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2005 Wesleyan Football Game-by-Game Summary

Tufts (1-0) 16, Wesleyan (0-1) 6 - 9/24/05 at Middletown, Conn.

        The Tufts defense limited Wesleyan to 47 yards of total offense in the second half with just 53 yards passing and minus-six yards rushing to overcome a solid Wesleyan defensive effort with enough scoring to win, 16-6, in the season opener for both teams.

        Tufts avenged a 37-7 loss a year ago in Medford, Mass. by taking a 7-6 lead on a five-yard run around the left side by QB Casey D'Annolfo 3:35 into the third period, capping a 23-yard drive on five plays after a Sean Mullen interception.
        With 2:50 left in the period, Tufts made it 14-6 on a 12-yard pass from D'Annolfo to Steve Menty (five catches, 56 yards).  The drive was started at midfield after Wesleyan's Matt Barnum cought up the ball during a punt return.  Pat Magoon forced the fumble for Tufts and Josh Haynes recovered it.
        Tufts added a safety when Steve Albertine sacked Wesleyan QB Zach Librizzi in the endzone early in the final stanza.
        Wesleyan opened the scoring on the day when receiver Blake Curry outjumped a Tufts defender in the back right corner of the endzone for a nine-yard TD catch with 1:32 remaining in the first period.  Wesleyan needed five plays to cover 53 yards with a 24-yard strike from Librizzi to Barnum covering nearly half the yards.
        Tufts collected just 195 yards of offense to 138 for Wesleyan in the defense-dominated contest.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Tufts Game



Hamilton (1-1) 24, Wesleyan (0-2) 19 - 10/1/05 at Clinton, N.Y.

        Hamilton ended an eight-game losing streak to Wesleyan dating back to 1996 by overcoming a 6-0 deficit in the second quarter with three straight TDs for a 21-6 edge en route to a 24-19 victory.  The loss put Wesleyan at 0-2 for the first time since the 1994 season.
        Hamilton QB Brandon Holtslag collected 302 yards of total offense as he ran for 131 yard on 21 carries and scored all three Hamilton TDs on runs of 1, 1 and 3 yards.  Peter Kopp added a 21-yard field goal in the final five minutes to boost the Hamilton margin to 24-12 before a 14-yard TD strike from Wesleyan QB Zach Librizzi to Mark Noonan cut the margin to 24-19 with 1:48 to play.  Hamilton recovered the onside kick and three straight runs by Holtslag were enough to give Hamilton a first down and opportunity to run out the clock.
        Librizzi, who went 8-for-15 in the first half before leaving the game with an ankle injury, came back to complete 25-of-44 in the game, good for 344 yards and a three scores.  He spotted Wesleyan a 6-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter with a two-yarder to tight end Dan McKenna.  He also found Ryan Walsh at the goalline with a nine-yard spiral as Walsh lunged into the endzone for his first career TD at 5:26 of the fourth period.  Noonan ended the game with eight catches for 102 yards to lead Wesleyan.  Joe Rinaldo had eight snags for 85 yards to pace the Hamilton receiving corps.
       Hamilton recorded seven sacks in the contest, led by Taylor Soobitsky with three, but Librizzi still reocrded positive rushing yards as he carried the ball 16 times for 36 yards.  He ended the game with 380 yards of total offense.  Hamilton also had six take-aways as Wesleyan threw three interceptions and lost three fumbles.  Two of the interceptions came off Zach Canter, who played three series at the end of the first half.


Colby (3-0) 28, Wesleyan (0-3) 14 - 10/8/05 at Middletown, Conn.
        Taking advantage of eight Wesleyan turnovers while committing just one, Colby College extended its win streak vs. Wesleyan University to four games by capturing a 28-14 football decision here this afternoon.
        Wesleyan outgained Colby, 344-284, as sophomore QB Zach Librizzi picked up 293 yards of total offense for Wesleyan.  He leads the NESCAC in total offense this season, averaging 252 yards. Librizzi completed 26 of 47 passes for 224 yards while running 24 times for 69 more but four of his passes were picked off.  One was returned 66 yards by Colby sophomore Greg Enos for a TD with 13:24 to go in the game, upping Colby's margin to the final score.
        Colby led 21-14 at halftime as senior Aaron Stepka (17-71) completed an 11-play, 59-yard drive with a one-yard run, senior Roddy Ames caught a 15-yard TD pass from senior John Bates and sophomore Chris Bashaw (11-87) broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and bolted off the right side for a 44-yard TD run for the first three Colby scores.  The last two Colby TDs of the half came after a Wesleyan turnover.
        Wesleyan responded with two TD tosses by Librizzi, one of 19 yards to senior Andrew Brooker and another of 12 yards to junior Blake Curry.  While Colby never crossed midfield in the third quarter, Wesleyan threatened to tie the score twice with drives to the Colby 22 and the Colby 11, only to lose the ball via turnover each time.  Curry had eight catches for Wesleyan, good for 58 yards, while sophomore Mark Noonan also had eight receptions for 59 yards.
        Wesleyan had 23 first downs in the contest to 14 for Colby and enjoyed a 3:32 advantage in time of possession.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Colby Game


Bates (1-3) 30, Wesleyan (0-4) 29 - 10/15/05 at Hartford, Conn. (Trinity College)
         Rallying from a 13-0 deficit in the second quarter to grab a 23-16 lead with 1:36 to play, Bates College ended up in overtime against Wesleyan University in a game played on the turf at Trinity College due to wet grounds at Wesleyan.
        Bates scored first in overtime as junior Jamie Walker rolled untouched around the left side on the first play from scrimmage for a 25-yard TD run.  Walker, who played most of the game at running back after starter junior Eric Obeng was sidlelined with an injury in the second quarter, had 100 yards on the day from his 19 attempts. Senior kicker Tyler Schmelz converted the extra point for a 30-23 Bates lead.  Wesleyan needed eight plays to get into the endzone in overtime as junior Phil Banks burrowed in from two yards out.  On the ensuing extra-point try, junior holder Doug Collins came out of his stance to field the snap and rolled to his right looking to throw. He then tossed a pass back to his left intended for freshman kicker Chris Helsel in the endzone, but the pass fell wide of the mark, giving Bates the win.  Bates is now 3-2 all-time in overtime games with its last victory coming against Bowdoin in 2001.  Wesleyan is 1-2 in overtime games, defeating Bates in 1999 and losing to Amherst in 1998.
        Bates scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to erase a 16-6 deficit at intermission.  A 28-yard pass from sophomore QB Brandon Colon (16-for-32, 179 yards) to junior Dylan MacNamara (7-84) made it 16-13 at the 4:13 mark of the third period.  When Wesleyan sophomore punter AJ Taucher bobbled a snap, freshman John MacKenzie broke in to block the punt at the Wesleyan five-yard line.  The Cardinals made the Bobcats settle for a 23-yard Schmelz field goal to tie the game at 16-16 with 12:42 to go.  Then Colon again connected with MacNamara on a perfect 30-yard TD strike to the right edge of the endzone with 1:36 to go to put Bates ahead for the first time, 23-16.
        Wesleyan senior Jeff McLaren returned the Bates squib kick 34 yards to the Bates 47-yard line and Wesleyan moved to the Bates 10-yard line in just over a minute.  There on 3rd-and-7, Bates was called for pass interference in the endzone, setting up a sophomore QB Zach Librizzi to junior Blake Curry high toss to the left side of the endzone which Curry snagged for a TD just over a Bates defender. The extra point with :09.8 left by Helsel tied the game.
        Wesleyan had built a 13-0 edge in the first half as Banks (21-83) scored from five yards out to cap a 13-play, 80-yard drive and Librizzi (14-for-31, 159 yards ; 32-57 on the ground) ran in from 12 yards out to end a seven-play, 73-yard march with 11:37 remaining in the second quarter.
        Wesleyan was hurt by turnovers, committing four to none by Bates, and Librizzi was sacked nine times, three of those by junior linebacker Todd Wilcox, who had 13 tackles on the day, 4.5 for a loss and had an interception inside the Bates five-yard line to stifle a Wesleyan drive in the second period.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bates Game


Amherst (4-1) 37, Wesleyan (0-5) 0 - 10/22/05 at Amherst, Mass.
       Amherst held Wesleyan scoreless for the third straight time at home since the 2001 season and did not allow Wesleyan to score a TD for the third straight meeting.  Amherst has kept Wesleyan out of the endzone for 13 consecutive quarters dating back to the 2002 season when the Cardinals scored in the third period and held on for a 14-13 decision in Middletown.
        Though Amherst mounted 270 yards of offense in the first half to 86 by Wesleyan, all the Amherst offense could muster were three field goals, one by Mike Quirk of 25 yards and a pair by Justin Roemer of 37 and 30 yards.  The Amherst TD came midway through the first quarter on a 54-yard punt return to the endzone by Mark Hannon as Amherst led 16-0 at intermission.
        Wesleyan best chance to score in the first half came on a final drive started by Jeff McLaren's 29-yard kickoff return to the Wesleyan 48.  From there QB Zack Librizzi hit Blake Curry to the left side for 24 yards to the Amherst 28.  But on 2-and-10, Librizzi tried to connect with Curry once again only to have the pass intercepted at the Amherst four-yard line by Chris Mottau.  It was the first of four turnovers for the Cardinals as Zach Canter threw two interceptions and fumbled once as well in the second half.
        The second half was all Amherst as the Lord Jeff tacked on three TDs, one on a 78-yard run by Eric NeSmith as he started out on a sweep to the left but cut it back just outside the hash mark and raced untouched to the endzone.  A 25-yard pass from Nick Kehoe to Hannon accounted for another score and a TD pass from third-string QB Greg Hagar to Mike Myers of 10 yards early in the fourth period finished off the day's scoring.
        Amherst held Wesleyan to six net yards in the second half and just two yards rushing on the day while amassing 273 yards on the ground and 260 through the air for 533 total yards.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Amherst Game


Bowdoin (5-1) 35, Wesleyan (0-6) 10 - 10/29/05 at Brunswick, Maine
        Bowdoin ended an eight-game losing skid to Wesleyan dating back to the Polar Bears' last victory in 1996 by pulling out to a 21-3 lead at halftime and extending the final margin to 25 points.  Bowdoin will play Bates and Colby the final two weeks of the season in search of a C-B-B title.  Wesleyan finishes with 4-2 Williams and undefeated Trinity..
        Wesleyan drew first blood in the game, marching from its own 22 with the opening kickoff to set up a 27-yard Chris Helsel field goal.  Bowdoin came right back to score on its opening possession as QB Rick Leclerc hit Jeff Nolin on an 18-yard TD route.  It was the first of three TD receptions for Nolin, a Bowdoin team record, and the first of a team-record five TD passes for Leclerc.  Leclerc completed 16 of 25 attempts for 317 yards with no interceptions.  Nolin has six catches for 161 yards including TDs of 18, 26 and 72 yards.
        Wesleyan, which had more first downs (20-19) and held a seven-minute edge in time of possession, had five series move inside the Bowdoin 20-yard line.  In addition to the Helsel field goal, Wesleyan had a four-yard TD run by Phil Banks, who led Wesleyan with 66 yards on 15 attempts while also making six catches for 36 yards.  On the other three possessions, Wesleyan had a 32-yard field goal attempt tipped short, lost a fumble inside the five-yard line and had a pass intercepted in the endzone on fourth down.
        The Wesleyan run defense held Bowdoin to just 79 yards on 37 attempts but Bowdoin's 10-for-15 effort on third-down conversions was a key stat for the Polar Bears.  Nine of Bowdoin's successful conversion came during scoring drives.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bowdoin Game


Williams (5-2) 26, Wesleyan (0-7) 9 - 11/5/05 at Middletown, Conn.
        Williams held Wesleyan to 33 net yards in the second half and added a safety and a 17-yard TD run by sophomore Elijah Weeks midway through the third quarter to pad a 17-9 halftime lead en route to a 26-9 Little Three victory.
       The Williams win over Wesleyan coupled with Amherst's win over Wesleyan in Amherst two weeks ago sets up a showdown for the Little Three title in Williamstown, Mass. Saturday, Nov. 12.  Amherst (5-2) is the defending Little Three champion.
        Williams got the scoring going early as Weeks took the opening kickoff at his seven-yard line and raced up the left side for a 93-yards TD.  It was the first time in 26 years (1979) that a Williams player returned a kickoff for a TD.  Wesleyan threatened to tie the score with a first-and-goal at the Williams nine-yard line late in the first quarter.  But on fourth-and-goal from inside the one-yard line, junior Phil Banks was stuffed short of the goalline by junior John Dolan for no gain.  A 22-yard junior Brendan Fulmer field goal early in the second period made it 10-0 for Williams.  Wesleyan got a 33-yard field goal from freshman Chris Helsel to make it 10-3 before Fulmer caught a 37-yard TD pass from junior Sean Gleeson for a 17-3 edge.  Wesleyan got its only TD of the game on a 16-yard leaping catch in the endzone by junior Blake Curry with :05 left in the half.
        After 204 yards of offense in the first half, Wesleyan picked up just 33 in the second half.  The team lost 29 yard on a bad punt snap that resulted in a Williams safety just 1:38 into the second half.  The run by Weeks capped the scoring. 
        Sophomore linebacker Jon Pritchard led the Williams defense with 14 tackles while sophomore linebacker Tim O'Callahan and senior linebacker Quincy Francis had 15 and 14, respectively, for Wesleyan.  Each forced a fumble and Francis had a recovery.
Sophomore QB Pat Lucey had 211 yards of total offense for Williams, completing 14 of 19 passes for 157 yards and running nine times for 54 yards.  Wesleyan sophomore QB Zach Librizzi, who leads the NESCAC in total offense this season, averaging 215 yards a game, passed for 232 yards and ran for 25 for 257 yards of total offense.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Williams Game


Trinity (8-0) 63, Wesleyan (0-8) 7 - 11/12/05 at Hartford, Conn.

         Trinity scored on nine of its first 11 possessions while racking up 571 yards of total offense en route to its third straight 8-0 campaign and 30th consecutive win over four seasons.  Down 21-0 late in the first quarter, Wesleyan got a lift when Andrew Brooker got behind the Trinity defense on the right side and caught a 59-yard pass from Zach Canter to give the Cardinals a 1st-and-goal at the seven-yard line.  On 3rd-and-goal from the four-yard line, Canter lofted a pass to the left side of the endzone which Blake Curry grabbed for his fifth TD catch of the season, making it 21-7.  But Trinity tacked on three more scores before the half ended for a 42-7 bulge and went on to record the greatest margin of victory ever vs. Wesleyan, surpassing the 53-point margin in 2003.  QB Josh Pitcher was a near-perfect 14-for-17 for 306 yards and four TDs for Trinity.  Trinity held Wesleyan to 13 yards rushing on 25 attempts and just 104 yards passing as Wesleyan QBs went 9-for-30.  AJ Taucher had a 39.7 yard average on nine punts but had one blocked, leading directly to Trinity's second TD of the game.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Trinity Game