WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Back home for the first time in three weeks, the Williams College Ephs (2-1) faced the Bates College Bobcats (0-3). Coming into the game, the Ephs had led the series 23-6; however, the Bobcats had gotten the better of the Ephs in four of their last five contests. This time, fate was on the Ephs' side, as they won the game 47-14. This was the first time that Williams had gone over 40 points since 2013, when the team beat Tufts 49-35.
The Ephs deferred on the coin toss, giving Bates the ball to start the game. As has been the case all season, Williams was strong on defense, forcing a quick 3-and-out. The Eph offense built on this stop on the ensuing possession, attacking the Bobcats' defense with creative run plays. On one play, quarterback Bobby Maimaron '21 handed the ball off to fellow first year Rashad Morrison, who streaked down the sideline for 33 yards to the Bates' 16-yard line. This set up a QB rush two plays later by Maimaron, who streaked 15 yards through the defense for a score.
The lead would not last long, however. The Eph defense again was strong against the run, forcing a 3rd and long. However, a mistake in the secondary allowed receiver Jason Lopez to have no opposition as he caught Brendan Costa's pass and ran the ball all the way into the end zone, completing an 80-yard play. After only five minutes, the game already had two touchdowns.
After an Ephs' 3-and-out, Bates had the ball at their own 48. On their first play, Bates ran a pass play. Quarterback Brendan Costa's throw was slightly behind his intended receiver, allowing Jack Kastenhuber '21 to come up with the miscue. It was Williams' first interception of the season, and put the Ephs in good field position. This was helped by a 30-yard rush by Connor Harris '18, who barreled through the middle of the field, carrying 4 Bobcat defenders with him for the final 10 yards before going down at the Bates 26. The defense put up a fight, however, stopping the Ephs and forcing a field goal attempt. First year kicker Min Kyu Park's attempt went wide left, however, keeping the score even at 7. The score stayed this way for the rest of the first quarter.
As soon as the 2nd quarter began, however, the Ephs offense began rolling. They started with the ball at their own 33, and then let Harris go to work. He rattled off a 9-yard rush, followed by a 5-yard rush. On the 3rd play, Maimaron elected to keep it himself, gaining 14 yards. Then, set up by a strong ground game; Maimaron completed a pass to Kyle Horihan '20, who ran it forward for 16 yards. Unfortunately, the Ephs couldn't keep it going once inside the red zone, leading to another field goal attempt. This time, Park made good on his chance, giving his team the lead in the process.
On the following drive, the Bobcats continued to try to set up their run game; however, the Ephs defense was up to the task. They had only allowed 11 rushing yards all game, and this did not change on this drive. Combined with a holding penalty, and Bates was caught between a rock and a hard place, having to pass against a defense who expected nothing else. On 2nd and 24, Costa launched a ball downfield, but was hit hard in the process, taking some distance off of the throw. This allowed TJ Rothman '21 to step up and intercept the ball, giving back possession around midfield.
Again, the men were efficient heading to the red zone, but were forced to deal with another 4th down. However, with only 1 yard to go, head coach Mark Raymond and his staff decided to go for it. Just before they ran a play, though, they were called for a false start (their 7th penalty of the half), and were forced to attempt a field goal. Park could not make this one, though, giving the ball back to the Bobcats with the score still being 10-7.
After forcing another punt, the men got the ball back at their own 38. Led at first by end around runs by Rashad Morrison, and then passes by Maimaron, the Ephs worked their way again into the red zone. The Bobcats defense had proven to be tough in their own territory, which had prevented Williams from breaking the game open in their favor. This time, however, Maimaron heaved the ball into the end zone while rolling out, seemingly with no other option besides throwing it away, giving his 6'3" receiver Joey Volpe '19 a chance to make a play. Volpe leaped above the defense, caught the ball, and planted his feet in bounds for the score. This crucial touchdown came with only 36 seconds left in the half, providing a huge boost going into the half.
Although the offense was impressive, the defense was even more so. Taking away the 80-yard score, the defense only allowed 17 yards the whole half, stifling any Bates effort to turn the game in their favor. Despite this, the game was still within reach for the Bobcats, who were only down 10 points.
Keeping the pressure on, though, the Ephs picked up right where they left off. Receiving to start the second half, the men started at their own 42. Connor Harris continued his strong game, rushing for 14 yards. Soon after, Maimaron found Frank Stola '21 streaking downfield, beating the defense by way of a perfectly placed throw. Stola needed to run only a few more yards to find the end zone and complete the 55-yard play.
On the ensuing drive, Bates got a first down on a rush by Brendon Costa. This was their first time they had gotten a new set of downs since the 80-yard touchdown pass at the beginning of the game. Soon facing a 3rd down yet again, the Bobcats were forced to throw. The ball flew over the intended receiver, and fell into Rothman's hands for his second interception. He initially ran the ball all the way back to the end zone, but there was an illegal block that brought the ball back to the Bates 29. Even so, the offense took advantage. After a 4-yard run by TJ Dozier '21, the Ephs handed the ball off to Rashad Morrison, who had been torching the defense on his WR runs. This was the case again, as he took the ball 25 yards for a score. This extended the lead to 24 points, as the score was now 31-7 Ephs.
Yet even now, the Ephs were not done. On the following Bates possession, Jameson DeMarco '19 batted a ball up in the air, tracked it down, and then intercepted it. This was the team's fourth interception of the day, after having none in the first 3 games. The offense, now starting on the Bates 17-yard line, were stopped by the staunch Bates red zone defense, forcing another field goal. Min Kyu Park converted on the attempt, his 3rd field goal of the day, making the score 34-7.
The Bobcats used another big play to add to their total after being outscored 17-0 in the half. Quarterback Matt Golden ran for 62 yards before just being caught at the Williams 30. Golden also ran a few more times, bringing his team closer and closer to the goal line. Then, a pass interference penalty in the end zone put the ball at the 2 yard-line, which the Bobcats promptly ran in.
The day, however, belonged to the home team. Williams would go on to score two more touchdowns, one on a rush by TJ Dozier, and one on a 77-yard completion to Stola. The latter seemed to be a normal short catch, but the Bates defender failed to bring Stola down on his tackle, and from there he was off to the races. This completed another huge day for Stola, who had 7 catches for 172 yards and two scores.
Eph head coach Mark Raymond credited the Eph win to, "Outstanding leadership that helped us keep our poise and keep playing. Everyone did their jobs this week and today from the assistant coaches to the players. It was an outstanding team effort. Our defense prepared well all week for the Bates triple option and it showed today."
The Ephs had 578 yards of total offense on the day, including 27 first downs, while Bates had 229. Quarterback Bobby Maimaron was 17 for 24, with 282 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Bates quarterback had Brendan Costa had 1 touchdown on 98 yards passing and 4 interceptions. Connor Harris and Rashad Morrison had 83 and 85 yards rushing, respectively, to lead the Ephs rushing, while Matt Golden led the way for Bates with 80 yards rushing. Stola led the Ephs in receiving, while Jason Lopez had 80 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Bobcats.
The Eph defense was led by first year linebackers Jarrett Wesner who notched nine tackles and TJ Rothmann had two interceptions. Jon Lindgren and Max Breschi had 11 tackles each for the Bobcats. There were no sacks in the game.
The Ephs (3-1) will look to build on their impressive turn around season next week at Middlebury (4-0). The game will begin at 2:00 PM.