Football fades in fourth quarter at Colby
Colby College scored 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and rallied for a 32-29 win against Hamilton College in a NESCAC game at Colby's Harold Alfond Stadium on Oct. 20.
Justin Ciero was 18 of 32 passing for 255 yards with three touchdowns -- all in the fourth quarter -- and two interceptions for the Mules. Ciero also ran for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas Brewster led Colby's rushing attack with 78 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Spencer Gopaul finished with a team-high 56 receiving yards, including 54 on a touchdown catch midway through the fourth. Gopaul was one of eight Mules with at least one reception.
Henry Nelson paced the Colby defense with a game-high 17 tackles. Zach Padula intercepted a pass, Philip Amato made one sack and Jesse Eddy blocked an extra-point attempt. Derrick Beasley blocked another PAT, broke up three passes and had four catches for 40 yards.
The Mules (1-4 overall and NESCAC) had all sorts of problems on special teams. A bad snap on a punt gave Hamilton its first touchdown, one extra-point attempt was blocked and another one missed.
Jordan Eck '13 was 14 of 26 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and no picks for the Continentals. Eck also ran for a team-high 47 yards. James Stanell '14 gained 38 rushing yards on 19 carries and caught five passes for another 56 yards. Joe Jensen '15 led all players with 87 receiving yards on just four catches.
Dan Peters '13 returned a fumble 44 yards for a score and intercepted a pass for Hamilton, which forced five turnovers. Jared Kochenash '13 was credited with 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops, and blocked a kick. Mike MacDonald '13 added nine tackles and recovered a fumble in the end zone for another touchdown.
Kwadwo Woods-Lokken '15 intercepted his first pass, Charley Bueneman '14 forced and recovered a fumble and Darren Fuller '14 forced another fumble. Zach Klein '15 and Ian Milne '15 recorded one sack apiece.
The Continentals (1-4) led 29-13 after Garrett Hoy '13 booted a 20-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the third quarter. Hamilton had 1st-and-goal at the Colby 1, but had to settle for the three points.
The Mules started the comeback with a 74-yard drive that ended in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Ciero to Jason Buco with 8:15 to play. Colby tried to cut the margin to one score, but missed on a two-point conversion pass, and trailed 29-19.
After a three-and-out by the Continentals, Ciero went back to passing mode. He completed a 12-yard pass to Beasley for a first down and on the next play, Gopaul caught a short pass out of the backfield and got loose for a 54-yard touchdown. David Bendit kicked the extra point and suddenly Hamilton's lead was down to 29-26 with 6:10 to go.
The Mules gave up one first down to the Continentals on the ensuing drive, but managed to force a punt with 3:57 to play. Padula fielded the punt at his own 18 and rambled 47 yards to Hamilton's 35-yard line.
Ciero completed a 23-yard pass to Michael Lahiff to the Continentals' 10. Three plays later, the two connected again on a 6-yard touchdown pass to put the Mules up for the first time at 32-29. Kochenash blocked the extra point and kept his team within a field goal.
The Continentals had two more drives the rest of the way. A costly holding penalty stalled the first drive and Hamilton turned the ball over on downs with 34 seconds to play. The Continentals were just 2 of 13 on third-down conversions.
The Continentals still had all three timeouts and quickly used them after three Colby rushing plays resulted in negative yardage. With the ball at the Hamilton 32-yard line, Colby elected to go for the first down instead of risking a punting issue. The Mules gained 4 yards on a run by Ciero, but Hamilton took over on downs with 18 seconds left.
Eck completed a 24-yard pass to Hoy on the first play to get to the Colby 48. After an incompletion, Hoy caught another 24-yard pass down to the 24 with two seconds left. Hoy lined up for a 40-yard field goal that would have tied the game, but Hamilton went back 5 yards due to a false start penalty. Hoy was short on the 45-yard kick on the last play of the game.
Hamilton opened up a 20-7 lead after one quarter thanks in part to Colby mistakes. MacDonald recovered a punt in the end zone after a snap from center went over the head of Colby's punter just 2:02 into the first quarter.
After a Colby fumble at its own 21, Hamilton needed just two plays to go up 13-0 with 12:04 left in the opening quarter. Eck threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Simon Jia '16, but the Continentals missed the extra point.
Brewster scored his first collegiate touchdown to cut the Mules' deficit to 13-7 with 5:21 left in the first. Eck drove Hamilton 69 yards on seven plays and connected with Jensen on a 41-yard scoring toss to push the lead to 20-7. Jensen leads the team with three receiving touchdowns.
Bueneman forced a Colby fumble, Peters scooped up the ball and raced 44 yards for another Hamilton defensive touchdown and a 26-7 lead with 9:06 left in the second quarter. Hoy's extra-point attempt was blocked.
Colby cut its halftime deficit to 26-13 with 17 seconds remaining in the half. Ciero completed a 16-yard pass to Beasley and a 19-yard toss to Kyle Roth to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Ciero.
The Continentals return home to play Williams College during Parents Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 27.