MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Williams gained 280 yards on the ground with five rushing touchdowns on its way to a 48-21 win at Middlebury (1-3). The Panthers gained 556 yards of total offense (6.3/play) on the afternoon, but struggled to maintain the Eph offense, which gained 494 yards on 67 plays (7.4/play). Middlebury returns to action next Saturday at Bates, while Williams (2-2) will host Tufts.
Williams opened the scoring on a one-play drive as Tom Wholwender took a hand-off and scampered 62 yards for a touchdown at the 9:08 mark of the first quarter. The Panthers drove to the Williams 26 on their ensuing drive, but Dan O'Mara picked off a pass at the 11-yard line.
The Ephs tried a pooch punt on a 4th and 23 play from the Middlebury 37, but the ball hit an offensive lineman and was recovered at the Middlebury 37. The Panthers drove all the way to the Williams' one-yard line, before turning the ball over on a fumble. The Ephs went three and out, leaving Middlebury the ball on the Williams 38. McCallum Foote hit tight end Billy Chapman once for 12 yards and again for a 13-yard scoring strike as the Panthers tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Williams answered when Adam Marske found J.C. Stickney for a 48-yard completion before Wohlwender scored from one yard out. Middlebury came right back with a 16-yard connection from Foote to Nick Resor and a 15-yard strike to Zach Driscoll before Remi Ashkar scored from one yard out to tie the game at 14-14.
The Ephs took a 21-14 lead into the halftime break, after a late drive that saw a 35-yard rush from Wohlwender before he scored from five yards out.
Williams received the second half kick-off, scoring one play later with a 56-yard connection from Marske to Darren Hartwell to take a 27-14 advantage.
Following a Middlebury punt, Williams drove 54 yards on seven plays to increase its lead to 34-14 on a three-yard rush from Marco Hernanez.
Middlebury answered when Ashkar broke away from the pack, sprinting down the middle of the field for a 41-yard touchdown rush at the 7:07 mark of the third.
Leading 34-21 in the fourth, the Ephs gained some breathing room with 6:01 to play when Marske hit Darren Hartwell for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Middlebury returned the favor on its next drive, as Foote hit Driscoll for 34 yards before connecting with Resor for a three-yard scoring strike.
After a failed onside kick, Williams drove just 41 yards for its next score, with Hernandez making it a 48-28 final with a five-yard scamper.
Foote finished 33 of 52 for 409 yards with a pair of touchdowns and one interception for the Panthers. Resor caught 11 passes for 130 yards with a touchdown, Chapman earned nine receptions for 96 yards with a score, while Driscoll caught eight balls for 123 yards. Ashkar earned his third 100 yard rushing game of the season, gaining 132 yards on 31 carries with two scores. Andrew Donnelly led the Middlebury defense with a dozen tackles including a sack, while Zach Roeder made 10 stops.
Marske completed 9 of 19 passes for 214 yards with a pair of touchdowns for the Ephs. Hernandez fished the day with 133 yards on 24 carries with two scores, while Wohlwender earned 122 yards on 13 rushes with three touchdowns. Hartwell led the Williams' receivers with six catches for 134 yards with two touchdowns, while Greg Payton averaged 39.2 yards over four kick-off returns. Chris Cameron and Dylan Schultz each had 10 tackles, while Ben Oliva earned nine with three pass break-ups.