Football Players Garner NESCAC Honors
November 18, 2008
Eight members of the Middlebury College football team earned all-conference honors when the NESCAC released its post-season accolades. Seniors Brendan Kelly (Niskayuna, N.Y.), Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.), Charles Holm (Longmeadow, Mass.) and junior James Millard (Greenwich, Conn.) were named to the first-team, while sophomore Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.), junior Eric Kamback (Mahwah, N.J.) and seniors Blake Berman (Harwinton, Conn.) and Tyler Owens (Essex Junction, Vt.) earned second-team honors. The group helped lead the Panthers to a 5-3 season, with sole possession of third place in the final NESCAC standings.
Kelly and Berman were leaders of a Middlebury offensive line that boasted the league's top-ranked offense. The Panthers led the NESCAC with 34.4 points/game as well as 445.4 yards of total offense/contest. The duo helped protect quarterbacks McKillop and Jack Kramer, as the Panther passing game led the league with 325 yards/game.
McKillop had a stand-out year at quarterback, despite missing the final two games of the season with an injury. The former NESCAC and ECAC Rookie of the year left his mark on the Middlebury record book despite his shortened season. McKillop now owns the Middlebury single-season records for most completions (171), yards (1,940) and highest percentage (.673). He also broke single-game records for most attempts (73), completions (47), passing yards (462) and total offense (506) at Williams.
McKillop ended the year going 171 for 254 (.673) for 1,940 yards with 10 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. McKillop led the league with 339.3 yards passing/game, 339.3 yards of total offense, while ranking third in efficiency among NESCAC QB's.
McKillop's top target this season was Matson, who ended the year leading the NESCAC with 6.5 receptions/game and 110.4 yards receiving/contest. The District I Academic All-American caught 52 passes for 883 yards for eight touchdowns this season. The senior wide-out caught a season-high 10 passes for 177 yards at Colby this season, while earning 159 yards and two touchdowns on just four receptions at Hamilton.
Holm led Middlebury tight ends with 26 catches for 241 yards for a 9.3 average. He had back-to-back big games this season with eight catches against both Amherst and Williams. The senior gained 65 yards against the Jeffs and 78 vs. the Ephs, including a long reception of 27 yards this season.
Millard earned first-team honors as a specialist for the Panthers. The junior led the NESCAC in all-purpose yards this season, gaining an average of 158.4 yards/game for Middlebury. He ranked second only to Matson with 44 receptions this season, gaining 445 yards with a touchdown. Millard caught a season-best 13 passes for 106 yards against Williams this season, while having three or more catches in all eight games. He ranked third in the league in both kick-off and punt returns.
Kamback had a big year at linebacker, ending the season second in the league with 10.4 tackles/game. The junior led the team with 73 total tackles and 42 assisted, to go along with his 31 solo tackles. He had 5.5 tackles for lost yardage, including 1.5 sacks and a pass break-up. Kamback opened the season with 13, 14 and 10 tackles in the first three games, while earning eight or more tackles in all eight games in '08.
Owens was part of a Middlebury secondary that picked off a dozen passes this season. The cornerback earned 33 total tackles this season, including 21 solo. He also picked off a pass and earned three pass break-ups in '08. Owens earned at least two tackles in every game this season, including a season-high nine at Hamilton.