Middlebury ends their first regular season in DIAA with a close loss to BC making it 3 and 3 for the year. The game is one of two halves: the first is BC’s, the second is Middlebury’s but the boys in blue leave themselves too much to do in the final part of the game to cut down the original 15 point deficit.
Middlebury has a fair amount of possession in the first half but they struggle to break the disciplined BC defense. Conversely, BC takes their chances. The MCRC makes a change early in the first half to move captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 to flyhalf and from then on Middlebury is camped in the BC 22 picking up two tries. The first comes through sophomore John “Scooter” Hawley ’14 and the second from Sirkia. It’s a nail-biting end to the game as Middlebury continues to threaten in what would be a phenomenal comeback. Alas, today is not their day. Outstanding performance by Middlebury’s seniors in their final games particularly hooker Daniel Jerome Finley Powers ’11.5 and winger Zach Withers ’11.5.
Full report below:
The wind is blowing solidly in BC’s favor in the first half and their flyhalf takes advantage putting up some smart chips that are carried over the back 3. Jack Maher ’12 on the wing takes some heavy hits but stands solid on both ends of the ball making some courageous takes on high balls. Middlebury affords BC space to run and some missed tackles allow the Boston side to to capitalize on two occasions in in the first half. Neither is converted.
Middlebury has bouts of possession but they either kick it away or find a BC defense matching their attack. There are a few spells of Middlebury’s well worked running plays but the cover defense from BC is just able to stop the strike runners at the crucial moment. Withers in particular makes some fantastic breaks throughout the game. The real highlight of the first half is forwards captain Rowan Kelner’s breakaway run. Before you can fully realize that he has won a turnover he is 20 meters down the field breaking tackles and leaving players in his dust. He is eventually brought down and nothing more comes of the play but what a turn of pace. Sirkia only has one chance for goals in the first half which he does not hit.
0 – 10 BC at the half.
BC adds a third soon after the restart and it looks a completely uphill battle for The MCRC. The try is not converted on this day full of missed kicks. 0 – 15 Boston College, 45 minutes in.
Freshman Alec Mackenzie ’15 is brought on for flyhalf Don Song ’13. Mackenzie goes to 9 and Sirkia moves out to 10. It takes a little time for things to start gelling but basically from this point on Middlebury has the ball in an attacking position. Even a defense as disciplined as BC’s starts to get anxious under such pressure and on two occasions in the second half Middlebury gets the best of them.
In the scrum the teams are evenly matched and each wins their own ball on a regular basis. The Middlebury forwards come close to wheeling BC on several occasions but are just shy. In the lineouts the Middlebury pack has the edge, stealing several of BC’s ball. On their own ball, in the attacking 22, the boys in blue are highly proficient at mauling and the first try halfway through the second half comes from a lineout to maul situation. Thanks to some powerful driving especially by number eight Laird Silsby ’15, back from a long injury lay-off, John Hawley is able to touch down. His first A side try – great moment for the young man. Sirkia misses the angled conversion but Middlebury is back in the game with the wind now at their backs. 5 – 15 Boston College.
Middlebury’s second try, the last of the game, is a classic deception play by Sirkia. A show of the ball here, a touch of pace there and it’s all she wrote. Under a lot of pressure from the blitzing BC defense, with a slippery ball as the freezing rain starts to come down, Brian does a number and a half keeping the Blue on the attack. The try is write under the posts and against all odds the Canadian misses this conversion. It was just not meant to be on this day. A few minutes more of tense play and it ends 10 – 15. Not much between the two sides, which can be said of many of the ECRC teams, save conference sweepers Northeastern.
First cap for winger Sander “Hotstepper” Mora ’15 who comes on for the injured Jebb “the Febb” Norton ’13.5. Maher slides to center.
Year one of the DIAA experiment done and a .500 record with two losses of less then a converted try. It shows that we certainly are in the right company. Lots of lessons learned and some homework to do in preparation for fall 2012.
Line-up: Wysota, Powers, Hoffman, N. Kelner, Hawley, Risinger, R. Kelner (c), Silsby, Sirkia, Song (Mackenzie 45), Withers, Norton (Mora 65), Schreiber, Kalan
- Tries: Hawley, Sirkia
- Conversions: Sirkia – 0 for 2
- Penalty kicks: Sirkia – 0 for 1
- First cap (competitive): Mora
- Firs try (A side – competitive): Hawley