Michael Hackett ’04 rumbled for 148 yards and two TDs as he paced Williams to a 21-10 victory over Tufts. The victory, the Ephs third of the season, came on the heels of a devastating 7-0 loss to Middlebury last week. Williams spoiled Tufts’ homecoming for the fourth straight time.
Hackett, playing for the injured Fred Storz ’01, has performed well over the past weeks, but stepped his game up against Tufts. “He’s a talented kid,” said head coach Dick Farley. “He played great on Saturday, but it really wasn’t a surprise. We’ve seen him play that way all month on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in practice.”
The quarterback situation, the biggest question mark coming into this season, remains just that. Williams played four quarterbacks, with the majority of the snaps going to Joe Reardon ’04 for the second straight game. Reardon threw for 219 yards and one touchdown, but also had three passes picked off.
“Joe’s our guy right now,” said Coach Farley. “He’s been acceptable; we can’t expect much more from a freshman quarterback in a 300-level course.”
The defense, paced by James Kingsley ‘02, played big once again. Kingsley had two sacks and 11 tackles as he dominated the line of scrimmage. DBs Johnny Kelly ’03 and Scott Farley ’03 each contributed an interception.
Williams looked poised to jump out in front early in the first quarter as they took the ball from the 50-yard line. Reardon completed a 15-yard pass to Ryan Friend ’03 and Hackett ran the ball for 21 yards as the Ephs marched down to the Tufts 14. On a third-and-one play, however, Tufts’ Greg Devine recovered a Williams fumble and took it 85-yards to open up a 7-0 Jumbos lead.
Both teams traded missed field goals before Dave Ewart ’02 recovered a Jumbo fumble on the Trinity 18. Hackett ran the ball in tying up the score at seven apiece.
Farley intercepted Trinity QB Scott Treacy’s pass deep in Williams territory to preserve the tie. The Ephs had a chance to take the lead heading into the half, but Reardon’s pass was intercepted in the endzone.
Another interception opening the second half set up a Trinity field goal which put them back on top.
Williams would take their first lead in over two weeks at the end of the third quarter when Hackett caught a sensational catch-and-run pass from Reardon. The 48-yard play demoralized the Tufts faithful who grew quiet as the fourth quarter began.
Kingsley would cap the Williams scoring for the day as he recovered a Tufts fumble and returned it 13-yards putting Trinity down by two scores.
“The defense has stepped up these past few weeks,” said Coach Farley. “We should’ve put the Tufts game away sooner, but it was a solid overall effort.”
Last weeks loss at Middlebury has put the Ephs square behind the eight ball if they hope to come out on top of the NESCAC standings. With four teams (Amherst, Colby, Middlebury, and Trinity) ahead of them in the standings Williams will almost certainly have to win out and hope the other teams falter.
The Ephmen will next travel to Hamilton â€“ a team, which like Williams, has struggled to find itself this season. Hamilton has a new coach and a new system and has not been able to find a groove thus far.
“They’re going to be a real scary team once they get everything sorted out,” said Coach Farley.
With a NESCAC title barely still within reach, it’s time for the Ephs will have to bury Hamilton and get ready for two tough back-to-back games against Weslayan and Amherst.