Talk about destiny. The very first time the Middlebury Panthers touched the football this year was on the opening kickoff in last Saturdays season opener at Wesleyan, and sophomore James Milland returned it eighty yards for a touchdown. Just like that Middlebury was up 7 - 0, and they went on to capture the opener 24 - 10.
Quarterback Donald McKillop completed thirteen of his twenty-six pass attempts for 124 yards and two interceptions in his debut as the Panthers starter. His favorite receivers were junior tight end Charles Holm, David Randolph and Andrew Matson. Holm caught three passes for eighteen yards while Randolph, a senior running back, caught two passes for eighteen yards. Matson hauled in two passes for thirty-one yards.
Randolph led Middleburys potent ground attack by rushing for 105 yards on twenty-six carries and a touchdown. Freshman Gary Cooper touched the ball a dozen times and contributed an additional sixty-seven yards while quarterback McKillop rushed the ball nine times for eighteen yards, including a ten-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Defensively the Panthers were led by senior back Erik Woodring, Brian Young and Alex Buggy. Woodring led the pack with ten tackles, three of them unassisted. Young and Ellis opened up their 2007 seasons with eight tackles each. Junior defensive linemen David Ellis and Thomas Brown registered sacks for Middlebury while defensive back Michael Quinn hauled in the first interception of the year.
The Panthers season home opener will be this Saturday when they host Colby College at 1:00 p.m. The rest of their schedule looks like this:
Oct. 06 at Amherst 1:30 PM
Oct. 13 Williams 1:30 PM
Oct. 20 at Bates 1:00 PM
Oct. 27 Trinity 1:00 PM
Nov. 03 Hamilton 1:00 PM
Nov. 10 at Tufts 12:30 PM
MUHSThe Middlebury Tigers remained undefeated with a 28 - 7 thumping of Saint Johnsbury last Friday night in Middlebury. Ben Almquist had a rushing and receiving touchdown to lead a Tiger offense that racked up 323 rushing yards en route to the slaughter. Almquist opened up the scoring with a twenty-seven yard first quarter touchdown run, and he was on the receiving end of a Sam Jones fourteen yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Chad Foley and Lance Robinson added TD runs for the victorious Tigers. Foley ran one in from sixteen yards out while Robinson exploded for a seventy-four yard touchdown run in the third. Middlebury will attempt to go 5 - 0 this Friday night in Essex.
Meanwhile, last Saturday in Bristol, the Mount Abraham Eagles were seeking their first win of the year, but it wasnt meant to be. Winooski quarterback D.J. Campbell threw two touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Winooski Spartans past the Eagles 28 - 6.
Trailing 28 - 0 in the fourth quarter the Eagles got the ball on the Spartans forty-eight yard line and capitalized on it. Thanks to a thirty-five yard run by Josh Masterson Mount Abe would take it all the way in, with Pat West taking it in from four yards out for the Eagles lone score. Dave Richards led the Eagles on the ground gaining seventy-four yards on fifteen carries, while West finished with forty seven yards on eight carries and a touchdown for the 0 - 3 Eagles. Mount Abe will again seek that first victory this Friday evening in Montpelier.
Mt. AbeThe Mount Abraham Eagles field hockey team improved to 5 -1 - 2 with a 2 - 1 overtime win over the Union-32 Raiders last Saturday in Bristol. Jade Dingler broke a scoreless tie and put the Eagles up 1 - 0 with an unassisted goal three minutes into the second half action, but the visiting Raiders bounced back and got the game tying goal twelve minutes later off the stick of Jordan LaCount to send the game into overtime. Just two minutes into the overtime is all it took for Mount Abes Melanie Acker to strike with the game winning goal. Gillian Comito made three crucial saves for the victorious Eagles while Sora Harris-Vincent stopped seven Mount Abe shots for the 4 - 4 Raiders.
Last Friday in Middlebury the Tigers struck early and it looked like they would hold on to defeat Burlington 1 - 0, but it wasnt to be. Shelby Laframboise took a pass from Kate Higgins and knocked it into the net to stake Middlebury to a 1 - 0 first half lead. It looked like that would be enough as Middleburys defense kept Burlington from even getting off shots.
The visiting Seahorses managed just three shots on goal the entire contest, but unfortunately for the Tigers they would convert two of them. With just over five minutes left to play in regulation Nicole Todisco fired one past Tiger goalie Laura Barber, tying the game at 1 - 1 and sending it into overtime. Then with just four minutes and four seconds left in the overtime period Molly Cournoyer blasted in the game winner for Burlington who improved to 5 - 2 with the overtime victory. The loss dropped the Tigers to 3 - 2 - 3 on the year.