WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – After giving up 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, the Williams Ephs (1-4) held the Tufts Jumbos (0-5) to only 7 points in the second half, while putting up 25 to win their first game this season 49-35.
After a 9-yard TD run by Tufts QB Alex Snyder to cap their first drive, the Ephs sprinted ahead with 24 unanswered points, outscoring each of their games so far this season just in the first quarter.
With 6:14 remaining in the first quarter, Ephs QB Adam Marske threw a 27-yard touchdown pass out of a collapsing pocket to TE Alex Way. Then, after forcing a punt, the Ephs marched up the field, assisted by a 29-yard screen pass to Steven Kiesel and a 16-yard run by Alex Scyocurka. The drive culminated in a 13-yard reverse touchdown run around the right end by Williams WR Richie Beaton with 0:54 remaining in the quarter, putting the Ephs up 14-7.
On the ensuing Jumbo drive, Eph DB Nathan Saffold intercepted a pass that had been knocked out of a Jumbo receiver's hands by a forceful hit from a Eph defender and ran it into the end zone untouched to bring the score to 21-7 with 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
This momentum did not carry into the second quarter, however. After trading punts, Eph kicker Joe Mallock made a 32-yard field goal with 8:19 left in the half. The Jumbos then scored 21 unanswered points, starting with a 14-yard TD pass from Snyder to Jumbo WR Nick Kenyon (6:19) at the end of a 66-yard drive.
After an interception by Tufts DB Junior Arroyo on the first play of the ensuing Eph drive, Snyder delivered another touchdown pass, this time an 11-yard throw to WR Greg Lanzillo (5:10).
Following a fumble by Eph RB Alex Scyocurka, the Jumbos marched up the field utilizing quick passes and draws. Despite a sack by Williams DE Mike Flynn for a 13-yard loss, Tufts recovered, scoring with a 3-yard TD pass to Ben Berey (1:07). Penalties and two turnovers kept the Ephs from breaking the Jumbos' scoring streak, and the half expired with the score 28-24, Tufts.
Halftime provided the Ephs with the break they needed to stop the Jumbos. According to Eph head coach Aaron Kelton, "We just went back to playing football." The Williams defense did not give up any points in the third quarter, allowing RB Marco Hernandez to take the lead back for Williams with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:15 remaining, leaving the score 31-28.
On the ensuing Jumbo possession, a critical 2nd down sack by James Howe, one of his 4 in the game, led to a punt. A 14-yard screen pass to Steven Kiesel and a 15-yard rush to the right side by Alex Scyocurka set up a 23-yard field goal by Joe Mallock, extending the Ephs' lead to 34-28.
The Ephs enjoyed tremendous success with screen passes, with Kiesel and WR Jeff Brewington the favorite targets: each of them had over 80 yards receiving. Talking about the screen pass, Kiesel said, "We put that in a couple weeks ago, and then today was a big breakout day when we finally realized what we could do with it."
Following a shanked punt on the next Jumbo possession, Alex Scyocurka caught a 9-yard touchdown pass and then converted a 2-point play, putting the Ephs up 42-28 with 11:49 remaining in the game.
The central play of that drive was a 21-yard bootleg pass from QB Adam Marske to WR Jeff Brewington, a play Marske utilized throughout the game. Marske said, "I definitely feel comfortable on the run; it's easier to see things out there, to see the play develop."
After trading punts, Tufts was able to capitalize on a facemask penalty against Williams with a 41-yard pass from QB Alex Snyder to WR Greg Lanzillo, Snyder's fourth touchdown and Lanzillo's 2nd, bring the Jumbos to within 7, 42-35.
Answering the Jumbo touchdown, the Ephs drove down the field on their next possession from their own 33, helped along by a 15-yard rush by RB Marco Hernandez and a 27-yard screen pass to WR Darrias Sime. The drive was capped by a 3-yard TD run by Alex Scyocurka, leaving the Jumbos two touchdowns behind, with just over two minutes remaining.
Tufts was unable to score on their final drive, despite a 27-yard catch by Greg Lanzillo and a 17-yard completion to WR Nick Kenyon. Following a turnover-on-downs deep in Williams territory, Eph QB Adam Marske knelt twice, ending the game and giving Williams the victory 49-35. Williams' 49 points was more than they had scored in their four previous games combined.
Each team found the vast majority of their offensive success in the air. Eph QB Adam Marske went 27-45 for a career-high 342 yards with 2 touchdowns and two interceptions, while Jumbo QB Adam Snyder put on an impressive debut performance, going 22-46 for 302 yards, with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Tufts WR Greg Lanzillo led the Jumbo receiving corps, notching 102 yards receiving on 6 catches with 2 touchdowns. The Ephs had four receivers with over 50 yards receiving, highlighted by Steven Kiesel (8 receptions) and Jeff Brewington, who averaged a remarkable 21.5 yards per catch.
Leading the Ephs' rushing attack was RB Alex Scyocurka, who ran for 98 yards on 27 attempts. Tufts' leading rusher was RB Zack Trause, who had 79 yards on 15 carries.
LB Matt McCormack led the Jumbos in tackles with 9. McCormack and DB Junior Arroyo also contributed interceptions. The Ephs' defensive line kept the pressure on the Jumbos' quarterback, sacking him 8 times. Williams DL James Howe had 4 of those sacks and 8 total tackles, while DB Nathan Saffold returned an interception for a touchdown.
The Eph offensive line, made up of only freshmen and sophomores this year, only allowed one sack. Both Coach Kelton and QB Adam Marske praised the line's performance, with Marske calling them "the key to the game."
Next week, Williams will host Hamilton at Weston Field, while Tufts will host Amherst.