College Football: Williams Edges Middlebury 27-26

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY — Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron found Frank Stola in the end zone from 15 yards out on the final play of the game, lifting the Ephs (4-1) to a 27-26 road win at Middlebury (4-1). The Panthers return to action next week at Bates, while Williams will host Tufts. Saturday’s game was played before a crowd of 3,655 on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium.

Middlebury scored on its first drive of the game when quarterback Jared Lebowitzrolled to his right and found Maxwell Rye 19 yards away over the middle for the score.

The Panthers added to their lead when John Jackson recorded a safety, blocking a punt in the end zone. The play was set up by a 72-yard punt by Rye, that left Williams the ball on its own one-yard line.

Middlebury looked to add to its lead in the second quarter, but a 34-yard field goal attempt by Carter Massengill was blocked by Edward Manzella. Massengill converted on the next possession, this one from 25 yards out to give his team a 12-0 lead with 7:27 remaining in the first half.

Leading 12-0 at the intermission, the Panthers drove 83 yards on their opening drive of the third quarter, but came up short as a field goal sailed wide left.

Williams got on the board on its next possession when Maimaron connected with tight end Justin Burke on a 22-yard touchdown pass. The Ephs now trailed 12-7 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter.

Middlebury answered, as a 40-yard connection from Lebowitz to Rye set up a two-yard screen pass to running back Peter Scibilia from two yards out for his first career touchdown.

The Ephs came right back, making it a 19-14 game early in the fourth on a five-yard quarterback rush up the middle by Maimaron after faking the handoff.

Leading 19-14, Middlebury added to its advantage at the 9:02 mark of the fourth quarter when Aidan Power earned his first career touchdown reception on a 21-yard strike over the middle from Lebowitz. A 28-yard pass from Lebowitz to tight end Frank Cosolito aided the drive, as did a 28-yard kickoff return byJimmy Martinez and a fourth-down conversion. The touchdown gave the Panthers a 26-14 lead.

Williams answered, driving 75 yards before cutting the lead to 26-21 with 4:31 left to play on a 10-yard rush Rashad Morrison.

Following a Middlebury punt, Williams took over on its own 20 with 2:04 remaining and no timeouts. Maimaron completed his first six passes on the drive, moving the ball to the Panther 48. A 11-yard completion to Frank Stola and a 17-yard rush of his own left the ball at the Middlebury 15. With 6.2 seconds remaining, Maimaron had time in the pocket before Stola found a seam in the Panther defense to catch the game-winning touchdown in the end zone.

Middlebury outgained Williams 432-378 on the day, as the teams combined for 14 penalties totaling 142 yards.

Lebowitz connected on 24-37 passes for 304 yards with three touchdowns. Scibilia rushed for 62 yards on 18 carries, while Maxim Bochman caught five passes for 61 yards. Rye finished with a career-high 133 yards receiving on seven catches with a touchdown. He also averaged 50.2 yards on his four punts, including two inside the 20 and a 72-yarder. Aaron Slodowitz was all over the field, making a career-high 18 tackles, including two for lost yardage. Kevin Maxwell made a career-best 16 stops in the game, while Jackson had 11.

Maimaron completed 21-29 passes for 195 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while rushing for 93 yards and a score. Stola caught 11 passes for 88 yards with a touchdown, while Adam Regensburg made seven receptions for 71 yards. Luke Apuzzi (16 tackles) and T.J. Rothman (15 tackles) led the Williams defense.