Posts Tagged ‘Norwich football’

Cadets, Panthers contrast on gridiron

October 30, 2009

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.


Two NFL players have ties to Vermont (updated)

September 30, 2009

Here’s something not seen often, if ever: Two guys currently starting for NFL teams have Vermont colleges on their resumes.

Middlebury College graduate Steve Hauschka is a place kicker for the Baltimore Ravens while Pierre Garcon, who played a season at Norwich University, is an Indianapolis Colts receiver.

Hauschka, who has drilled 4 of 5 field-goal attempts for the Ravens this season, played three years at Middlebury, holds the school’s single-season (10) and career (20) field goal records and helped the Panthers claim the NESCAC title in 2007. Holding a year of college football eligibility after he graduated from Middlebury, the Needham, Mass., native walked on North Carolina State’s team while working on a post-grad degree and led the ACC in field goal percentage (88.9).

“It’s a joy to watch him (on Sundays),” Middlebury College coach Bob Ritter said. “In NESCAC, there’s one (NFL player) every few years or so, but it’s not a common occurrence. It’s rare that someone from NESCAC will have the impact that he has so quickly.”

Garcon has two touchdown receptions for the Colts this season and had the game-winning score against Arizona on Sunday.

He piled up 13 touchdowns and 990 yards as a freshman at Norwich before transferring to NCAA Division III powerhouse Mount Union. The West Palm Beach, Fla., product finished his college career with 60 TDs.

(Update) Here’s the Hauschka feature that appeared in Sunday’s Free Press.  Hauschka didn’t have a field-goal attempt during his homecoming game, a loss to the Patriots.