WATERVILLE, Maine — Patrick Yale returned a fumble for a touchdown and first-year quarterback Jack O’Brien had a big day with 297 passing yards to lift the Colby College football team to a 27-7 win over Hamilton College in NESCAC play Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.
The Mules improved to 2-3 overall heading into the first Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) game of the year at Bates College next Saturday at 1 p.m. Hamilton drops to 1-4 overall and will play host to Williams College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Colby doubled its win total from last year with three contests remaining. The Mules, who ring a Revere Bell after each win, rang the bell at home for the first time in two years.
Yale scored the first touchdown of the game on a 34-yard fumble recovery. Hamilton, on a second down play, had quarterback Kenny Gray drop back to pass. Jack Muntu-Caron came in unblocked and hit Gray as he was trying to throw at the 42-yard line. The ball bounced backwards and Yale scooped it up and ran for the score and a 7-0 lead with 1:39 to play in the opening quarter.
Yale finished with the touchdown, an interception and return of 40 yards, four pass break-ups, and four tackles.
O’Brien was poised from the start and went 23-for-32 for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mules went up 10-0 on their longest scoring drive of the game. Colby used 5:13 off the clock and drove 64 yards on 11 plays. John Baron booted a 22-yard field goal with 9:47 left to halftime. Sebastian Ferrell had two catches for 29 yards on the drive.
Hamilton used up nearly five minutes on the ensuing drive, but came away with no points. The Continentals went for it on a 4th-and-3 play only to have Gray sacked for a loss of 12 by Bryan McAdams.
With a drive start at their own 45-yard line, the Mules went 55 yards on eight plays to go up 17-0. Ryder Arsenault caught an 8-yard pass on a slant pattern to the goal line for the score. Mark Snyder (pictured) had the big play on the drive when he hauled in a 31-yard pass from O’Brien on a 3rd-and-10.
With just 1:37 to halftime, Hamilton got in gear and drove 55 yards on eight plays to score with just 13 seconds left in the half. On a 4th-and 10 play from the Colby 44-yard line, Gray rolled to his left and threw a perfect strike to Charles Ensley for the touchdown. Alex Waugh had three straight catches of 9 yards on the drive.
The Mules took the kickoff to start the second half and knocked 6:36 off the clock on a drive of 59 yards. Baron booted his second field goal, this time from 33 yards out for a 20-7 margin. On a 3rd-and-6 play, Ferrell caught a 40-yard pass from O’Brien on the drive.
Colby’s final touchdown of the game was set up when Hamilton snapped the ball over the punter’s head. The Continentals also had a penalty on the play and Colby started on Hamilton’s 40-yard line.
O’Brien completed all four passes on the drive and ended it with a 19-yard toss to Alex Kramer for the touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter.
Ferrell finished with 77 yards on four catches, Kramer had five catches for 50 yards, and Devaughn Riley had a 42-yard catch in the second half. Jake Schwern rushed 11 times for 40 yards.
Gray completed 17 passes for 185 yards and the one touchdown. Charles Ensley had six catches for 85 yards.
Colby’s defense held Hamilton to just 186 yards of total offense, including just one net yard of rushing. Meanwhile, Colby’s offense had 379 total yards.
Don Vivian had six tackles, made an interception, and had two pass break-ups for Colby. Will Caffey, Ian Dickey, and McAdams all had five tackles.
James Taylor made eight solo tackles among his game-high 11 stops for the Continentals. Cole Burchill finished with eight tackles and Will Rothschild had six stops. Colby Jones had one interception and three tackles.