For the first time in nearly 40 years, Williams Football lost to Colby, dropping their home opener 27-24 on a gloomy, overcast day that foreshadowed the post-game feeling on campus.
The team jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but the defense could not make the lead stand up against the White Mule attack. Once the first two drives had finished, the offense didn’t fare much better. Their stat line was marred by six turnovers and several costly personal fouls.
Coach Farley, however, is confident that the team can correct its mistakes. “We’ll get a little bit better with the turnovers and penalties,” Farley said. “The two personal fouls definitely came at inopportune times.”
Quarterback Marshall Creighton ’02 showed flashes of brilliance, but mostly struggled in the place of the departed Sean Keenan ’00.
Despite completing 24 of 39 passes for 291 yards, Creighton threw four interceptions and never appeared completely comfortable during his debut.
Coach Farley did put Jamiyl Peters ’02 in for one play at quarterback, but removed him after he fumbled a shovel pass. “We had planned on giving him an opportunity to play,” said Farley. “After the fumble, however, we decided it was too much pressure for him and that we’d stick with Creighton.”
Tailback Freddy Storz ’01 failed to run as effectively as he has in the past, collecting merely 56 yards on 19 carries. The White Mule defense played tough against the run, though Dave Kinsley ’01 broke a 45-yarder and then punched in a five-yard run for the first Eph score. Kinsley, used primarily as a speedy change of pace from the bruising style of Storz, saw additional action on the kickoff return team.
After a quiet third quarter, the Eph attack came alive in the fourth. Creighton started the quarter off by marching the team downfield and capping the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Colin Brooks ’02.
Brooks, the team’s third receiver, emerged as a favorite target of his classmate Creighton. He caught eight passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. “Colin’s a very talented kid,” said Coach Farley. “He definitely came up big for us Saturday.”
Following Brooks’ score, the White Mules appeared to recapture the momentum as they drove deep into Williams’ territory. Johnny Kelly ’02 stepped up for defense, intercepting a pass from Colby QB Pat Conley on the six-yard line. Down 20-17 and having regained the ball, it appeared Williams might be able to pull off a win.
On the first play of the drive, however, Creighton threw the ball over the middle and was intercepted. Colby scored from there and reopened a 10-point lead.
Creighton responded with another TD drive, this time tossing a 28-yarder to Collin Vataha ’01 for the score. On the ensuing kickoff, first-year Dan Doyle leveled the Colby returner on the 19-yard line, setting up a defensive stand that allowed the Ephs another chance to tie the game with a field goal.
It appeared they would have that opportunity as Brooks caught a pass on the 25-yard line. Unfortunately, as he fell he had the ball stripped from him and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.
The Williams defense sorely missed injured co-captain Lou Moll, whose sprained ankle kept him sidelined. Conley torched the Ephs for 337 yards, throwing amidst virtually no pressure in the pocket.
The Ephs play again when Trinity stalks the sidelines of Weston Field this Saturday. Trinity, like Colby, has struggled in recent years, but is certainly good enough this year to be competitive.
“It’s a very talented team,” said Coach Farley. “We haven’t seen much of them, but they present many options on offense and have a very good tailback.”