Middlebury 12, Bates 9
Middlebury (3-2) 6 0 6 0 12 Bates (1-4) 2 0 0 7 9 TEAM QTR TIME PLAY MID 1 10:13 Bryan Sanchez 84 run 6-2 (Jaime Sawler 95 kick return, def. extra point) MID 3 13:35 Sanchez 40 Run (kick failed) 12-2 BAT 4 6:20 Paul Erickson 4 run (Rejean Guerriero kick) 12-9 Full Game Stats
LEWISTON, Maine Ñ Junior running back Brian Sanchez (Fairfield, Conn.) ran for a career-high 234 yards on 32 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as the Middlebury College Panthers (3-2) defeated the Bates College Bobcats (1-4), in a New England Small College Athletic Conference contest.
Sanchez had one of the longest scoring plays in the NESCAC this season when he ran 84 yards on Middlebury's fifth play from scrimmage. A bad snap on the ensuing extra point was recovered by Bates defensive lineman Jaime Sawler (Stratham, N.H.) and returned 95 yards for a defensive extra point, and the Bobcats trailed, 6-2. Neither team scored again in the first half, though Middlebury twice lost the ball on fumbles inside the Bobcat 10-yard line.
Sanchez scored the Panthers' second and final touchdown of the game on the first possession of the second half, rumbling in from 40 yards out on the third play of the drive. Middlebury missed the extra point and went up 12-2. The Bobcats were in position to close the game on the next possession, but Middlebury senior DB Stephen Kelly (Norfolk, Mass.) intercepted a pass from Bates QB Matt Bazirgan (Newbury, Mass.) in the end zone, one of three Panther picks in the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers again had a chance to increase the lead, but were stopped on three straight attempts from the one-yard line, including a nine-yard sack by senior DB Paul Calner (Narragansett, R.I.), and an incomplete pass. Bates answered on the next drive, going 85 yards in 10 plays, capped by senior RB Paul Erickson's (Merrimack, Mass.) four-yard TD plunge, cutting the lead to 12-9 with 6:20 remaining in the game. The Bobcats got the ball back twice more, but were unable to sustain a drive.
Sanchez was responsible for 245 of the Panthers' 338 yards of total offense, while the Bobcats were led by senior WR Jason Coulie (Manchester, N.H.) who had 11 catches for 119 yards, his fourth 100-yard day of the season. Bazirgan was 25-40 passing with 268 yards, but hurt by the three interceptions.