Football falls to Middlebury 36-14

Mark Pomella ’16 carried the ball for 86 yards over eight plays in the men’s game against Bates on Oct. 10. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Mark Pomella ’16 carried the ball for 86 yards over eight plays in the men’s game against Bates on Oct. 10. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information

Football (2-2) finds itself back at a .500 record after conceding its game on Saturday to Middlebury. Down 14-9 with 8:30 left in the third quarter, Middlebury wide receiver Matthew Minno received a pass from quarterback Matt Milano and took it to the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown, which gave Middlebury the lead and started a run of 27 unanswered points for an eventual 36-14 victory over Williams.

Williams got the scoring started with a powerful four-yard touchdown run up the middle by running back Noah Sorrento ’19 that came with 14:36 remaining in the second quarter. Mark Pomella ’16 did an excellent job at setting up a great drive with a 32-yard punt return.

Middlebury came back quickly, however, when Tanner Contois took the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers missed the extra point, and the Ephs held a 7-6 lead.

The Panthers gained the lead with 6:21 left in the half with a 24-yard field goal from Charlie Gordon. Middlebury headed into halftime with a 9-6 lead.

With their first possession of the third quarter, the Ephs took a 14-9 lead on a one-yard touchdown run courtesy of running back Connor Harris ’18.

Later in the quarter, the Panthers took back the lead on the 71-yard touchdown reception by Minno. The Minno touchdown brought the score to 15-14 in favor of Middlebury. The Ephs blocked the extra point attempt by Gordon to keep the deficit at one.

However, over the last 19 minutes of play, the Panthers’ offense exploded. Middlebury’s next drive resulted in another Minno touchdown, this time a 21-yard reception. Milano then notched his third touchdown pass on the day with a 19-yard toss to running back Diego Meritus to put the score at 29-14. Meritus went on to cap the day’s scoring with a 16-yard touchdown run with 7:57 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving the Panthers a 36-14 lead that would not change.

Eph quarterback and co-captain Austin Lommen ’16 finished the day with 194 passing yards and two interceptions. Harris notched 70 yards on the ground, while Sorrento had 38 yards of his own. Pomella led the Ephs with 64 receiving yards. The men gained only 286 yards of total offense.

Linebacker Addison Pierce led the Panthers’ defense with nine tackles, six of which were solos. Defensive back Alex Brandeis ’17 led the Ephs with nine tackles including eight solos.

“We did not play consistent football,” Head Coach Aaron Kelton said. “We had opportunities and did not capitalize on them. We gave up way too many big plays and really did not connect on our chances to have big plays. We have to be better than we were on Saturday.”

On Oct. 10, the men successfully took on Bates, clinching the game with a 16-14 victory. “We fought hard the entire game and managed to pull out the win at home,” Kelton said.

The men will face off against Tufts at home this Saturday at 2 p.m.

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