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Tuesday September 9, 2014 Edition
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Tigers Advance With A Win Over Hartford

Speedy Bobby Ritter heads down field against three Hartford defenders.
photo by Pam Quinn
Speedy Bobby Ritter heads down field against three Hartford defenders.
Ian Gill #81 and Nick Beauchamp #74 stop Hartford’s Corey Fogg
photo by Pam Quinn
Ian Gill #81 and Nick Beauchamp #74 stop Hartford’s Corey Fogg

Tuesday September 9, 2014

By Bill Hinman

Heat , Humidity Hartford
Friday night lights started with a temperature near 80 and humidly at uncomfortable levels.  With Ice bags in tow The Middlebury Tiger Football squad headed to Hartford in hopes of continuing their reign in Division One Football.
Middlebury received the ball first and in an unusual twist was shut down immediately by an inspired Harford defense.  After a three and out the Hurricanes took over on their thirty  and were able to consistently punch holes in the defense.  With consistent runs off tackle the Middlebury squad faced its toughest start in over a year.  Hartford punched the ball in early to take a 7-0 lead on the state champs.  It wouldn’t last.
A short kickoff to keep the ball out of the explosive Ritter and Hathaway’s hands gave Middlebury a favorable field position on the next drive.  Three plays later on the option Robinson turned the corner and once past the line of scrimmage raced for a 70 yard touchdown.  Hartford’s next drive and all the other ensuing drives until the fourth quarter would fall short and provide the Middlebury  offense the chance to get some breathing room.  In Middlebury’s next drive Robinson connected with Cullen Hathaway for a 51 yard scamper down the side line to make it 14-7.  Once again Robinson’s elusiveness proved too much for Hartford with a quick touchdown in the second quarter making the score 20-7.  In a unusual misstep the consistent Lalonde miss the extra point.  Robinson would end up leading the Tigers rushing attack with 147 yards on eight carries.  Allowing Robinson, Ritter and Hathaway to open up to outside was junior Cortland Fisher at fullback.  Fisher, seeing his first start of the year stepped in for a Justin Stone who has a foot injury. In the second quarter Middlebury was again finding itself giving up yardage to the Huricanes.  Hartford had finally penetrated deep into the secondary when a strip and recovery from Bobby Ritter resulted in a see saw and Ritter running nearly 150 yards in one play.  After the play Ritter appeared exhausted  and spent the majority of the rest of the game playing a limited role.   Due to the heat much of the front five played only one way   making way for some important experience for the Juniors.    
A late bid by Hartford with only a minute left  in the first half found the hurricanes threatening from the two yard line.  In a flashback to 2013 the Middlebury defense held Hartford until time expired leaving the score 27-7 at the half.  
In the second half Middlebury would put one more on the board off an unusual turnover.  Kicker Nathan Lalonde kicked a line drive which ricocheted off of a Hartford lineman’s helmet bouncing back toward the kick team and ultimately recovered by Middlebury. Again it would be Robinson down the right side line to seal the victory for Middlebury.  Late in the fourth quarter Hartford was able to get 6 more with a 65 yard pass that may well have been the high light play of the game.  
Final Score Middlebury 34 Hartford 14.   Middlebury will play host to a hot 2-0 Colchester squad at Doc Collins Field Friday September 12 at 7pm.

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