Football (0-2) suffered a last-minute 20-13 loss to Trinity. This score line is a marked improvement over last week’s blowout loss to Colby, especially considering that Trinity is the defending NESCAC champion. “We certainly saw an all around improvement from last week,” co-captain Ernest Higginbotham ’14 said. “Although our performance is encouraging, losing still isn’t an outcome we are happy with.” In both of the past two seasons, losing to Trinity has spelled trouble, as the loss was followed by another loss to Bates the very next week.
Both teams struggled to move the ball until nearly halftime, when Williams finally mounted a nine-play, 54-yard drive for the game’s first score. Co-captain Alex Scyocurka ’14 put the Ephs on the board with a two-yard run. After a failed extra-point attempt, the Ephs led 6-0 going into halftime.
The third quarter displayed more great defense, highlighted by a Sean Hurley ’14 redzone interception. Trinity finally broke through with 5:20 left in the third quarter, deadlocking the score at 6-6 after they also failed to convert an extra point. The Ephs then opened the scoring back up a few minutes later after Darrias Sime ’16 caught a pass from Tom Murphy ’15 in the endzone just a few seconds into the fourth quarter. After converting the extra point, the Ephs surged ahead to a 13-6 lead.
Just a few minutes later, Trinity came back to tie up the game with a 28-yard touchdown reception and the extra point, bringing the score to 13-13. The Ephs responded well and began to move the ball nicely up the field. However, the Ephs’ drive was cut short when Scyocurka fumbled to give Trinity the ball back on its 37-yard line. The Ephs’ defense stood up to the Bantams, forcing a punt after a failed attempt on fourth and eight. With good field position, the Ephs had a chance to win the game with just over a minute remaining. Unfortunately, the men quickly turned the ball back over to Trinity on a Murphy interception. This turnover, followed by a personal foul penalty, allowed Trinity to have a short field that it easily exploited, scoring the game-winning touchdown with just 18 seconds left on the clock. Trinity took the game 20-13.
“The one thing that is killing us still is mistakes,” Higginbotham said. “We make too many critical errors, and they ultimately cost us the game this time, too.” Without the mental errors and bouts of inconsistent play, the Ephs have the requisite talent to be very successful.
Similar to last week, the Ephs were haunted once again by four turnovers. However, the team had much better offensive rhythm and was able to amass around 350 yards of total offense. The offensive leading contributor was Alex Way ’16, who had a breakout day with four catches for a total of 98 yards, including a 53-yard reception. The Ephs had three receivers break 50 yards, with Greg Payton ’14 and Steven Kiesel ’15 amassing 58 yards and 56 yards, respectively. Scyocurka had 81 yards on the day. The defense was led by Adam Datema ’15 who had 10 tackles and a sack for a five-yard loss. James Howe ’16 also had seven tackles and one sack.
Next week, the men will host Bates in their home opener at Weston Field on Saturday at 1 p.m. “We will refocus to get the win this weekend at home,” Higginbotham said.