Cadets, Panthers contrast on gridiron


Could two college football teams have much more different offense approaches than the two from Northern Vermont? With virtually every game they have played this fall, the contrasts between Middlebury and Norwich have stood out

The two teams are putting up similar scoring numbers, Middlebury averaging 29 points per game and Norwich, 25.4. But that’s where the similarities end.

After eight games, Norwich (5-3) and its cadre of runners (six have at least 200 rushing yards) have put up nearly 85 percent of their 343 yards per game of the ground. The Cadets average nearly 52 runs per game, and in their five Eastern Collegiate Football Conference games, they have passed the ball more than eight times only once.

Meanwhile, behind the record-setting arm of Donald McKillop, Middlebury (2-3) is producing 82 percent of its yardage through the air — to the tune of 373 passing yards per game. The Panthers throw the ball 54 times per game.

Perhaps the best way to summarize the difference? In seven appearances, Norwich starting quarterback Kris Sabourin is 24-for-81 passing for 275 yards; McKillop completed 47 of 74 passes for 438 yards — in Middlebury’s 20-10 loss to Amherst alone.

One thing the teams have in common is a tough game coming up Saturday. Norwich plays host to second-place SUNY-Maritime in a game that will likely decide the ECFC regular-season championship and Middlebury welcomes NESCAC leader Trinity (5-0), the team ranked No. 1 in New England.


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