Football runs out of steam against Cardinals

Colby Football has been nothing if not consistent through the first four games of the 2017 season. Faced with a daunting schedule, the Mules have shown great potential in the first quarter of every matchup before falling off later in the game. All 20 of their points on the season have been scored in the first, and they have allowed only three points in return.

This past weekend’s game at Wesleyan was no different. A great sequence by the entire team set the stage for Colby’s first score. First, the special teams unit downed a 66-yard punt on Wesleyan’s one-yard line. The defense then forced a punt due to excellent positioning. The Mules took over at the 38-yard line, and just five plays later running back Jake Schwern ’19 had a 22-yard scoring run. The Mules closed out the quarter strong, and led 7-0 going into the second.

Despite Colby’s strong start, Wesleyan started to take over in the second quarter. Just over two minutes into the quarter the Cardinals scored their first touchdown of the game off of a 22-yard pass from quarterback Mark Piccirillo to Hallvard Lundevall. Piccirillo passed for his second touchdown with about six minutes left in the half to give Wesleyan a 14-7 lead. Piccirillo passed for two more touchdowns in the third and his replacement Nick Goodwin passed for two more in the fourth to bring the final score to 41-7 (Colby blocked an extra point early in the fourth). Wesleyan produced much more offence than Colby, with 559 yards of total offense compared to Colby’s 166. Wesleyan achieved this while attempting seven less plays than the Mules. However, Colby did hold the advantage in turnovers as the Mules forced two and only gave up one.

Despite the score, Colby had some big moments throughout the game. Most notably, Don Vivian ’19 and Hans Gabriel ’20 combined to force a fumble on Wesleyan’s 45-yard line. Gabriel recovered and gave the Mule’s offense a chance to score, but Wesleyan’s defense stood firm. Vivian also had an interception in the second near the red zone. Schwern had a big game, leading the Mules in rushing with 53 yards and in receiving with 48 yards in addition to his touchdown. Other standout performances for the Mules include John Baron ’18, who had three punts within the 20-yard line, and Jibri Woods ’20, who averaged 27.7 yards on kickoffs.

This loss brings Colby’s record to 0-4, but the promise shown by the Mule’s consistently good first quarters and the fact that these first four losses have been to teams with a combined record so far this season of 14-2 bring hope that Colby can put together winning efforts as the season continues and improve on last years record of 3-5. However, they are not done with the tough part of their schedule yet as they  host Amherst (3-1) next weekend.