In the New England Championship Final Middlebury lost to UMass by 34 points to 3.
UMass scores early in the first half and shows absolute dominance in the scrum, which continued throughout the game – the Midd pack were only able to win 1 or 2 of their own scrums let alone compete on UMass’ scrums. Middlebury responds with a penalty kick and with less than a minute left in the second half the score is 3 – 5 to UMass – anyone’s game…but the Middlebury defense falls asleep in the dying seconds of the half and lets a fast UMass backline run from one end of the field to the other and then use their powerful forwards to punch home the converted try: 3 – 10 at halftime. That late 1st half try swung the control of the game wholly in UMass’ favor.
Poor tackling from Middlebury in the second half and strong running from the UMass team saw the floodgates open and Middlebury struggled to stay in the game. The Middlebury players fought all game and despite the loss their are some positives to take away…many lessons to learn.
As difficult as this loss is The MCRC has to move on and move on quickly as they will be playing a knock-out game this coming Saturday in the North East Quarterfinal against Hamilton followed by the North East Semis & Finals the following weekend. A loss this coming Saturday will be the end to their season and goodbye to a 4th consecutive Nationals run in the Spring – the next two weeks will be a true test of Middlebury’s character.
Line-up: Pappa, Woelber (Damberg-Ott), Vandergrift, AC Jones, Hinckley (Caswell), Powers, Mutty (c) (Winter), Burleigh (Dauner), Whitaker (Hodge), Sirkia, Cahill (c), Meany, Cmejla, Withers (Harrison), Kalan