Football Finishes Fourth in NESCAC, Loses to Tufts

By LAUREN BOYD

MAX PADILLA/THE MIDDLEBURY CAMPUS
Middlebury’s and Tufts’ linemen face off on the line.

The Middlebury football team fell to the Tufts Jumbos 35-13 this past Saturday, concluding its season with a 5-4 record and a fourth-place finish in the NESCAC conference. Though Middlebury put up a tough fight, Tufts took the game in the third quarter, sealing the Panthers’ fate.

Throughout the first half, both teams were able to come away with a pair of touchdowns. Middlebury set the tone in its first drive of the quarter, plucking away at yardage, until sophomore QB Will Jernigan punched the ball in from the seven-yard line. A high-intensity Panther defense came onto the field in response, looking to deflect a Jumbo touchdown.

Tufts, however, made its way down the field a few minutes later. With 6:12 left in the quarter, the Jumbos connected in the end zone to even out the scoreboard, 7-7. The rest of the quarter went scoreless.

MAX PADILLA/THE MIDDLEBURY CAMPUS
Emo Schiappa ’22 and Nick Leone ’21 prepare for play at the line of scrimmage, hungry to take down the Jumbos’ quarterback.

Two more scores created a thrilling second quarter, starting with a Panther interception by junior Coltrane Marcus. After this turnover, Jernigan was able to hit senior wide receiver Jimmy Martinez with a 28-yard reception. Martinez brought the ball down to the nine-yard line, where Jernigan sealed the touchdown. After a missed extra point attempt, the Panthers were up 13-7.

One more Jumbo score right before halftime, making the score 14-13, altered this Panther momentum.

MAX PADILLA/THE MIDDLEBURY CAMPUS
Jack Meservy ’19 scans the field for a reciever.

Going back onto the field after halftime, Tufts was able to come out guns blazing. Three more touchdowns later, and a clock set to 0:00, both teams’ seasons ended. The 35-13 win placed Tufts third in the conference, while the Panthers ended up fourth.

Overall, the Panther team’s season was highlighted by a big win against Williams, redeeming the last-second loss of the 2017 season. The team also beat a .500 record, placing them in the top half of the conference. 

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Football Finishes Fourth in NESCAC, Loses to Tufts