MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury held Amherst to just 22 yards rushing on the day as the Panthers moved to 2-1 with a 31-14 victory over the Jeff (2-1) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. Amherst entered the game averaging 199 yards/contest on the ground, second in the league. Middlebury put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 9:18 scoring drive that gave them a 17-point lead. The Panthers have now beaten the Jeff in each of their last three meetings.
Amherst took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Alex Vetras found Ben Kettering on a 12-yard scoring strike. Vetras completed 64 yards worth of passes on the drive to three different receivers.
Middlebury had a great chance to score early in the second quarter, taking over possession at the Amherst 33 after a short punt and an 11-yard return from James Millard. The drive would end on downs as McKillop hit Erik Rostad for eight yards on a 4th and 9 play from the Amherst 14.
The duo hooked up one drive later, as Rostad pulled down a nice 27-yard reception down the middle from McKillop to tie the game at 7-7. A 17-yard completion from McKillop to Andrew Matson set up the score.
Amherst went three and out on its next drive, before Matson blocked a punt by Matt Eberhart on the Amherst 39. Rookie wide receiver Matt Rayner scooped up the ball and dashed 18 yards for the score that put the Panthers up 14-7 with 5:16 left in the first half.
The Jeffs answered on their next drive as they drove 65 yards in 2:45 to knot the game at 14. Vetras hit Kettering three times for 54 yards on the drive, as Aaron Ruah scored on a one-yard plunge.
Middlebury took advantage of a turnover for their next touchdown, as Michael Quinn picked off a pass and returned it 32 yards to the Amherst five. Following a Middlebury penalty and a sack, Amherst suffered a pass interference penalty that gave the Panthers the ball at the one. McKillop took advantage as he scored on a quarterback sneak to give Middlebury a 21-14 advantage.
Following a three-and-out drive, Middlebury took over possession at their own 48 yard line. McKillop hit Matson for 10 and tight end Charles Holm twice for 22 yards before Ryan Bohling scored his fourth touchdown on the season with a 15-yard rush to the right side. The score gave the Panthers a 28-14 lead on the final play of the third quarter.
The Jeffs would see their next drive end on downs before a decisive drive put the game away for Middlebury. The Panthers took over the ball on their own 45, before running 16 plays that elapsed 9:18 off the clock. The drive ended with a 19-yard field goal for Anthony Kuchan, the first of his career.
Amherst moved to the Middlebury five on its final possession, but the drive ended in downs before the Panthers ran out the clock.
McKillop ended the day 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown, hitting his top target Holm eight times for 65 yards. Matson caught six passes for 72 yards, while Bohling rushed a dozen times for 58 yards with a touchdown. Eric Kamback paced the Middlebury defense with 10 tackles, while Dan Haluska had eight.
Vetras went 25 of 40 for the Jeffs, tossing for 262 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Kettering caught eight pass for 107 yards with a touchdown, while Brandon Bullock pulled down seven catches for 64 yards. Guy Matisis had a dozen stops with two sacks for the Amherst defense, while Jake Spadafora made 10 tackles.
---COURTESY MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE
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