Football smashes Jumbos, wins 30-7

Allowing only 135 total yards, the Eph defense converges on the Jumbos’ quarterback on Saturday.
Allowing only 135 total yards, the Eph defense converges on the Jumbos’ quarterback on Saturday.

On Saturday, football (4-1) picked up its third straight victory against the hapless Tufts Jumbos (2-3). The Ephs dominated every facet of the game, rushing for 166 yards and throwing 173 yards against the Jumbo’s defense, ranked No. 1 in the NESCAC, while Tufts’ offense could only manage 57 and 78 yards, respectively.

“I thought the Tufts game was our best overall performance of this season,” Head Coach Mike Whalen said. “Our players were both physically and mentally prepared and played hard for 60 full minutes.”

While Williams ultimately won 30-7, the contest remained close throughout the first half. The Jumbos’ defense managed to hold the Ephs’ attack at bay throughout the first quarter, forcing Williams to punt twice and kick a field goal. The Ephs ended the quarter up 3-0 with possession of the ball in the Jumbos’ end.

Three minutes and six seconds into the second quarter, quarterback Matt Coyne ’12 was able to punch in a touchdown from the Tufts’ one-yard line to put Williams up 10-0 after the extra point. The Jumbo defense held off the Ephs for the rest of the quarter until Williams received the ball on its own 30-yard line with 1:56 remaining in the half.

A Jumbo’s personal foul put the Ephs on their own 45, but scoring still seemed unlikely. However, the work of Pat Moffit ’11 and Ryan Lupo ’11 moved the Ephs quickly down the field – Lupo ran for 11 yards and Moffit threw for 31 to put the Ephs on the Jumbos’ 13 with under a minute remaining. Coyne then stepped in to run the red-zone offense and was able to immediately find Bryce Bennett ’11 for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 33 seconds remaining in the half. The Scott Sobolewski ’10 PAT put the Ephs up 17-0 headed into the break.

Coming into the second half, Tufts refused to be shut out. The Jumbos managed to hold the Ephs scoreless for the entirety of the third quarter and were able to score a touchdown at the 13:10 mark on a two-yard run to make the score 17-7 after the PAT.

Determined not to let Tufts come back, Williams dominated the fourth  quarter. Coyne connected with Bennett from 20 yards out for their second touchdown 3:26 into the quarter to make the score 24-7 and give the Ephs back their 17-point lead after a Sobolewski extra point.

Williams took advantage of a Tufts missed field goal with 7:43 left in the game. The Ephs drove down the field slowly, eating up the clock and taking away any chance the Jumbos had for a comeback. Tom Wohlwender ’13 took over the running back duties from Lupo near the end of the quarter, running for a total of 56 yards and scoring a touchdown on the Ephs’ final drive of the game. Tufts was unable to score on its final drive, but it didn’t matter because Wohlwender’s 13-yard touchdown run put the final score at 30-7 in the Ephs favor.

The rotational quarterback system with Coyne and Moffit proved effective. In addition to his two passing and one rushing touchdowns, Coyne threw for 41 yards, while Moffit threw for 132. Whalen has put in the unique system because of Moffit’s and Coyne’s strong, yet contrasting abilities. Coyne comes in on the goal line, on running plays, and often in the red zone, while Moffit runs the offense when the Ephs are looking to pass. “Pat and Matt are two of our best skill players, and they happen to play the same position,” Whalen said. “It’s very difficult to ‘put your ego aside’ but both guys have done a great job leading our team . . . I think if you polled the defensive coordinators in the NESCAC, they would tell you that trying to prepare for both Pat and Matt is very difficult.”

Bennett led the Ephs’ receivers with six catches for 66 yards in addition to two receiving touchdowns.Lupo led the Ephs’ backfield with 100 yards rushing.

Punter Will Cronin ’10 received NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts on the day.

“I thought our defensive line was dominant in the Tufts game,” Whalen added. “I think they were tired of hearing me say all week how good the defensive line from Tufts was.”

Williams, now third in the NESCAC behind Amherst and Trinity, will take on Hamilton (1-4) on Saturday at Weston Field.