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Spirited comeback falls just short for Colby football

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Colby College football team scored two touchdowns in the final 1:23 of the game and nearly recovered a second onsides kick with 14 seconds remaining in a 28-20 setback to Wesleyan University on Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.
 
Game highlights
* The Mules did not give up after Wesleyan's Glenn Smith scored on a 3-yard run with just 1:45 left in the game to make it 28-7.
 
* After a 12-yard pass from Matt Hersch to Jordan Roddy and then an incomplete pass, Hersch dropped back and hit Jibri Woods on a 63-yard scoring pass with 1:23 to play. Wesleyan also was called for a roughing the passer penalty, allowing the Mules a kickoff from the Cardinals 45-yard line.
 
* The Mules made the game very interesting when kicker Walter Thilly had a perfect onsides kick, with the ball bouncing high as it reached 10 yards. Colby wide receiver Aidan McCleary (pictured) recovered the kick and Colby was back in business at the Wesleyan 32-yard line.
 
* Colby (0-4) finally scored on the eighth play of the drive when Hersch hit Roddy for a 6-yard scoring pass on third down. The snap on the extra point was off and the Mules settled for six points and trailed just 28-20 with 14 seconds to play.
 
* Now kicking at the Colby 40-yard line, Thilly did it again with another perfect onsides kick. Jake Schwern leaped to recover the kick for the Mules, but the officials ruled he touched the ball before it had traveled 10 yards.
 
* The Cardinals (2-2) opened up a 14-0 lead with a touchdown in each quarter in the opening half. Glenn Smith caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Mark Piccirillo.
 
* With 11:18 to play in the second quarter, Piccirillo hit Sean Penney on a 6-yard scoring pass.
 
* The Mules cut the lead to 14-7 at halftime when Hersch found Matt Richman on a 10-yard scoring play with 2:11 to go.
 
* Piccirillo had the lone touchdown of the third quarter on a broken play. He scrambled to his right and dove to the end zone at the end of his 22-yard run.
 
By the numbers
* Piccirillo passed for 166 yards and threw the two touchdown passes, but he also led the Cardinals in rushing with 17 carries for 103 yards. Smith finished with 72 yards on 11 carries.
 
* Hersch had a fine day with 277 yards on 23-for-40 passing and 277 yards to go along with three touchdowns. 
 
* Woods had 96 yards on three catches and Richman caught seven passes for 67 yards. Jake Schwern had 66 yards rushing and 26 receiving.
 
* Billy Costello led Colby tacklers with 10 and first-year lineman Nick Wilcox continued to shine with seven tackles and a sack. Nick Hall had six stops and made a terrific interception to thwart a Wesleyan drive.  
 
* Wesleyan linebacker Cole Harris was all over the field with a game-high 14 tackles. Taj Gooden had four tackles for loss, including two sacks, among his nine tackles. Will Kearney had seven tackles and one sack.
 
Next up
* The Mules will get a tough test at Amherst College (4-0) next Saturday at 1 p.m.
 
Box score