Williams College Football History

 
 1989: The first perfect season. Coach: Dick Farley

The 2009 season will mark the 126th season of football at Williams College, and the Ephs past is as illustrious as its present and its future.

When the Ephs kickoff the 2009 season in Waterville, ME vs. Colby College it will mark the 1,000th game in Eph history.

Through its first 999 games Williams has compiled an impressive overall record of 609-343-47 (.633), ranking the Ephs fifth all-time in Division III winning percentage among teams with at least 500 wins.

The 2008 Ephs fashioned a 6-2 record and won their fourth consecutive Little Three title and the Class of 2009 graduated with four consecutive wins over Amherst in "The Biggest Little Game in America." Senior co-captain Brian Morrissey graduated as the Ephs' all-time leading rusher in Division III play with 2,682 yards. He also finished third in scoring with 184 points on 30 TDs and two 2-point conversions.

Williams began play in 1881 and its rivalry with fellow New England Small College Athletic Conference foe Amherst College is one of the longest at any level of college football.

Over the past 121 seasons, the Ephs have constructed six perfect 8-0 seasons, the sixth and most recent coming in 2006. That was the first time Williams went 8-0 under head coach Mike Whalen, who is 32-8 (.800) after his first four seasons at the helm of the program.

Whalen’s predecessor was the legendary Dick Farley (1986-2003) who was the architect of the first five 8-0 seasons (1989, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2001) in the program’s history. Farley finished with a career record of 114-19-3 (.849) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

In the 1990s the Ephs were second in winning percentage of all teams in NCAA Division III (.888), trailing only Mount Union (.941), posting a record of 70-8-2 during the 1990s. With 597 wins the Ephs are fourth in wins in NCAA Division III play and have the most wins of any New England Division III team.

The Ephs 500th victory was a 28-23 homecoming victory over Wesleyan on Weston Field, November 7, 1992. Williams recorded its 600th win with a 34-13 triumphant over a previously undefeated Tufts team on Weston Field on October 20, 2007.


2006: Coach Mike Whalen doused by
Chris Kenney '07 -- 6th perfect season

The tradition of success has continued since the turn of the century as the Ephs have gone 52-12 (.813) over the past eight years, winning three NESCAC titles in the process and six Little 3 titles in that span, four outright.

The Ephs had their fifth perfect season, and last under Farley, in 2001 when Tyler Shea scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of a 23-20 win over Amherst. The sixth perfect season came in the fall of 2006, under Whalen.

The Ephs never faltered, finishing the season with a NESCAC-high average margin of victory of 25.3 points. Along the way, Williams downed Wesleyan (51-21) and Amherst (37-7) for the Little Three Title. The Ephs also captured the NESCAC championship, thanks in part to a historic week two victory over Trinity.

In that 41-16 triumph, the Ephs snapped Trinity’s 31-game winning streak dating back to 2002. The Bantams’ win streak was the longest in the nation at the time at any level.

Senior wide receiver Jon Drenckhahn broke Williams' all-time record for career receptions, grabbing 51 passes this season to finish with a total of 135. Fellow senior wide receiver Brendan Fulmer scored 8 receiving touchdowns this season, tying the Williams single-season record and giving him a Williams all-time record career total of 18. Both wideouts were First Team All-NESCAC selections.

Junior quarterback Pat Lucey was named the NESCAC’s Offensive Player of the Year. Senior center Chris Kenney anchored a solid offensive line that gave up just 7 sacks throughout the season, while allowing for many impressive outings in the air. Kenney was named to the All-NESCAC First Team, Div. II-III All-New England Team, First Team ECAC-Northeast and to the D3football.com All-East First Team. He was also selected to represent the U.S. in the 2006 Aztec Bowl.

On the other side of the ball, the Ephs' defense broke the Williams all-time record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a season, allowing just 491. Senior linebacker and First Team All-NESCAC selection Jon Dolan finished second on the team in tackles, with 36 (21 solo and 2 for a loss).

The 2007 Ephs stumbled out of the gate and lost at Bowdoin and then lost a triple OT heart breaker at Trinity 46-40, before re-grouping to win their final six games. The win streak started with a 31-26 win over Bates. Next the Ephs went on the road and downed undefeated Middlebury 30-22 and topped undefeated Tufts at home 34-13, for the program's 600th win. Hamilton was the next to fall, 34-9 on Weston Field.

Williams opened Little Three play with a 33-13 win in Middletown, CT over Wesleyan, setting the stage for "The Biggest Little Game in America" vs. Amherst to decide the Little Three championship.

The atmosphere surrounding 122nd meeting between Williams and Amherst on Weston Field was even more electric than usual with the arrival of ESPN's College GameDay Show on the morning of the game and the New England Sports Network (NESN) providing the live coverage.

This marked the first time that ESPN's College GameDay had been televised from a Division III school and it was the 150th edition of the Saturday show that is now a morning ritual for serious college football fans.

Highlights from coach Whalen's inspiring pre-game speech and the GameDay show at Williams can be seen here.

 
Lee Corso draws a smile from Kirk
Herbstreit as he dons the purple
cow head. Photo by Caroline
Bonniver, Berkshire Eagle

Heeding the instructions of Coach Whalen's pre-game speech, the Ephs were focused all game long and they blanked Amherst 20-0 to wrap up the Little Three title and ensure the team would embark on "The Walk." The win also marked the third straight Little Three title and third straight win over Amherst for the Ephs.

Williams led NESCAC in virtually every offensive category and the Ephs fielded the top passer, runner, receiver and all-purpose performer. Offensively the Ephs topped NESCAC in points (29.5), total yards per game (436.1), passing yards per game (253.2), and rushing (182.9).

Senior QB Pat Lucey was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row and was named the Joe Zabilski Award winner as the top offensive player in New England Div. II-III play. Lucey connected on 61.4% of his passes for 1,959 yards and 16 TDs. Junior RB Brian Morrissey led NESCAC in rushing with an average of 117.4 a game and 939 yards on the year. Senior Kevin Flynn led in all-purpose yards racking up 1,079 in rushing, receiving, and punt and kick returns and junior Ryan Powell snared a league best 54 passes. Powell averaged 6.75 catches a game and gained 742 yards, scoring four TDs.

First Team All-NESCAC: Lucey, Morrissey, Flynn, Powell, junior OT John Szawlowski, defensive lineman Andrew DeSalvo and junior LB Trevor Powers.

Second Team All- NESCAC: junior offensive lineman Henry Szawlowski and junior DB Tim Batty.

First Team ECAC-Northeast: Lucey, Morrissey, John Szawlowski, and Flynn

Div.II-III All New England: John Szawlowski