|Junior Curtis Yancy finished with nine tackles, including two for 18 yards in losses
WATERVILLE, ME - Colby senior quarterback Nick Kmetz had touchdown runs of 17 and 11 yards to lead the Mules to a 20-10 come-from-behind victory against Tufts in NESCAC action on Saturday afternoon.
Tufts led 10-7 at halftime after senior kicker Adam Auerbach (Glen River, NJ) booted a 35-yard field goal with 11:59 on the clock in the second quarter. The kick was the 21st field goal of his career, tying the Tufts record held by Chris Wild from 1988-91. The Jumbos also had a five-yard touchdown pass from senior QB Johnny Lindquist (Highland Park, IL) to junior fullback Mike Cresham (Rockville, MD) to lead 7-0 early.
However, the Mules scored two touchdowns in the second half and kept Tufts off the scoreboard. Sophomore Ian Leitch had a one-yard touchdown run at 1:54 of the third quarter to put Colby up 13-10. Kmetz, who first scored on a 17-yard run at 4:16 of the opening quarter, added an 11-yard run at 8:29 of the fourth.
Kmetz accumulated 232 yards of total offense for Colby. He rushed nine times for 49 yards and the two scores, while completing 16 of 27 passes for 183 yards. The Mules ran for 177 yards overall on 42 carries and finished with 360 total yards. Jumbo sophomore Ryan Pollock (Reading, MA) was the game-high rusher with 67 yards on 20 carries. Lindquist was also effective in the running back, gaining 56 yards (not including yards lost on sacks) in 15 tries. He was 17 of 27 for 101 yards throwing.
Playing in their final road game, Tufts started strong. Junior Dylan Haas (Yorktown Heights, NY) returned the opening kickoff 43 yards to the Colby 43. Lindquist then passed 22 yards to sophomore Pat Nee (Essex Junction, VT) on the first play from scrimmage. Lindquist converted a third down with a three-yard rush, and then connected with Cresham on third down for the touchdown.
A nine-yard sack by Jumbo defensive lineman Curtis Yancy (St. Louis, MO) helped force a Colby punt on their first possession. However, Tufts went three-and-out and the Mules would even the score next time they got the ball. A 12-yard pass from Kmetz to senior Robert Turner led to Kmetz's 17-yard run for a 7-7 score at the end of the first quarter.
The Jumbos answered the Colby touchdown with a 16-play drive that led to Auerbach's field goal. Lindquist's runs were a key component, as he twice converted third downs and also added a 16-yard rush. Auerbach matched his season high with the 35-yarder and the Jumbos led 10-7.
The defenses controlled most of the second quarter until Colby was able to move the ball into the Jumbo red zone late in the half. Kmetz had a 21-yard pass to junior Michael Lahiff, and then a roughing the passer penalty against the Jumbos gave Colby the ball at the Tufts 14. However, Jumbo senior Carlo Cervini (Shrewsbury, MA) sacked Kmetz for an 11-yard loss on the last play of the half and Tufts took its 10-7 advantage to the locker room.
Tufts stopped Colby at the Jumbo 30 on the first series of the second half, with junior Kyle Weller (Hingham, MA) hurrying Kmetz into an incompletion on fourth down. However, the hosts would put together an 11-play, 84-yard drive on their next possession to take the lead. Kmetz completed a 38-yard pass to Turner on the first play of the drive. He later had a 12-yard run on third down to put the Mules at the Tufts nine. They banged it in, finishing with Leitch's one-yard score for their first lead of the game at 13-10.
As the quarter changed, Tufts moved into Colby territory but had to punt. A 25-yard pass from Kmetz to Lahiff set up the quarterback's eventual 11-yard touchdown run for a 20-10 advantage.
Sophomore Christian Romano intercepted two Tufts passes in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Mules.
NESCAC leader Zack Skarzynski (Hinsdale, IL) finished with a game-high 14 tackles (nine solo), while Yancy recorded nine. Colby's Ryan Veillette total nine tackles, including two sacks and two quarterback hurries.
Colby won its third straight game to improve to 3-4. Tufts remained winless at 0-7 heading into the final week of the NESCAC season.