In a game contested in monsoon-like conditions last Saturday, the Williams football posted its third victory in as many tries, shutting out Bates College on the road 27-0. The win was career victory 76 for head coach Dick Farley, putting him only one win away from becoming the most accomplished coach in Williams football history. He is currently tied for the top spot with Charley Caldwell.
Played in Lewiston, Maine, the game took place in horrendous weather and the elements dictated both sides’ styles of play throughout the game. Center, and tri-captain, Ken Becker ’99 observed that “it was often difficult to get a great line push with maybe a half an inch of standing water on the field.” “The elements were not conducive to playing football,” commented Farley. “It was not an artistic game,” he added. Nonetheless, the Ephs brought their typical business-like attitude to the field and did what they had to do to win the ball game.
Since the conditions weren’t favorable for a passing attack, the offense took to the ground, and the team finished with a total of 188 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. Fred Storz ’01 led the Ephs in rushing, finishing with 113 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. On his big game, Storz commented “it was my kind of weather. I figured we would run the ball a lot and I just kept it going straight.”
From the start the Ephs showed that the long trip to Maine and the inclement weather couldn’t phase them, and they preceded to score the first two times they touched the ball. “We wanted to set the tone for the game and not let up,” said Storz on the Ephs’ first quarter. Senior fullback Mike McAdam scored the opening touchdown on a 13 yard run. He gave the Ephs a 6-0 lead with 8:19 left in the first quarter. Four minutes later, after the Eph defense forced its second consecutive three and out, quarterback Sean Keenan ’00 took a keeper in from four yards out on a broken play to up the Williams lead to 12-0.
Later, at the start of the second quarter, Storz notched his touchdown, his fourth on the season, a two yard burst through the Bates line. The score was set up by an interception deep in Bates territory by linebacker Chris Hale ’00. With the score 19-0 midway through the game, the Ephs continued their trend of taking a huge lead into halftime. The previous two weeks the Ephs held 28-0 and 27-0 halftime leads against Bowdoin and Trinity, respectively.
The lone Williams score in the second half was posted by running back Paul Bethe ’00 on a one-yard dive in the fourth quarter. With Matt Sigrist’s ’99 catch for a two point conversion, the scoreboard showed Williams 27, Bates 0, which was also the final.
Keenan finished 10 for 18 on the day for 136 yards. Sigrist snared five balls for 66 yards, and tight end David Nemeskal caught three for 27 yards.
Though the conditions hampered the offense’s play making, the defense seemed unfazed, coming through with its second shutout of the year. Linebacker Louis Moll ’01 had a big game, posting six tackles and snagging an interception. Others who made big plays were safety Dan DiCenzo ’01, who had his second fumble recovery in as many weeks, and Peter Hajjar ’99, who recorded his first interception of the season.
This Saturday Williams will host Middlebury in a game which should be fiercely contested. “Middlebury isn’t an 0-3 team,” said Becker. “They have a lot of animosity towards our team and always come out fired up.” Coach Farley acknowledges the Middlebury rivalry, but assures that his team will “work like usual in preparation.”
The implications of the game stretch past simply a possible 4-0 record for the Ephs. The win could be the record breaker for Farley. Though Farley downplays the record for all-time victories as “something I’ll probably look back upon when I’m old and gray,” the players certainly see it differently. “We’re playing for Coach,” says Storz. “I love playing for the man, and he’s our motivation.”
Coach Farley will attempt to break the record this Saturday at Weston Field at 1:30.