Senior Rob Kaufman’s dramatic, game-winning field goal in overtime provided Williams Football with its second straight victory and upped its record to 2-1 overall. The field goal capped a valiant effort against the Bates Bobcats.
The game could not have been closer, with both teams scoring 14 points in regulation as well as gaining 251 yards of total offense. The Williams rushing attack was again spectacular, despite missing Fred Storz ’01 for most of the game. The Ephs ran for 194 yards, but virtually ignored the passing game for the second straight week.
Despite the victory, many of the problems the team faced in its Week 1 loss to Colby were evident against Bates. The team threw two interceptions – one each by quarterbacks Marshall Creighton ’04 and Jamiyl Peters ’02. The team also committed six penalties and allowed four sacks.
With Storz out, David Kinsley ’01 stepped up and carried the ball 20 times for 99 yards including the game tying touchdown midway through the final quarter of regulation. Fullback Ken Ojukwu ’01 also contributed 25 yards on seven carries.
The game started off as a battle of defenses with no scoring for most of the first half. With 1:19 left in the half, however, Michael Hackett ’04 broke a couple of tackles and the scoreless tie with a 19-yard run for a touchdown. Williams would hold on to the lead as it headed into the locker room at halftime.
On the opening drive of the second half, the Bobcats staged a rather unconventional touchdown drive. The Eph defense held firm on the drive, getting Bates into a fourth and one situation which brought out the punting unit. The Bobcats bluffed, however, and completed a 30-yard pass for a first down. QB Steve Barry then completed a pass that went all the way to the Williams two-yard line where WR Brian Mulready fumbled. OL Ethan Dolleman recovered the fumble, however, and collapsed into the end zone to tie the score.
Williams’ offense could get nothing done on the ensuing drive – going three and out. Bates would then drive 46 yards on seven plays to take a 14-7 lead that would hold up into the fourth quarter.
Williams opened the fourth quarter with a long, devastating drive starting on their own 31-yard line and ended 6:05 and 69 yards later in Bates’ endzone. The Ephs faced a fourth and goal from the four-yard line, but Kinsley proved to be too much for the Bates line to handle as he rumbled in for the game tying score.
Scott Farley ’03 preserved the tie at the end of regulation by intercepting Barry’s pass on a play deep in Williams’ territory.
Overtime began with a Bates drive all the way to the Williams 20. The crowd grew loud as it tried to will K. Rejean Guerriero to hit the 37-yarder. It was silenced, however, as Williams co-captain Lou Moll tore through the line and blocked the attempt. The Ephs then drove the to Bates’ 10 where Kaufman connected on the clutch game winner.
The key to the game was clearly Williams’ defense keeping Bates TB Sean Atkins contained. Atkins, described by Williams head coach Dick Farley as “a man among boys,” managed to only collect 80 yards all game. Ian Wilkofsky, making his first start this season due to injury, was crucial in this containment as he contributed eight solo tackles.
Wilkofsky also combined with Will Gilyar to ’02 record the Ephs’ only sack of the day.
The victory leaves Williams sitting pretty in the NESCAC standings. Williams is currently in a six-way tie for second place, one game behind Colby – the only undefeated team in the conference. The Ephs will face Middlebury next week. Middlebury is riding high coming off a dominant win against Amherst. With the NESCAC standings as close as they are, the Ephs need to play a strong game,and avoid the costly mistakes which have plagued them thus far.