Football Opens With Win At Wesleyan
September 22, 2007
The Middlebury College football team won its season-opener for the second consecutive year as they picked up a 24-10 win at Wesleyan. David Randolph rushed for 105 yards with a touchdown as the Panthers out-gained the Cardinals 229-75 on the ground.
You couldn't ask for a better start to the season for Middlebury as James Millard took the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game.
Following a pair of punts, each team would turn the ball over on two of its next three possessions, but neither were able to capitalize.
Leading 7-0 after a quarter, the Panthers put together a 14-play, 74-yard drive that elapsed 5:38. The drive ended with a 22-yard field goal by Jack Britton, an All-NESCAC baseball player who was making his collegiate debut on the gridiron
Wesleyan answered on their ensuing possession, after a 32-yard kickoff return by Drew Dominguez set-up the drive. Five plays and 56 yards later, Zach Librizzi hit Kevin Leamy for a 22-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 10-7.
A 16-yard punt return by Millard put the Panthers on the Cardinals' 45 to start another scoring drive. Rookie quarterback Donald McKillop found four different receivers on the drive and rushed for 20 yards, including a 10-yard scoring scamper to give Middlebury a 17-7 lead.
Wesleyan would cap a short (44 yards), but time consuming (6:30) drive with 30 seconds left in the half as Chris Helsel booted a 29-yard field goal to make it a 17-10 game at the intermission.
Middlebury gained some breathing room in the third quarter as they put together an impressive 17-play, 96-yard drive that took 7:51 off the clock. The drive began at their own four after a punt was downed by the Cardinals. Rookie Gary Cooper rushed five times for 25 yards on a drive that was capped off when Randolph took the ball from McKillop as he was going down and scored from the one yard line.
Wesleyan had another chance early in the fourth quarter, after an interception gave them the ball on the Middlebury 36 late in the third. The Cardinals drove to the Panther one-yard line, before turning the ball over on a fumble in the end zone.
Middlebury was able to hold down the Wesleyan offense for the remainder of the quarter and come away with the 24-10 win.
Randolph earned his 105 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown for Middlebury, while Cooper ended the day with 67 yards on a dozen carries. McKillop completed 13 of 26 passes in his debut, for 124 yards with a pair of interceptions and 18 yards rushing. Charles Holm caught a team-high three passes for 18 yards on the afternoon.
Librizzi completed 26 of 42 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Cardinals. Top-target Shea Dwyer caught seven passes for 31 yards, while Kevin Leamy had five receptions for 42 yards.
Erik Woodring led the Middlebury defense with 10 tackles, followed by Brian Young and Alex Buggy with eight apiece. Tim O'Callaghan made a game-high 13 stops for Wesleyan, including three for lost yardage and 1.5 sacks. Pete Overman added 11 tackles, while Vinny Colangelo made 10.