The Williams football team crushed Bowdoin 42-0 in their season opener at Weston Field on Saturday. The win was the eleventh straight opening game victory for the Ephs, putting coach Dick Farley only three wins away from becoming the all-time winningest coach in Williams football history.
The Eph offense scored early and often. On their first possession, the mighty offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, and marched straight down the field. The drive culminated with a two-yard touchdown run by bruising running back Fred Storz ’01. Offensive coaches Mike Whalen and Dave Caputi showed their confidence in the Ephs’ abilities by attempting two fourth down conversions on the opening drive. The offense did not disappoint, converting them both for first downs.
The intensity heightened in the second period as Williams continued its effort to derail the self proclaimed “Bowdoin Buzz-Saw.” Williams began the quarter with a quick score, again by Storz. The touchdown was set up by a 34-yard catch by tight end Mike Cleary ’99, thrown by quarterback Sean Keenan ’00.
On Bowdoin’s next possession, the Eph defense stuffed Bowdoin, forcing the Polar Bears to punt, and then blocked the ensuing punt. Alexi Evriviades ’01 got a hand on the ball and gave the offense excellent field position.
The offense capitalized when Keenan threw the first of his three touchdown strikes, a 26-yard missile to senior co-captain Matt Sigrist. On the play, Keenan rolled to the right and found his favorite receiver breaking to the back of the end zone. With the extra point by Bob Kaufman ’01, Williams went up 21-0. Before halftime, linebacker Steve Bradley ’99 pounced on a fumble deep in Bowdoin territory.
The offense seized the opportunity to increase the lead. This time, receiver Andrew Jones ’00 (five catches, 76 yards, one TD) caught a Keenan pass on a slant route across the middle for the Ephs’ fourth touchdown of the afternoon. The extra point gave the Ephs a commanding 28-0 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter featured more of the same domination by Williams. Though Storz fumbled on the team’s first possession of the second half, the offense quickly responded with two more touchdowns. The first score came at the 6:36 minute mark in the third. Keenan came through with his final touchdown pass, a precision toss to receiver Matt Sigrist ’99, who made an acrobatic catch and tight-roped the line to stay in bounds.
The game’s final score came from the defense. Cornerback John Berry ’00 intercepted Bowdoin’s Hayes MacArthur and ran 34 yards through the Bears defense for the touchdown. Ephs Dan DiCenzo ’01 and Mike Hickey ’00 also had interceptions. Other defenders with big games were linemen Will O’Brien ’00 and John Lewis ’99 and linebacker Jim Thomas ’99.
While the score indicated a dominating win, Head Coach Dick Farley was not as ecstatic. “The team had too many turnovers and penalties and four turnovers won’t get it done in tight ball games.” Farley said he was “happy with the defense” and added that “the running and the passing game meshed themselves together well.”
The offensive leaders of the game were Keenan (17-32, 240 yards passing, three touchdowns), Storz (19 carries, 83 yards, two touchdowns), and Sigrist (seven catches, 77 yards, two touchdowns).
Captains Sigrist and center Ken Becker ’99 shared many of the same sentiments. Sigrist said, “the offense came together well and the defense was unbelievable. The coaches give us a chance to work as a unit and told us what [the other team] would throw at us.” Becker noted that “the victory helped the team get a little confidence and was a big win for both the seniors and the younger guys.” They both felt that the team had room to improve. Becker said, “with better execution we can create bigger plays and move to another level.”
This Saturday the Ephmen will host Trinity College, who beat Colby 21-7 on Saturday. Becker notes that “Trinity always plays us tough. We need to build upon what we did this weekend to win the game.” Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Weston Field.