Ephs dismantle winless Jumbos in 49-35 shootout

Steven Kiesel '15 had eight receptions for 85 yards in the men's 49-35 thrashing of Tufts last Saturday at Weston Field. - Alyssa Amos/Executive Editor
Steven Kiesel ’15 had eight receptions for 85 yards in the men’s 49-35 thrashing of Tufts last Saturday at Weston Field. – Alyssa Amos/Executive Editor

Football (1-4) claimed its first victory last Saturday, outlasting Tufts 49-35 in an offensive shootout. While the men struggled to put points on the board in their previous games, Williams took no prisoners in Saturday’s matchup, punching into the end zone six times on the day.

“The offense was all on the same page, and everyone was executing their assignments with precision, which led to us putting up points,” co-captain Richie Beaton ’14 said.

Despite the offensive clinic, the Jumbos kept the game tight, and the Ephs were not assured of a victory until late in the final quarter. Previously on Oct. 12, the men almost cracked Middlebury, but they were thwarted 21-14 after their opponents scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown.

The game looked uncertain early, as Tufts broke onto the scoreboard in its first drive. The Jumbos carried the ball 75 yards in less than five minutes, ultimately scoring on a nine-yard pass at 11:33 to take a 7-0 lead. After a three and out, the Ephs’ defense stifled the Jumbos’ next drive, setting the offense up to retaliate. Adam Marske ’14 rifled a pass to B.J. Griffin ’14 for 12 yards. The Ephs then broke into the Jumbos’ territory with an eight-yard pass to Darrias Sime ’16, followed by a 20-yard pass to Jeff Brewington ’14. After a rush for no gain and an incomplete pass, Marske found Alex Way ’16, who took the ball 27 yards into the end zone to knot the score at 7-7.

The Ephs scored again late in the first half. Marske found Steven Kiesel ’15 for 29 yards before connecting with Sime again for 16 yards. Co-captain Alex Scyocurka ’14 broke a huge 19-yard run, and Beaton had a 13-yard rush for a touchdown to put his team up 14-7 with 54 seconds left in the quarter. On Tufts’ next drive, co-captain Nate Saffold ’14 picked off Tufts quarterback Alex Snyder and returned the ball 25 yards for the men’s third touchdown, giving Williams a 21-7 advantage heading into the second quarter.

At 8:19 in the second, Joe Mallock ’14 added a 32-yard field goal to take a 24-7 lead. However, the Jumbos refused to go quietly. Midway through the second, Tufts broke into the end zone again to tighten the game to 24-14. The Jumbos quickly followed that score with another touchdown pass with five minutes remaining in the half, tightening the game to 24-21. Tufts pushed ahead with another touchdown at 1:07 to take a 28-24 edge going into the half.

The Ephs responded late in the third. Scyocurka took the ball 21 yards in four straight carries before Marske found Brewington for a huge 22-yard gain. Kiesel added another 12-yard reception to get a first and goal before Marco Hernandez ’14 rushed for one yard and the touchdown. With Mallock’s extra point, the Ephs took back a 31-28 lead. Williams then got a field goal in the fourth after Scyocurka rushed for 15 yards to break into the red zone. Kiesel got the men four more yards off a pass from Marske before Marske took the ball himself for four, coming up six yards shy of the goal. Mallock’s kicked sailed 23 yards and between the posts to widen the gap to 34-28.

The Ephs’ defense then shut the door on the Jumbos, forcing a three-and-out drive that took just 19 seconds to squash. The men had the ball at the Tufts 30, where Marske found Brewington for 21 yards before Scyocurka carried the ball into the goal for nine yards. With just over 12 on the clock, the men claimed a 42-28 lead.

The Jumbos scored minutes later on a huge 41-yard pass from Snyder, keeping the Ephs on their toes as the Jumbos narrowed the gap to 42-35. Tufts’ hope was short-lived, however, as Scyocurka manufactured another touchdown on the men’s next drive to lock up the game at 49-35.

“Alex [Scyocurka] makes our offense dynamic because of his natural athleticism,” Beaton said. “When he’s racing through the defense, they know that he might juke them, run over them or even jump over them, as we saw on Saturday. His ability to run the ball helps open the defensive secondary and makes our play-action pass game more successful.”

Marske went 27 for 45 with a massive 342 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions on the day.

“Adam [Marske] led us to the win yesterday with his poise in the pocket and accurate passing all game,” Beaton said. “[On Saturday,] he was able to find and exploit every weakness in the Tufts secondary, which helped the offense sustain several long drives.”

Scyocurka had 27 rushes for 98 yards and one touchdown. Brewington and Kiesel did the heavy lifting for the receiving corps. Brewington had four catches for 86 yards while Kiesel had eight catches for 85 yards.

“The offensive success [on Saturday] came from our line creating holes in the Tufts defense and protecting Adam [Marske] in the pass game,” Beaton said. “Alex [Way] was hitting the defensive secondary at full speed and running through tackles. Kiesel was able to consistently flank the defense on our screen passes, and Brewington hauled in several long passes when we needed them the most.”

James Howe ’16 led the defense with four sacks and eight total tackles. Saffold made four tackles in addition to his 25-yard pick six.

On Oct. 12 against Middlebury, the men struggled on the road, scoring two touchdowns en route to a 21-14 loss. Middlebury provided the only score in the first quarter, taking a 7-0 lead off a long touchdown pass. Williams got a touchdown in the second when Hernandez capped an 82-yard drive with a one-yard rush into the end zone. Mallock missed the extra point, so the Ephs remained down 7-6. Middlebury pushed into the end zone just minutes later, claiming a 14-6 lead that it carried into the half. The Ephs made a game of it late in the third, tying the game at 14 all after Marske found Way in the end zone and then made good on the two-point conversion. The Panthers were not finished, however, as they rushed for a touchdown with just four minutes on the clock in the fourth, taking a 21-14 lead that would prove enough. Marske went 24 for 48 with just one touchdown. Greg Payton ’14 led the receivers with nine receptions and 89 yards.

The men will next take the field against Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Weston Field.