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2019 football preview

The Panther football team enters the 2019 season with a solid core of returning players, ready to challenge for a NESCAC title. The team finished with a 5-4 mark a year ago as injuries plagued the Panthers down the stretch during second their nine-game season in 101 years. This fall, Middlebury will tackle a new schedule for the first time since 1992, as the traditional order of opponents has been shuffled. The Panthers will open their season on September 14 at 2:00 p.m. when they host Williams.

Head Coach Bob Ritter

Bob Ritter enters his 19th year at the helm of the program, owning a career mark of 93-53. His teams have won 43 of 58 games over the past seven seasons and show no signs of veering from their winning ways.

Will Jernigan

Junior Will Jernigan saw significant time a year ago, taking over the starting duties three games into the season. The versatile QB completed 102 of 184 passes for 1,145 yards last fall, throwing 10 touchdown passes against seven interceptions. He was the team’s second-leading rusher as well, gaining 321 yards on 109 carries with six touchdowns.

Peter Scibilia

Junior Peter Scibilia led the team and was sixth in the NESCAC in rushing last season, gaining 553 yards on 131 carries with a pair of touchdowns. He finished the year ranked third on the squad in receiving yards with 196 via 19 receptions—two of them for touchdowns.

Maxim Bochman

Seniors Maxim Bochman and Maxwell Rye both return as starting receivers for the upcoming season. Bochman caught 15 passes for 141 yards in 2018, while Rye made eight catches for 166 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Senior Aidan Power (10 rec., 86 yds.) and sophomore Greg Livingston (4 rec., 32 yds.) both saw quality time a year ago and will compete for starting jobs.

Frank Cosolito

Senior tight end Frank Cosolito returns for his fourth season as a starter. A two-time All-NESCAC selection, he led the team with 30 receptions, six for touchdowns, to go along with 316 receiving yards a season ago. He enters the year with 934 career receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions.

Kevin Woodring

The offensive line has some holes to fill after four mainstays graduated last spring. Senior Kevin Woodring (6-3, 275) returns as a starting tackle for the third-straight season. The Second-Team All-NESCAC selection will be called upon to anchor the line. Senior Jack Purcell (6-5, 280) and junior Colin Paskewitz (6-3, 285) both saw significant time last year and will likely move into starting roles.

Martin Williams

Two-time All-NESCAC choice Martin Williams will lead the defense, as he returns for his fourth season as a starter. The senior racked up 29 tackles last season, including a pair of sacks and 2.5 tackles for lost yardage. Junior Charles Roselle made 25 tackles with two sacks in a starting role last fall as a defensive end. Senior Alex Norton (11 tackles, 1 sack) and junior Nick Leone (16 tackles, 1.5 sacks) both saw significant action in 2018 and will battle for starting spots.

Pete Huggins

Led by a strong group of juniors, the linebacking core returns a lot of experienced players. Pete Huggins was second on the team with 51 tackles a year ago, while Jack Pistorius was sixth with 34, to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss and four pass break-ups. Wyllis McKissick (25 tackles) and Zander Bailey (12 tackles) were also in the mix as all four players will vie for starting jobs.

Coltrane Marcus

The defensive backfield was decimated by injuries last season, allowing the team to return a well-experienced group. Junior Jonathan Hobart led the Panthers with 54 tackles in seven games, including a pair of interceptions at safety. Senior Kevin Hartley saw his season end early with an injury after making five stops with a sack in less than three games. Sophomores Gordon Pollock (35 tackles) and Nate Stewart (15 tackles) were forced into action early last fall and performed well as they look to challenge for starting jobs. Seniors Coltrane Marcus (25 tackles, 3 pass break-ups) and Michael Carr (6 tackles) return as veterans at the corner positions for the Panthers.

Maxwell Rye

Rye, a Second-Team All-NESCAC choice as a punter, returns to the lineup this fall. The senior led the league with a 39.7 yard average a year ago, landing 21 punts inside the 20-yard line. Senior Carter Massengill is expected to handle the kicking duties for the fourth-straight season

The new-look schedule sees the Panthers open their season on September 14 with a home contest against Williams. Middlebury will then travel to Bates before entertaining Trinity, Colby, Wesleyan and Hamilton in home games on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium.