LEWISTON, ME – Bates College (2-1) took advantage of a Williams College (1-2) offense riddled with turnovers, topping the Ephs 33-6. Today's match-up was the Bobcats first home-game victory against the Ephs in 13 tries. It is also the first time Bates has topped Williams in consecutive seasons in a series that the Ephs lead 22-3.
The Bobcats capitalized on a shaky Eph offense early in the first period, shutting down Williams' second offensive drive after only one play. Senior linebacker Joe Dell'Erario forced a fumble on a five-yard rush by junior running back, Marco Hernandez'14. The Hernandez fumble was recovered by Bobcat Josh Chronopoulos`13 at the Williams' 36-yard line.
Bates quarterback Trevor Smith '13 established more momentum for the Bobcats connecting a 36-yard scoring pass to Kevin Davis '14. After a successful PAT by Charlie Donahue '14, the Bobcats led 7-0 five minutes into play. "Every turnover hurts us; this turnover was just the most obvious," Eph head coach Aaron Kelton said.
Williams regained possession only to stop themselves again as passes to Tim Morris'13 and Sam Krieg'13 fell incomplete. The 8-play, 48-yard drive was shut down when QB Adam Marske's pass intended for Jeff Brewington'14 was nabbed out of the air by Bates' first-year, Michael Lee'16.
"Right now we're just not consistent enough," Kelton stated. "Especially at the beginning of this game, we were not good at protecting ourselves and we were certainly not great at protecting that football."
The Ephs' second drive in the period was for a loss of three yards. Joe Mallock'14 then unleashed a 61-yard punt to try and relieve some of the pressure, but the Bobcats responded with an 11-play drive, mostly on the ground and got a 29-yard field goal from Donahue to build a 17-0 lead,
The Ephs were unable to respond to the Bates FG as an Adam Marske pass was again intercepted, this time by Andrew Kukesh '14. Bates took a 17-0 lead into intermission.
Bates received the kickoff in the second half and began their first series on their own 25. The phalanx of George, Smith and Downs delivered on the ground as Bates rushed 12 times in 13 plays to post their fourth score of the day. George capped it off with a final 1-yard push to the end zone and the Donahue PAT gave Bates a 24-0 cushion.
The Ephs were silenced again by their own mistakes on the following drive, a three and out. Bates then needed only eight plays to score as Pat George was again a force to be reckoned with on the ground, but it was a Smith to Davis 5-yard touchdown pass that pushed the Bates lead to 30. Donahue's PAT was blocked by the Ephs' defensive line.
Bates ran their skein of unanswered points to 33 at 13:07 of the fourth quarter when Charlie Donahue nailed a 28-yard field goal.
Eph sophomore quarterback Tom Murphy '15 entered the game for the final 10 minutes, leading the Williams offense to its first successful drive of the game. Murphy had a key 5-yard run that set up Kristian LaPointe for a 1-yard TD run. Murphy's failed two-point conversion attempt left the score at 33-6, Bates. "That's the guy [Murphy] who we're going to put the pressure on to make plays and do the right thing," Kelton commented.
Bates quarterback, Trevor Smith, completed 12 of 14 passes for a total of 115 yards and 2 TDs. Williams' Adam Marske connected on 9 of 24 for 86 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions.
The Bobcats' ground game was led by Patrick George, who had 20 rushes for 92 yards, while Trevor Smith had 18 carries for 90 yards.
Kristian LaPointe topped the charts for the Ephs, rushing 18 times for 76 yards.
Bates had 262 yards on the ground, while Williams had 102.
Bates wide receiver, Kevin Davis, snagged 3 passes for 62 yards and 2 TDs, while the Ephs' Jeff Brewington caught 1 for 25 yards.
The Bates defense was led by Mike Kelleher and Kyle Starr; Kelleher with 5 solos and 3 assists, Starr with 4 and 1. Chris Cameron and Chris Kim led the Williams effort again today. Cameron had 8 solos and 1 assist, and Kim contributed 5 solos and 2 assists.
"It's not about what Bates did," noted Kelton. "We turned the ball over. It's just one of the games, which is a reflection of where we are as a team. We have yet to put a full game together.
The Bobcats dedicated today's win to first-year wide receiver, Troy Pappas '16, who passed away yesterday after an injury sustained last week. The team competed today with his number, 8, on each of their helmets.
Kelton is looking forward to "going back to the basics" this week during practice. "It all just comes down to consistency in practice and we will get that this week," he said. "We're gearing up for Saturday, where we will be more reliable."
Next the Ephs will take on the Middlebury Panthers (3-0) on Saturday at Weston Field at 1:30 PM.