Middlebury improved to 2-0 on the season with a 28-0 road win at Bates (0-2) Saturday afternoon. The Panthers return to action next Saturday when they host Trinity at 1:00 p.m.
Middlebury scored on its first possession of the game, driving 73 yards on 11 plays. Quarterback Will Jernigan connected with Maxwell Rye for 20 yards and Jimmy Connell for 15 on the drive. The score came when Jernigan again hooked up with Rye, this time from eight yards out for the touchdown.
The Panthers went up 14-0 at the 13:04 mark of the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Jernigan to Aidan Power in the back-right corner of the end zone.
Middlebury added to its lead late in the second quarter when Alex Maldjian scored on a four-yard rush up the middle. The drive was set up by a 20-yard connection from Jernigan to Power.
The Panthers took a 21-0 lead into the break, despite three first-half turnovers, but were aided by 72-yards of Bates penalties.
In the third quarter, Jernigan connected with Greg Livingston for 17 yards, marching 58 yards on nine plays. Frank Cosolito made it a 28-0 game when he caught a 10-yard scoring strike from Jernigan at the 7:33 mark of the third quarter. The touchdown reception was the 16th of his career for Cosolito.
Neither team would score again, with Nolan Tibball breaking up a Bates pass on the Panther 28 on a fourth-and-three play at the 6:55 mark of the fourth quarter. The break-up was followed by a 49-yard rush by Maldjian, as the Panthers cruised to the victory.
Maldjian finished with 139 yards rushing in his second collegiate game, carrying the ball 18 times with a touchdown. Jernigan went 22-30 for 293 yards, including three touchdowns with a pair of interceptions. Rye led the receivers with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, while Livingston had four receptions for 56 yards. Jimmy Connell pulled down three balls for 45 yards, while Cosolito surpassed 1,000-career yards receiving (1,012) with three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. Pete Huggins and Zander Bailey each had four tackles, two tackles for lost yardage and a sack in the game.
Liam Foley (7-19, 58 yds.) and Brendan Costa (6-14, 36 yds.) each saw time at quarterback for Bates. Tyler Bridge (11 rushes, 45 yards) led the Bobcats ground game, while Jack Hayes caught four passes for 28 yards. Tony Hooks led all tacklers with nine, while Connor Hunt and Mike Bulman each had eight.
Middlebury outgained Bates 468-188 on the afternoon, as Bates suffered 117 yards of penalties compared to 36 yards against the Panthers.
The victory was the 31st-straight for the Panthers over the Bobcats, dating back to 1988. The shutout was the first posted by the Middlebury defense since a 45-0 win over Colby in 2009.