Clinton, N.Y. - For the third weekend in a row, the Colby College Football team found themselves up against a two-dimension quarterback and couldn't keep up, this weekend falling to Hamilton College 45-24.
The first two weeks of the 2019 season found the Mules battling against great NESCAC defenses, struggling to put points on the board. Offensively, both Wesleyan University and Amherst College toted the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the conference, and the combination of passing attack and rushing attack proved troublesome for Colby. Taking their longest trip of the season, the Mules were intent to stop the pattern there.
Unfortunately for Colby, the Continentals had plans of their own as they hosted a record crowd on "Fallcoming" afternoon, putting points up on the baord early and refusing to look back. Hamilton's first score came on a 63-yard pass from QB Kenny Gray (11-23, 179 yards, 2 tds) to Sam Robinson (two receptions, 70 yards, 1 td) to put the home team up. Colby answered back right away as David Smith capped a 7-play 80 yard drive that lasted less than three minutes. Colby was poised to match blow for blow, but turnovers once again haunted the Mules. A muffed snap on a punt deep in their own end set up Hamiltons second score, this time a Gray rush from only 11 yards away.
Hamilton would make good on its next possession too, finishing a 60+ yard drive with an 11 yard touchdown run. Kicker Moises Celaya (photo) was able to make his third field goal of the season (3-3 on the year in field goal attempts), and with 5 minutes to play before halftime Colby trailed 21-10.
That's when things got out of hand for Colby. Hamilton scored three touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half. The first was set up by an 82 yard kickoff return following the made Celaya field goal. The second score was off a blocked punt, returned for a touchdown. The third score was set up by a Matt Hersch interception (24-40, 297 yards, 0 td, 3 int), and with 11 seconds before the half, Hamilton led 42-10.
With their own Homecoming Weekend approaching next week, Colby came out of the locker room after the half ready to show the grit and tenacity that many attribute to a Colby Football team. The Mules went on to outpace the Continentals 14-3 in the final 30 minutes. While a lot of damage had been done in the first 30, the Mules were relentless in their pursuit of a new level. The box score shows a lopsided contest, but the bright side is also hard to ignore. Chris George entered the week ranked 3rd in the NESCAC in rushing and added two more touchdowns. Hersch was near the top of the league in passing, and he netted almost 300 yards to stay near the top. Wide receiver Rory Glavin posted his second 100-yd game of the season, working his way towards special attention by opposing defenses. Junior linebacker Marcus Bullard entered the week as the NESCAC's leading tackler and led his team yet again with seven stops despite heading to the sideline for some time in the second quarter.
Where the Mules need to make a major adjustment is ball security. Posting a -4 in turnover ratio in week-one against Wesleyan, they bounced back to be even against Amherst (two turnovers apiece), and then returned to -4 this week with three picks and a fumble lost to go with the blocked punt.
All of us believers know the second half of today's contest sets the tone for the rest of the season. Six games to play, and the Mules return home to play in front of their own. Colby hosts Williams College on Saturday for Homecoming Weekend. Wear your blue.