Football lost its season-opening game to Colby 31-8 last Saturday, the team’s first loss to Colby since 2005. Ultimately, turnovers proved to be the demise of the Ephs, who threw four interceptions in the game. “We have a great team and good players all around, but we struggled on offense with our turnovers,” co-captain Richie Beaton ’14 said. “We have quick running backs, versatile quarterbacks and a strong line up front, but yesterday Colby outplayed us in the run game and made several strong stands in the redzone.”
In Saturday’s matchup, the Mules scored the first touchdown of the game late in the first quarter, capping a 49-yard drive to take the lead 7-0 with 2:26 to play in the first. Colby notched a field goal midway through the second quarter to go up 10-0 before recording a safety off a poor Williams snap to take a 12-0 lead with five minutes to play in the first half.
As the Mules’ offense continued to get first downs, the Ephs’ simply could not shake the turnover bug, as the quarterbacks were picked off four times. This kept the Ephs’ offense from accomplishing anything. It seemed as though every time they might gain momentum, another mistake was made. Late in the first half, the men took advantage of a Colby fumble and marched down into the redzone, but an Adam Marske ’14 pass from the seven-yard line was picked off and returned 98 yards for a touchdown. This gave Colby a 19-0 lead going into the half instead of the men potentially scoring a touchdown, which would have put the score at 12-7 at halftime. After struggling with three picks, Marske was replaced by Tom Murphy ’15. Murphy pushed the ball downfield a little better, throwing for 116 yards on 13 of 17 passing. However, he also failed to throw a touchdown and was picked off once. He did account for the lone offensive highlight: a one-yard plunge into the end zone with seven minutes left on the clock that reduced Colby’s lead to 31-6. After Murphy’s push, Marco Hernandez ’14 caught a pass from Murphy for the two-point conversion to make it 31-8. The running game similarly struggled, as it barely eclipsed 50 yards. Co-captain Alex Scyocurka ’14 was the Ephs’ leading rusher with 30 yards. Despite the offensive struggles, the Ephs are hopeful that they will get a much-needed jolt of life as Beaton returns next week from injury.
The defense struggled to play well with so many turnovers. The interceptions put the defense back on the field often and quickly which meant they were tired and vulnerable much of the time. Overall, the defense had a below average day, allowing just over 300 yards of total offense. One defensive miscue in particular came back to bite the men: The defense was called for a roughing the kicker penalty early in the third quarter, allowing Colby to move the chains and eventually score a touchdown on the drive, putting the score at 25-0. The defense registered no sacks and forced just one turnover. They did have five tackles for loss however. They were led by Tom Cabarle ’15, who had seven tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
Ultimately, the first game of the season ended in a disappointing 31-8 loss for the Ephs.
The road gets no easier from here as the men travel to Trinity this Saturday. Trinity is the defending NESCAC champion and has dealt the men a loss in the previous two seasons. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.