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Tigers Continue To Dominate Div I With 35-0 Win Over Mt. Anthony

Cortland Fisher protects the ball as two Mt. Anthony move in for the tackle.
photo by Pam Quinn
Cortland Fisher protects the ball as two Mt. Anthony move in for the tackle.

Tuesday October 7, 2014

By Bill Hinman

Homecoming in Middlebury is a time to reconnect.  Friday October 14 at Doc Collins field old friends and classmates gathered to share pictures of children and grandchildren, tell of new jobs or just enjoy the company of classmates while watching a good football game.  Mt. Anthony traveled up Route 7 to meet the Tigers on their home turf.  Once again the fans would not be disappointed.  The Tigers started slow with several errors, including a fumble, that was covered Bobby Ritter on the 7.  Middlebury was able to move the ball but a penalty for hitting below the waist brought back a pass connecting Robinson to Ritter for almost 40 yards giving Middlebury a 3rdand 11 on their own 34.  Reaching deep into the play book Coach Smith tried a reverse to Connor Quinn around the left side.  Quinn fell just short leaving a 4th and 1 on the 44.  Having good confidence in the battle hardened defense Middlebury chose to punt the ball and familiarize themselves with the Patriot offense.  The defense would not get the chance with a fumbled reception being picked out of the air by Hathaway for the score.  The referees called back  the touchdown considering the ball dead at the 11.   A strong defense would force Middlebury to make three plays before Ritter was able to punch it in with 8:03 left in the first quarter.  Lalonde, who’s point after kicks would be perfect on the night,  left the score at 7-0.
From this point on it would be all Middlebury.  Mt. Anthony’s offense received the ball on the 50 and was able to move it to the 43 when a missed shot gun snap left them with at 4th and 13 and no choice but to punt.  On the reception Ritter appeared to find a seam and it looked like another six was imminent but he stumbled  and Middlebury started on their own 33. .  In a back  and  forth Mt. Anthony intercepted a pass meant for Quinn only to give it back two plays later on a pick from Nate Lalonde.  
As has become Middlebury’s calling card, Hathaway would cruise through a huge hole on the cross trap and scamper unscathed for a 64 yard touchdown run.  Score 14-0 with 3:40 left in the quarter.  Penalties and missteps by the Patriots  left Mt. Anthony with no answer to the Tiger’s dominate defense and they were  forced to punt from the 39 yard line.  A few quick plays later including a completion to Sam Holmes set up Robinson on the option keeper to widen Middlebury’s lead to 21-0 in the first quarter.  The second quarter continued with Middlebury dominating the line of scrimmage, but a few missteps and penalties would place the Tigers in the precarious position of 3rd and 38 from the 48.  On a play action to the right Robinson found Connor Quinn near the end zone for a 38 yard completion.  Quinn finished off the play with impressive agility and power knocking through three patriot players to get in for the score.  After 15 minutes of play the Tigers were comfortable 28-0.  On the next series Mt. Anthony was unable to gain traction and was marred by a holding penalty that cost the Patriots a first down.   The punt gathered up by Ritter was fielded on the 20 and if not for the punter playing safety he would have scored.  A nice 55 yard return set up a first and ten. Justin Stone seeing his first action in five games was able to take it 20 yards for the last score of the half and ultimately the game.  Head Coach Dennis Smith pulled all but two starters on offense and defense for the remainder of the half ending the rout at 35 points.
Each year the Middlebury Alumni Association recognizes former students for the Hall of Fame.  Induction into the Hall of Fame requires that a former Middlebury graduate has shown a commitment and stewardship to the community as well having been a successful addition to the Middlebury Union High School student body.  While many of the Hall of Fame inductees have been student athletes, involvement in sports is not a requirement for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.  For 2014 only one member was chosen.  The award was given posthumously to Carl Ciemniewski who passed away in May this year while  attending a Boys lacrosse game.  The presentation by Peter Brakeley gave tribute to Carl’s continued commitment to the Middlebury High School community.  Peter’s initial description of Carl was Excellence, Determination and Integrity.   Brakeley noted that all aspects of Carl’s life were based upon these words be it on the football field, classroom or community.  Carl was a member of the football team  and played center on the offensive line. He taught physics and was a long time member of the football coaching staff.  Peter and Carl began coaching JV football and moved up to Varsity shortly thereafter.  Carl was an inspirational person and many coaches including all the current  varsity coaches and 10 of the flag football coaches were mentored by Carl. ” Z” as he was known to friends believed in getting students engaged with their work and took pride in finding unconventional methods to get students  interested in science.  Lastly, Carl’s love of football was evident even after his tenure as a coach.  He was an instrumental force behind the formation of the Middlebury Friends of Football and introduction of the Interscholastic Sports Awards. The fans conveyed their appreciation of Carl’s contribution to the Middlebury Community with  a standing ovation.  
The second half began where the first left off with Middlebury’s defense continuing to dominate the Patriots with the offense getting some good experience.  The game ended with the Tigers undefeated with a 6-0 record.  Next week Middlebury travels to South Burlington for a Saturday evening contest at seven pm.  

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