WATERVILLE, Maine — With a tight 14-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Tufts University scored two touchdowns in a span of 51 seconds to pull out a 28-14 win over Colby College in NESCAC football Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.
* With the Jumbos (5-3 overall) leading 14-7, Tufts went on a 59-yard drive over 16 plays to go up 21-7. The Jumbos converted a 4th-and-8 play at the Mules’ 23-yard line to keep the drive moving. With ball at the 1-yard line and fourth down, Tufts took a chance and went for the score instead of kicking the field goal. Mike Pedrini crashed in for his third score of the game.
* Tufts put the game away seconds later when Tim Preston intercepted a pass and went 32 yards for the score with just 4:50 left in the game. He finished the game with two interceptions and two pass break-ups.
* The Mules did bounce back with a 68-yard drive over 10 plays to bring the score to 28-14 with 1:41 to play. Mark Snyder caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on the left sideline of the end zone. Colby kicker John Baron had an excellent on-sides kicks, but Tufts was able to recover the kick.
* Colby had stayed away from turnovers for much of the season, but the Jumbos forced five on the day. The Mules had 316 yards of total offense in the game, only to see drives stalled due to turning the ball over.
* After a Mule turnover on a fumble, Tufts drove 67 yards over nine plays to take the lead for good. Pedrini scored from 5 yards out for the opening points.
* The Mules drove again down the field and were stopped on an interception by Alex LaPiana at the Jumbos’ 8-yard line. Tufts took over and went 92 yards, finishing on a 1-yard scoring run by Pedrini with 3:28 left to halftime.
* After a scoreless third quarter, Colby made it a game when O’Brien threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Andrew DeFranco with 12:04 left in the game. DeFranco was wide open on the long pass and had to reach out to grab the ball at the 5-yard line.
By the numbers
* Pedrini was a workhorse with 31 rushes for 135 yards and the three scores. Tufts quarterback Ryan McDonald had 65 yards rushing and threw for 94 yards.
* O’Brien had 204 yards passing and rushed for 66 yards (4.4 per carry) for the Mules. DeFranco had his best collegiate game with eight catches for 86 yards. Matt Richman caught five passes for 58 yards.
* Dan de Leon had three receptions for 51 yards for the Jumbos, who had 356 yards of total offense.
* Jumbo punter LaPiana had four of his five kicks go inside the 20-yard line.
* Steve DiCienzo and Greg Holt both had nine tackles for the Jumbos. LaPiana added six tackles to go along with his solid punting and interception.
* Sebastien Philemon, who had a collegiate-high 19 tackles last Saturday against Bates College, had a game-high 18 stops. Bryan McAdams and Craig Strand both had big Senior Day games, with McAdams recording 14 tackles and Strand adding 13. Sean Godin had eight stops and an interception.
Next on the schedule
* Tufts closes out the season next Saturday in a home game with Middlebury College at 1 p.m.
* The Mules (0-8 overall) finish at Bowdoin College in a 12:30 p.m. start. The two teams will be playing for pride after Bates took a 24-17 win over the Polar Bears (0-8) to win the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) title.