Coming off the closest game of the season against Tufts on Oct. 23, football (6-0) continued its dominance of the NESCAC against Hamilton on Saturday, crushing the Continentals 38-7. The defense held Hamilton to 138 total offensive yards and four first downs and did not allow a single score until the end of the third quarter. The offense scored 38 unanswered points on five touchdowns and gained 455 yards of total offense.
“I think the team had a very good day,” Head Coach Aaron Kelton said. “The defense really limited what Hamilton was able to do, and offensively we were very sharp. We had our best day [on] special teams. When a team wins all three phases of the game they usually come out on top, and we did.”
The first score came courtesy of defensive back Ladd Hamrick ’13, who blocked a punt that the Ephs were able to recover on the Continentals’ eight-yard line. Quarterback Pat Moffitt ’11 tossed his first of three touchdown passes on the day to receiver Darren Hartwell ’12. Hartwell and Moffitt have connected for a record-tying eight touchdowns this season. With two more games to go, it is likely that Hartwell will break the aforementioned Eph record for touchdown catches in a single season, which is currently shared by Ryan Friend ’03 and Brendan Fulmer ’07.
“I wasn’t really aware of the record until midway through the season,” Hartwell said. “It’s definitely a huge honor to be mentioned in the record books, especially given the prestige of the Williams football program. My teammates were excited and happy for me, which I think is a testament to the chemistry and camaraderie we have on this team. There is definitely a ‘team first, me second’ attitude, and I think that’s a big reason why we’re 6-0.”
With running back Ryan Lupo ’11 held to 92 yards and no touchdowns on 22 carries, Kelton went to the air against a weak Hamilton secondary. Moffitt was 19 for 28 with 266 yards and three touchdowns, each to different receivers.
The defense held Hamilton to 18 yards in the first quarter and 56 yards for the whole first half. Hamilton was forced to punt 10 times, three times inside its own 20-yard line, and only had the ball for 21 minutes of the game.
Despite a great defensive showing, the Ephs were ahead only 7-0 as the first quarter drew to a close. The offense, building off a drive that began at the end of the first quarter, quickly drove down the field. Moffitt threw his second touchdown pass of the day to receiver Tomas Kearney ’12, who had eight catches for 131 yards and one touchdown on the day, to make the score 14-0. The defense then forced two three-and-outs, and the Ephs drove 75 yards to make the score 21-0 on Moffitt’s third touchdown reception to a third receiver, tri-captain Jon Carroll ’11.
Williams added two more touchdowns and a field goal before Hamilton was able to score a single point. Kristian LaPointe ’14 put the first points of his collegiate career on the board following a nine-yard touchdown run, after which Tim Morris ’13 forced the ball into the endzone yet again. Chris Cleary ’12 notched a 25-yard field goal after two successful PATs for a 38-0 lead. A last-ditch touchdown finally got Hamilton on the board, putting the final tally at 38-7.
Kelton was impressed by his team but has not allowed the win to go to the men’s heads. “We had improvements,” he said. “The defensive line played physically all day, dominating Hamilton and controlling the line of scrimmage. We were better in the kicking game, and we were more disciplined and committed fewer penalties. I am pleased that we are getting better each week. We have a long way to go, but we will get there soon.”
The Hamilton game marks a good tune-up for what promises to be a much more difficult test. The team’s Homecoming match-up against Wesleyan on Saturday will prove to be an even more high-stakes game than usual thanks to former Eph head coach Mike Whalen’s move to Wesleyan last spring. The Ephs will look to underscore the fact that, even following a change in leadership, they are the team to watch as the fall season wraps up.
The Homecoming game will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.