Football Tops Tufts To End Season
November 8, 2008
Middlebury outgained Tufts 482-173 on the day as the Panthers ended their season with a 38-24 win over the Jumbos on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. Middlebury ends it season third in the NESCAC with a 5-3 mark, while the Jumbos fall to .500 at 4-4 on the year. The Panthers held a 24-6 advantage in first downs and a 37-23 lead in time of possession.
Middlebury started slow with some costly turnovers giving the Jumbos a 10-0 lead, despite running 15 plays for 21 yards at the time. The Jumbos took a 3-0 lead just 14 seconds into the second quarter as Adam Auerbach booted a 38-yarder to cap a short drive after a Tom Tassinari interception.
Tassinari picked off his second pass in as many Middlebury drives on the next possession, returning this one 31 yards to the Panther eight yard line. Following a Middlebury penalty, Will Forde scored on a four-yard rush to give the Jumbos a 10-0 lead.
Middlebury answered on the ensuing drive, marching 71 yards in nine plays as quarterback Jack Kramer connected with Ryan Bohling for a 37-yard scoring strike.
Tufts extended its lead two possessions later on a short scoring drive, capped by a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tom McManama to David Halas, making it a 17-7 game.
Middlebury drove to the Tufts 18 late in the half, only to see the drive end on Tassinari's third interception of the half.
Brian Marcks picked off a McManama pass on Tufts first drive of the second half, returning it to the Jumbo 22. Andrew Matson had a nine-yard reception and an 11-yard rush on the drive, setting up a one-yard quarterback sneak for the score by Kramer. The score would be the first of four straight scoring drives for Middlebury.
Tufts answered on its next possession as McManama hit Halas for 36 yards, to set up a 12-yard rush from Brad Ricketson to give Tufts a 24-14 lead with 7:00 left in the third quarter.
Middlebury came right back, moving the ball 68 yards on seven plays, as Kramer hit Matson on a 37-yard scoring strike, the eighth TD catch of the year for Matson.
Following a Tufts punt, Middlebury drove 81 yards, sparked by a 40-yard completion from Kramer to Tim Monaghan. The drive ended with an 18-yard field goal from Anthony Kuchan to tie the game at 24.
The Middlebury defense held once again, as the Panthers took their first lead of the game on a seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive. Kramer hit Monaghan in the back of the end zone for a three-yard touchdown that gave the Panthers a 31-24 lead.
Tufts reached its own 43 on their next drive before being forced to punt, as their following drive ended on an Alex Kennedy interception on the Tufts 37 with 4:14 left to play.
Middlebury moved the down the field, taking time off the clock, before Erik Rostad scored on a three-yard run to make it a 38-24 final.
Kramer, in his second straight start in relief of an injured Donald McKillop, went 24-35 for 299 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Rostad rushed 27 times for 85 yards with a score, while Kramer gained 51 yards on the ground with a touchdown. James Millard led the receivers with six catches for 42 yards, Matson caught five for 87 with a TD, while Monaghan had four receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Eric Kamback led a balanced defensive group with nine tackles, followed by Andrew Poulin with eight.
McManama went 7 of 19 for 87 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Jumbos. Will Forde gained 60 yards on 18 carries with a score, while Hals caught five passes for 82 yards with a touchdown. Tyson Reynoso was all over the field defensively with 17 tackles, followed by Ryan Crisco with 14.