Big Second Half Leads Football Past Colby

September 29, 2012

Zach Driscoll caught four touchdown passes and McCallum Foote threw for five touchdown passes for the second consecutive week as Middlebury scored 28 unanswered points in the second half on the way to a 42-13 road win at Colby College at Harold Alfond Stadium. The four touchdown receptions for Driscoll tied the school record. Middlebury moves to 2-0 on the season heading into a big home game with Amherst next Saturday at 1:00. Meanwhile, the Mules fell to 0-2 overall and will play host to Wesleyan at 1:00 Saturday.

The Mules gave Middlebury a game in the opening half, taking two leads in the contest before the Panthers took a 14-13 lead at halftime on a wild special teams play to end the half.

Driscoll caught three of his career-high four touchdowns in the second half to finish the game with 11 grabs for 128 yards. Brendan Rankowitz caught seven passes for 110 yards and one touchdown. Foote was 34-56 for 388 yards and had two interceptions to go with the five scoring passes.

Colby's defense did slow down the Middlebury running game, holding the Pantahers to just 2.1 yards per rush on 22 carries for 47 yards. Colby senior Spencer Gopaul had 18 carries for 78 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and Thomas Brewster added 25 yards on four carries.

Middlebury went up 21-13 on the opening drive of the second half as Foote threw nine straight passes on the drive, including a 36-yard toss to Rankowitz. Driscoll scored the touchdown on an eight-yard pass from Foote.

After a three-and-out by Colby, the Mules managed to stop Middlebury on one drive when cornerback Jason Buco picked off his second pass of the game and was tackled at the Colby four-yard line.

The Mules had another three-and-out and Middlebury took over on Colby's 38-yard line after a punt. After an incompletion, Foote had a 15-yard completion to Billy Chapman and then threw a 23-yard scoring strike to Driscoll on the next play.

Middlebury's next drive saw 10 passes by Foote. His big gainer went 24 yards to Driscoll on a 3rd-and-10 play to give the Panthers the ball at the Colby 25. Six plays later, Driscoll caught his third touchdown of the quarter on a three-yard pass play for a 35-13 margin.

The Mules went for it on 4th-and-2 at their own 40-yard line, but Middlebury's defense stood firm in holding Colby to a minus-1 yard run. The Panthers went 10 plays over the 39 yards and Foote again tossed a three-yard scoring pass, this time to Rankowitz for the final score.

The game was completely different in the opening half, with the Mules taking a 7-0 lead when Buco caught a 14-yard scoring pass from first-year Justin Ciero with just four minutes gone in the first quarter.

The Panthers tied the game at 7-7 with 2:53 to play in the first quarter when Foote tossed a four-yard scoring pass to Driscoll. Colby's Derrick Beasley had caused a fumble the previous play with the Panthers on the one-yard line, but Middlebury recovered on the Colby four.

Gopaul had 29 rushing yards to help Colby go up 13-7 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ciero to Kyle Roth. The Mules missed the extra point attempt when the snap was fumbled.

The Panthers got a major break on special teams to end the first half when Colby's Henry Nelson forced a fumble and Ryan Ruiz recovered on the Middlebury 18-yard line with 54 seconds remaining. Three plays later, Colby kicker David Bendit, looking to put the Mules up 16-7 at halftime, had his kick blocked by Matt Crimmins. Joel Blockowicz scooped up the ball and ran 80 yards for the score and a 14-13 lead at halftime.

Tim Patricia led Middlebury's defense with 11 tackles, while John Wiet added eight stops. Nelson had eight tackles, forced one fumble, and had one fumble recovery for the Mules. Phil Amato added seven tackles.