WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College (3-2) defeated the Tufts University Jumbos (0-5) 38-17 scoring two late second quarter TDs in the final 2:55 of the period.
Junior return specialist Darren Hartwell broke a 14-14 tie with 2:55 left in the second quarter when he returned a Jumbo punt for 77 yards on a Williams school record jaunt. That was followed just two minutes later by a TD run of 3 yards by Marco Hernandez, giving the Ephs a 28-14 lead at the break.
Hartwell's record-breaking romp to the end zone broke a 10-year old Eph mark set by Scott Farley '03 in 2001 at Middlebury who went 73 yards for a score.
Eph head coach Aaron Kelton said after the game that the Ephs are closer than ever to reaching their potential: "We're only touching the outside of what we're able to do, but we played a great second half of football today, gentlemen," he told the team on the field after the game.
Williams was first to the scoreboard, off a 45-yard pass-play from QB Adam Marske to WR Tomas Kearney who was wide open behind the Tufts' secondary after a smooth play action fake by Marske. Joseph Mallock converted the PAT and just 2 minutes and twenty seconds into play the Ephs were on top 7-0.
A personal foul on Williams' senior DB, Ben Oliva, lent the Jumbos some yardage on their march to the end zone just over 3 minutes after the Eph TD. Ryan Pollock was able to finish of a 7-play 70-yard drive by the Jumbos with a 1-yard run. Adam Auerbach's PAT tied the game at 7 with only 4:42 elapsed.
In the second quarter the Ephs scored first only to have the Jumbos match that score. Eph Senior DB Dan O'Mara returned an interception 32 yards to the Tufts 9-yard line where the Ephs needed three plays to score. Marco Hernandez ran the final three yards for the tally. "When Tommy [Wohlwender] had to come out, I knew we could count on Marco," Kelton stated. "He's consistently given us results."
Mallock's PAT gave Williams a short-lived 14-7 lead at 14:55 of the second quarter.
Tufts answered the second Eph TD when at 7:56 QB Johnny Lindquist completed an 11-yard pass to Pat Nee for their second touchdown. Auerbach secured his second PAT and the Jumbos and Ephs were tied at 14. The Nee TD catch completed a 12-play, 75-yard drive by Tufts.
With less than three minutes left on the clock in the first half, Eph junior return specialist Darren Hartwell caught a punt at the 23-yard line and took two quick steps to the left and then burst through a hole going to the right and went for a Williams record-breaking 77 yards to pay dirt. Mallock secured his third PAT and the Ephs were up seven, 21-14.
The Ephs established control of the contest when after forcing the Jumbos into a 3 and out offensive series they fashioned a 5-play 67-yard TD drive. Williams scored with just 44 seconds left in the half on a 1-yard run by Marco Hernandez. Mallock's PAT gave the Ephs a 14-point cushion at the half 28-14.
Neither squad was able to score in the third period, but the Ephs broke out early in the fourth with a second touchdown for Hartwell. Just eight seconds into the 4th quarter Adam Marske threw a pass to Darren Hartwell in the right flat and Hartwell stepped around one Jumbo defender and the outran the rest of the Jumbos' defense to score from 33 yards. Mallock's fifth straight PAT lifted the Ephs to a 35-14 lead.
Mallock then drilled a 36-yard field goal with 8:31 left in the final quarter to complete the Eph scoring parade.
The Jumbos finished the scoring in the game when Adam Auerbach kicked a 35-yard FG with 1:35 left to make the final score 38-17.
"The first half, we played average but in the second half we played like we're capable of playing." Kelton said. "They only got those three points up on the board and that was our goal: to not let them score in those final quarters. We stepped up to that challenge in the second half, but we've got to start better on defense."
The Ephs rushed for 115 yards to the Jumbos' 40. Their total of 210 net yards passing also topped the Jumbo total of 150. The Ephs averaged a 6.5 yards gained per play; the Jumbos average was calculated at 2.6.
Marco Hernandez led the Ephs with 21 attempts for a net total of 65 yards. Ryan Pollock topped the charts for the Jumbos, rushing for a net total of 66 yards.
Eph QB, Adam Marske, connected 10 of 17 passes for 210 yards and two TDs. His Jumbo counterpart, Johnny Lindquist, completed 17of 29 pass attempts for a total of 150 yards and one touchdown. "I thought Adam did a good job managing the game today," Kelton said. "He did make some mistakes, but he's getting better each week and it's good to know that he'll be a really great player for us in the future."
Defensively, the Ephs featured a surprising standout in backup LB Emmanuel Whyte, who topped the charts with 9 solo tackles and two assists. "Emmanuel's a talented guy," noted Kelton. "We always knew he'd be able to do it; we'll be sure to get him on the field more," Kelton said of Whyte's performance.
The Ephs are scheduled to take on the Hamilton College Continentals next Saturday on Weston Field. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.