Wesleyan 24, at Middlebury 21
Saturday, September 21, 2002 at Middlebury, Vt.
Notes: Junior placekicker Vin Balsamo booted a 29-year field goal with 33 seconds remaining in the contest to complete Wesleyan's comeback effort and secure a 24-21 win for the visitors. Wesleyan trailed 21-7 late in the third quarter before going on to score 17 unanswered points. Balsamo's field goal was only the second of his career as he was 1-for-5 over his first two seasons as the Cardinals' starting placekicker. Leading the way offensively for Wesleyan was junior QB Brennan Carney, playing close to home for the first time in his career. Hailing from nearby South Burlington, Vt., Carney had the second most productive day in the 16 games he has played. Completing 18 of 35 passes for 327 yards, he connected with junior wide receiver Pat Moffett for a team-record-tying 90-yard TD on Wesleyan's second play from scrimmage. A year ago, Carney hit George Thompson for a 90-yard TD pass against Trinity to tie the team mark for longest pass and establish the team record for longest TD throw. With his third-ever 300-yard passing game, Carney came within 14 yards of his best ever performance as he had 341 yards against Bowdoin a year ago. But that long pass was all the scoring Wesleyan could muster through nearly three quarters of play as Middlebury, behind sophomore QB Mike Keenan (20-for-33, 215 yards, three TDs ; five rushes for 33 yards) and senior tailback Bill Lazzaro (20-81), moved ahead by a pair of TDs. The last two came as a direct result of Wesleyan turnovers. But after Middlebury missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:57 left in the third quarter, Wesleyan mounted a seven-play, 78-yard march, capped by the 50-yard TD connection between Carney and Moffett with three seconds to go in the period. Moffett finished the game with six receptions for 194 yards and the two TDs. Wesleyan then took the ball 83 yards on eight plays on its next possession, with a 42-yard pass from Carney to junior Mshangwe Crawford accounting for more than half the yards. It was the first career catch for Crawford. Frosh RB Pat Curran did the honors for the TD with a four-yard run and Balsamo's extra point tied the score with 8:41 to play. After an exchange of punts (Wesleyan had the wind in its favor in the fourth quarter), Wesleyan again forced a Middlebury punt, taking over at its own 46 yard line with 2:35 to go. Carney opened with a run up the middle for 17 yards and a five-yard facemask penalty put the Cardinals at the Middlebury 33. Two Curran runs for 13 yards and a 10-yard personal foul penalty against Middlebury put Wesleyan in position for the game-winning three-pointer. Wesleyan sealed the victory, its fourth straight over the Panthers, when senior Steve Woodruff intercepted Keenan's final pass at midfield.
Wesleyan - Pat Moffett 90 pass frm Brennan Carney (Vin Balsamo kick) 11:27
Middlebury - Tom Cleaver 20 pass from Mike Keenan (Mike Frissora kick) 7:17
Middlebury - Denver Smith 13 pass from Mike Keenan (Mike Frissora kick) 1:06
Middlebury - Tom Cleaver 24 pass from Mike Keenan (Mike Frissora kick) 8:32
Wesleyan - Pat Moffett 50 pass from Brennan Carney (Vin Balsamo kick) :03
Wesleyan - Pat Curran 4 run (Vin Balsamo kick) 8:41
Wesleyan - Vin Balsamo 29 field goal 0:33
|First Downs (run/pass/penalty)
|Rushes - Yards
|Passes Attempted - Completed - Intercepted
|Fumbles - Lost
|Penalties - Yards
|Return Yards (punt, interception. fumble)
|Kickoff Returns - Yards
|Punts - Yards - Average
|Time of Possession
|3rd/4th Down Conversions
RUSHING: Middlebury - Bill Lazzaro, 20-81 ; Eric Shanley, 13-41 ; Mike Keenan, 5-33 ; Joe Ramoin, 1-2 ; Dom DiDomenico, 1-0 ; Jim Muhlfeld, 1-0. Wesleyan - Pat Curran, 9-32 ; Brennan Carney, 9-17 ; Young Douglas, 8-(-4) ; Tim McGee, 0-1.
PASSING: Middlebury - Mike Keenan, 33-20-1, 215 yards, 3 TDs.. Wesleyan - Brennan Carney, 35-18-1, 327 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Middlebury - Tom Cleaver, 5-76, 2 TDs ; Denver Smith, 5-68, 1 TD ; Bill Lazzaro, 3-12 ; Ryab Armstrong, 2-20 ; Chris Davis, 1-15 ; Eric Shanley, 1-11 ; Bill Vasileff, 1-7 ; Tim Sheridan, 1-4 ; Andy Angoff, 1-2. Wesleyan - Pat Moffett, 6-194, 2 TDs ; Dan Long, 4-41 ; Young Douglas, 4-19 ; Mshangwe Crawford, 1-42 ; Sam Fletcher, 1-12 ; Nick DiNardo, 1-10 ; James Wallace, 1-9.
PUNTING: Middlebury - Denver Smith, 7-228, 32.6 average. Wesleyan - Vin Balsamo, 6-200, 33.3 average.