbling the ball away on a third-and-one play.

The Panthers tied the game with 8:37 left in the second quarter as Donald McKillop hit Andrew Matson, who eluded a pair of defenders on his way to the end zone for his sixth touchdown catch of the season.

With the game tied at 14 at the intermission, the teams opened the second half with four straight punts. Middlebury was driving on its third possession, but McKillop was picked off by Nile Lundgren at the Trinity 21.

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of a Trinity fumble early in the third quarter, but Britton belted a 44-yard punt that sat just outside the end zone. The Middlebury defense took over as Erik Woodring was credited with a safety on the first play from scrimmage as he tackled McGrath in the end zone for a 16-14 Middlebury lead.

Middlebury had a chance to add to the lead on its next possession, but Britton's 23-yard field goal was blocked by Jared Boyd.

The Bantams fumbled away their next possession, as the Panthers gained some breathing room with a short 25-yard scoring drive. McKillop hit Timothy Dillon in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown that left Middlebury with a 23-14 lead at the 4:20 mark. Trinity had a pair of possessions late in the game, but could not cut into the lead.

Middlebury controlled the fourth quarter in the game, holding the ball for 10:54 of the 15-minute quarter. McKillop ended the day 14 of 22 for 145 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Dillon caught six passes for 64 yards with a TD, while Matson had three receptions for 45 yards with a score. Randolph was steady on the ground, rushing the ball 32 times for 70 yards with a touchdown.

Woodring paced the defense with 14 tackles, 3.5 for lost yardage, while Nathan Clancy made 10 stops. Eric Kamback had eight tackles with two fumble recoveries, while Alex Buggy had eight stops with one fumble recovery. Brian Marcks ended the day with five tackles, a forced fumble, three pass break-ups and one interception.

McGrath completed 7 of 30 passes for 158 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Trinity. Joe Clark caught three passes for 124 yards with a touchdown, while Jordan Quinones rushed for 39 yards on 25 carries.

Lundgren had a dozen tackles for Trinity with an interception, while D.J. Lanz recovered a fumble and made nine tackles.

Box Score