Williams Beats Bates 16-14 in Home Opener

Mark Pomella '16
Mark Pomella '16

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA-- With time winding down in the first half, senior quarterback Austin Lommen found senior receiver Darrias Sime with a three-yard touchdown pass to give Williams the lead, which the Ephs would hold on to for the remainder of the game to give them a 16-14 win over Bates.

Williams got the scoring started when sophomore running back Connor Harris found the end zone on a two-yard touchdown run with 4:01 left in the first quarter. The Ephs took a 6-0 lead due to a missed extra point.

The Bobcats answered with a short touchdown run of their own when junior running back Ivan Reese punched in a one-yard touchdown and the successful PAT gave Bates a 7-6 lead with 9:35 to play in the first half.

With 4:46 left in the half it appeared Williams would regain the lead, but Bates junior defensive back Trevor Lyons forced a Williams fumble on the one-yard line, which would be recovered by Bates' junior defensive lineman Tucker Oniskey. to

Down 16-7 after a Williams touchdown, Bates was able to drive the ball to the Williams 12-yard line. However, the drive was stifled when senior linebacker Jack Ryan recovered a fumble in the Bates backfield.

"We did a lot of work on getting the ball out this week in practice and guys just flew around and made plays.," said eph senior defensive end Jack Ryan. "It wasn't always the first guy in there that got the ball out. It was the second, third, or fourth guy flying in there and making a good hit," said Ryan about his team's ability to force fumbles.

The Bobcats cut the Williams lead to 16-14 when sophomore Frank Williams received the pitch on an option and found the end zone from two-yards out.

The Ephs were able to cling to their two-point lead and hold Bates on their final offensive possession, which ended with a Jack Ryan sack on fourth down that turned the ball over on downs and sealed the victory for the Ephs.

"I just thought that this was a team win," said Eph head coach Aaron Kelton. "We had some good drives on offense, we stalled a couple times, we put it on the ground, but the guys persevered through the mistakes and they were resilient. They were going to win the game and guys made plays. For Jack [Ryan] at the end of the game to get a big sack was a huge play for us."

Williams was able to move the ball effectively through the air. Austin Lommen threw for 309 yards and a touchdown, while spreading the ball around to multiple Ephs receivers, four of which recorded five or more receptions. Senior receiver Mark Pomella led the Ephs in receiving yards with 86.

"They are a team that likes to bring a lot of pressure so first we needed our offensive line to hold up and give Austin some time to throw the ball down the field, which they did," notred WR Mark Pomella. "They did a great job." Pomella also acknowledged the experience of the receiving corps stating, "We were using all senior receivers today and it seemed like everyone was in the right place at the right time." 

Bates, utilizing their triple option offense, was able to move the ball well on the ground and rushed for 232 yards, while passing for 66 yards on the day. Williams rushed for 46 total yards.

Sophomore linebacker Max Breschi led Bates with 11 tackles including six solos. Sophomore linebacker Eric Berry and senior Elijah Eaton each notched 10 tackles with five and six solos respectively to lead the Williams defense.

This win improves Williams to 2-1 and drops Bates to 0-3 on the season. Williams will travel to Middlebury to take on the Panthers next weekend and Bates will also be on the road to take on Wesleyan.

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