LEWISTON — Bates again allowed 500 yards and again found itself on the losing end of a NESCAC football game Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Middlebury lost starting quarterback Jared Lebowitz in the second quarter, but still racked up 530 yards of offense en route to a 43-14 win. It’s the third straight game the Bobcats’s defense allowed more than 500 yards.

Lebowitz led the Panthers to a 14-0 lead with first-quarter touchdown passes to Maxim Bocham and Tanner Contois.

Early in the second quarter, Lebowitz scrambled 26 yards on third-and-long into Bates territory, but a hit by Bobcats safety Joe Frake knocked him out of the game.

Backup Jack Meservy came in and guided Middlebury to 13 more points in the second quarter to give the Panthers a 27-0 lead.

Bates finally scored with 25 seconds left in the half when freshman quarterback Brendan Costa tossed a 7-yard pass to Marcus Ross, making it 27-7 at half. Passes to Jaason Lopez and Mickoy Nichol helped set up the score after a Frank Williams punt return started the Bobcats at the Panthers’ 47-yard line.


Costa completed 13-of-24 passes for 141 yards. It’s the first time this season the Bobcats have completed more than half of their passes in a game. Costa also ran 28 times for 131 yards. He has gained 301 yards over the past two games.

Bates scored again in the final minutes of the game when Bates’ freshman connection — Costa and Lopez — hooked up for a 16-yard score. It’s the third straight week Costa has thrown a touchdown pass to Lopez.

That decreased Middlebury’s lead to 43-14. The Panthers scored a touchdown (a 4-yard run by Peter Scibilia) and a field goal in the third quarter, and Will Jernigan, the fourth QB used by Middlebury (5-1), scored on a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Bates’ offense finished with 315 total yards, 174 rushing and 141 passing.

Frake led the Bobcats’ offense with 12 total tackles.

Punter Justin Foley averaged 43.7 yards per punt, with a long of 52 yards, and placed two inside the 20.

The Bobcats (0-6) play at Colby (0-6) next Saturday. Bates is chasing this fourth consecutive outright Colby-Bates-Bowdoin championship. The Bobcats host Bowdoin (0-6) on Nov. 4 and then finish the season at Hamilton (2-4). Hamilton’s two wins have come against Colby and Bowdoin.

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