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Football team has more opening quarter success in setback to Cardinals

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Colby College football team came ready to play for a fourth straight week with more opening quarter success in a 41-7 setback at Wesleyan University on Saturday.

The Mules have not allowed a touchdown in the opening quarter of all four games and have a 20-3 scoring advantage over their four opponents. Sustaining that momentum has been the problem for Colby.
 
Game highlights
* Colby's special teams helped set up its touchdown with 8:02 left in the first quarter. Mule punter John Baron had a 66-yard punt downed by Tyler Farris inside the Wesleyan 1-yard line. 
 
* After Colby's defense forced a punt from the Cardinal 4-yard line, the Mules took over on Wesleyan's 38-yard line. On the fifth play of the short drive, running back Jake Schwern (pictured) was freed from blocks by right guard Alex Beach and right tackle Chris Shaffrey for a 22-yard scoring run. Schwern dragged a Wesleyan tackler into the end zone.
 
* The Mules had a chance to take a two-score lead after Don Vivian and Hans Gabriel combined on a big defensive play. Wesleyan's Dario Highsmith had a 29-yard run on the right side, but Vivian was able to slow him down with an ankle tackle. Gabriel came up high to force the fumble and recovered the ball at the Wesleyan 45-yard line. 
 
* Colby was unable to capitalize on the turnover and the Cardinals scored two touchdowns in the second quarter for a 14-7 lead at halftime. Wesleyan quarterback Mark Piccirillo had a 22-yard pass to Hallvard Lundevall and a 20-yard scoring strike to Brendan Patterson.
 
* Piccirillo added an 11-yard scoring pass to Highsmith with 8:28 left in the third quarter and added a 39-yard toss for a score to Mike Breuler with 5:07 remaining in the third. 
 
* Nick Goodwin took over for Piccirillo and had a 21-yard touchdown pass to Breuler in the fourth quarter and a 31-yard pass to Joe Scancarella.
 
By the numbers
* Baron had a big day with a 47.9-yard punting average, three punts inside the 20-yard line, a 61-yard kickoff average, and made his lone extra point.
 
* Jibri Woods averaged 27.2 yards on five kickoff returns for the Mules.
 
* Schwern finished with 53 yards rushing and added a team-high seven catches for 48 receiving yards. Fellow running back Chris George had three catches for 24 yards and one run for seven yards.
 
* Piccirillo threw for 324 yards and ran for 77 yards. Breuler caught 10 passes for 200 yards for the Cardinals (3-1).
 
* Sebastien Philemon finished with a team-high eight tackles for Colby. Vivian added five tackles and one interception.
 
Next on the schedule
* The Mules (0-4) continue a brutal schedule with next Saturday's 1 p.m. home game with Amherst College (3-1). Colby's four losses have come against teams with a combined 14-2 record.
 
Boxscore