Panther Football Dominates Colby Mules in Fourth Quarter

By LAUREN BOYD

BENJY RENTON
The Panthers’ offensive line faces off against the Bowdoin Polar Bears on Sept. 22.

A strong finish in the fourth quarter lifted the Panther football team over the Colby Mules this past Saturday in Maine. Out-scoring its opponent by 14 points in the 4th quarter, the Middlebury team took home its second win of the season, 31-14.

Last week, Coach Bob Ritter wanted the team to “concentrate on the things [they] can control,” such as being in the right place to capitalize on opportunities. This past weekend, the Panther defense took this to heart, as they forced five Mule turnovers in an effort to improve their record.

Defensive execution on part of the Panthers kept Colby at arm’s length. Three of four Mule fumbles resulted in Middlebury possession, which allowed the Panthers to have not only more opportunities to score, but also prevented Colby control of the ball.

 Charles Roselle ’21 and Matthew Daniel ’19 accounted for two interceptions of the game. Daniel returned the interception for 32 yards and a pick-six in the fourth quarter, further increasing the Panther lead and ultimately assisting the Panther win.

The intensity of the Middlebury defense, mixed with a great effort on part of the Panther offense, characterized the second half of the game. It all started, however, in the first quarter.

After Middlebury’s first drive of the game in the first few minutes, a Mule punt returner dropped a Maxwell Rye ’20 kick, which was recovered by Will Jernigan ’21. A subsequent connection between senior quarterback Jack Meservy ’19 and junior tight-end Frank Cosolito led to the first score of the day, with the Panthers leading 7-0.

Following a scoreless second quarter, the second half came with successive turnovers. Colby scored an equalizer touchdown in the 3rd quarter, but Middlebury’s Carter Massengill ’20 hit a 25-yard field goal to regain the lead, 10-7, before the end of the third.

The Panther offense then took control of the game, scoring two offensive touchdowns and Daniel’s pick-six, cementing their win against the Mules, 31-14.

Jonathan Hobart ’21 led Middlebury in tackles, with six solo and four assists. Conrado Banky ’19 accounted for 38 receiving yards on the day (1 for 38) as Jernigan ran for 79 yards (11 for 79) and passed for 95 (7 for 95). 

The Panthers will take on the Amherst Mammoths at Middlebury this upcoming weekend, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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