Reardon propels football over the Bantams, 31-10

Football continued its winning ways with a dominant performance in their 31-10 victory over Trinity in Hartford on Saturday. Leading the charge was quarterback Joe Reardon ’04, who was 25-35 for 317 yards and four touchdowns. For his efforts, Reardon was named NESCAC co-offensive player of the week. The Ephs’ defense was equally impressive, holding Trinity’s offense to only 160 yards and one late touchdown.

“Joe was quite exceptional,” said head coach Dick Farley. “He was on target. He played about as good as he could play. Our staff saw some things we could do and put them into the game plan, and Joe delivered.”

The Ephs, however, came out slow at the start. The offense turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, but it only resulted in a Skip Sullivan field goal, giving Trinity an early 3-0 lead.

“That defensive support early on was very important,” said Farley. “It was almost a moral victory with the field position we gave them early on that they only got a field goal.”

The Ephs responded late in the quarter, capping a drive off with Reardon hitting tight end Sean Collins for a 10-yard touchdown. The score gave Williams a 7-3 lead going into the second quarter. There the defense came up with two big plays to hold Trinity in check.

Early in second quarter, Trinity quarterback Greg Ward hit Drew Finkeldey for a 50-yard reception, but Ephs defensive back Ben Sands ’02 stripped him and safety Scott Farley ’03 recovered, killing a scoring chance for the Bantams.

After a Williams punt, the defense did it again. This time, cornerback Johnny Kelly ’02 made his third interception in two games, giving the Ephs the ball deep inside Bantams’ territory. This set up a Scott Farley 38-yard field goal, extending the Ephs’ lead to 10-3.

With the half winding down, Williams struck again. After a botched snap, the Ephs had a second and 20 with just over a minute left. From here, Reardon hit wide receiver Jamiyl Peters ’02 with a 52-yard touchdown strike, increasing the lead to 17-3 at the half.

The second half was more of the same. The Bantams were unable to move against the dominating Ephs’ defense while the aerial attack continued. Reardon threw for two more touchdown passes, with one going to Colin Brooks ’02 with seven minutes left in the third and a 27-yard score to Ryan Friend ’03 at the end of the quarter.

With the score 31-3 in the fourth quarter, Coach Farley pulled most of his regulars on offense and defense. Only with the backups in was Trinity able to muster any sort of offense. Trinity running back Tom Pierandri scored a touchdown with four minutes left, but when the final gun sounded, Williams left with a resounding 31-10 victory.

On both sides of the ball, Williams seemed to dominate the host Bantams. The defense forced Trinity to punt the ball an embarrassing 11 times. They held the Trinity running game to 49 yards total and a meager 1.6 yards per carry, while most of the Bantams’ passing yards came in the fourth quarter, with the starters out and the game decided.

On offense, the passing game was the story. Reardon’s performance was outstanding, especially for a quarterback who was not sure if he would start a month ago. He completed passes to seven different receivers and had three completions over 30 yards.

The wide receiver core was impressive as well, with Friend catching seven passes for 100 yard and Brooks gaining 70 yard off four receptions. Collins also had a good day, catching five balls for 83 yards and a touchdown. His nine receptions so far have matched his total for all of last season.

Mike Keenan ’05 completed the first pass of his collegiate career – 17-yards to Jay Porcelli ’03, who also recorded his first career reception on the play.

With the two wins, the Ephs have made their presence known in the NESCAC and impressed observers both inside and outside the school. “If you had told me we would have won the way we have the last two weeks at the start of the season, I would have been shocked,” said Farley. Reardon and the defense have both played well, while the team continues to enjoy good field position thanks to kicker Scott Farley and punter Jarod Kidd ’02.

The Ephs finally get to play their home opener next week, against a 0-2 Bates squad that has been destroyed in both of their games. “Our guys must look at this game from a mature standpoint,” said Farley. “We all know what the outcome should be, but that’s why they play the game. I think, though, that spending Friday night here in Williamstown and playing on our home field will help our guys emotionally.”

Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. Saturday on Weston Field.