Football improves despite tough loss

The Colby Football team opens their season at 0-2 after a 28-9 loss to the Middlebury College Panthers on Saturday. After being shut out at home to Trinity in their first game of the season, the Mules showed signs of improvement against Middlebury, especially on defense. Colby special teams blocked three kicks and earned their team a safety, and their defense forced two interceptions and allowed only 54 total rushing yards on 35 carries. The offense was able to total 237 yards, a huge improvement from their first game.
The Panthers opened the scoring when Nate Leedy blocked a punt out of the Colby end zone for a safety. Middlebury then received the ensuing punt on the 50-yard line, and Matt Milano, one of the top quarterbacks in the NESCAC, led his team down the field and hit Ian Riley for the touchdown.
After a Colby interception, Middlebury marched 73 yards on nine plays and Milano hit his tight end Trevor Miletich on a six-yard strike to give his team a 14-0 lead.
Following a Colby three and out, John Baron ’18 boomed a 79 yard punt down the field which took a bounce, kissed the pylon, and rolled out of bounds on the one-yard line. This punt was just two yards shy of the current school record of 81 yards set by Nathan Bradley ’99 in 1997. After the punt, the stifled Panthers found themselves unable to create an offensive drive, and Justin Lamere ’17 pushed Middlebury’s punter out of the end zone for a safety, earning Colby their first points of the season. Middlebury took a 21-2 lead before the half after their backup quarterback Jared Lebowitz led an 11-play, 87-yard drive and capped it with a touchdown pass to Ryan Rizzo.
The Mules blocked an attempted Panther field goal in the third quarter as their special teams continued to shine. Colby then threw another interception, and Middlebury’s Milano threw a beautiful, 60-yard touchdown pass to Conrado Banky. The game slowed after that, but Colby scored their first touchdown of the season at the end of the game after an 11-play, 74-yard drive capped by a two-yard run from Jabari Hurdle-Price ’17 to end the game at 28-9.
Colby quarterback Gabe Harrington ’17 ended the game having completed 17 of 36 passes for 142 yards. Hurdle-Price finished with 66 yards on 20 carries, and the top receiver was Mark Snyder ’18, who had six receptions for 83 yards. On defense, Connor Rozinsky ’16 led the team with eight tackles. Don Vivian ’19 played well with seven tackles and two pass breakups, while Ryan Ruiz ’16 had six tackles and a sack. Ian Dickey ’18 and Harry Nicholas ’16 each had an interception for the Mules.
Colby looks ahead to this Saturday, when they hit the road and travel to Middletown, Connecticut for a game against Wesleyan University (1-1) at 1:00 p.m.