The New England Small College Athletic Conference football season is half complete, and the first month was a rough one for Colby. The Mules are 1-3, with lopsided losses in each of their last three games. Colby is next to last in total offense and total defense in the conference. There’s plenty to improve on, coach Jonathan Michaeles said, but there’s been some positives he thinks the Mules can use as building blocks for the second half of the season.

“One thing these guys have done, they haven’t lost their focus. There’s been no finger pointing, no attempt to allocate blame. Only accountability,” Michaeles said. “That’s one thing we can use to fuel the second half.”

Traditionally, Colby’s schedule is front-loaded with some of the top teams in the conference, and this season is no different. Colby’s first four opponents — Williams, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Amherst — are a combined 10-6, with four of those losses belonging to winless Williams. The Mules close the season against Hamilton (1-3), Bates (1-3), Tufts (3-1), and Bowdoin (0-4).

As good as the team’s attitude may be, that has to translate to improvement on the field. In that regard, Michaeles said the Mules need to start extending drives. The Mules are just 20 for 64 in converting third downs.

“We’ve played well in spurts, but we’re not converting the big play,” Michaeles said.

Injuries on the offensive line and at quarterback have been a factor. Returing starting quarterback Gabe Harrington was injured in the opener at Williams. Junior Christian Sparacio is learning on the job, completing 55.2 percent of his passes for 324 yards. The run game has sputtered, averaging just 2.4 yards per carry.

“We have to start running the ball,” Michaeles said.

• • •

With last week’s big Eastern Collegiate Football Conference win at Castleton, Husson climbed in the latest National Football Foundation New England poll. The Eagles (5-1) are ranked fifth in the nation, jumping up from eighth. The four teams ranked ahead of Husson — Western New England, Salve Regina, Trinity, and Middlebury — are each undefeated.

Allowing just 167.2 yards per game on average, Husson is ranked second in Division III in total defense. With 3.4 sacks per game, Husson is 16th in the nation.

Offensively, Husson running back John Smith is ninth in the nation in rushing yards per game, 144.

Husson hosts ECFC rival Anna Maria on Saturday afternoon.

• • •

Dennis Dottin-Carter, a former University of Maine linebacker, was named interim head coach at Delaware this week, following the firing of former head coach Dave Brock on Sunday.

Dottin-Carter was the Blue Hens co-defensive coordinator before the sudden promotion, and is in his fourth year on the Delaware coaching staff.

As a player for the Black Bears, Dottin-Carter helped Maine win back-to-back Atlantic 10 titles in 2001 and 2002. He was named all-conference as a linebacker in 2002.

Dottin-Carter began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2008, serving as tight ends coach. Dottin-Carter will make his head coaching debut at home Saturday when Delaware (2-4) hosts Stony Brook.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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