Football (1-0) inaugurated the new Farley-Lamb Field in grand fashion Saturday, defeating Bowdoin by a score of 36-0. The men dominated both sides of the ball en route to a convincing victory to open their 2014 campaign.
For the first time in a few years it seems the Ephs have stability at the quarterback position. Boston College transfer Austin Lommen ’16 had a stellar game, throwing for 184 yards on 18-27 pass attempts. Mark Pomella ’16 also played quite well, giving the men two solid options at the quarterback position. The Ephs’ offense appears to be balanced, and having a multidimensional attack always makes a team dangerous. Starting running back and tri-captain Alex Scyocurka ’15 led the rushing attack with 128 yards on 19 carries. Wide receiver Steven Kiesel ’15, Lommen’s high school teammate, was also a key contributor, leading the receiving core with eight catches for 62 yards.
In just the second drive of the season, Williams marched down the field with ease in an eight-play drive, highlighted by a 21-yard connection from Lommen to Darrias Sime ’16. Scyocurka breezed into the end zone untouched with a 15-yard run to open the scoring. A few drives later, Bowdoin’s quarterback was intercepted by standout defensive back Taysean Scott ’17, who returned it for a touchdown to make the score 13-0. Scott was an absolute nuisance to Bowdoin all day, breaking up multiple passes. Joe Mallock ’15 missed the extra point, leaving the score at 13-0.
The Polar Bears proceeded to be shut down by the Eph defense on their next possession, having to punt to the always-dangerous tri-captain Tom Cabarle ’15. Cabarle made Bowdoin pay with a 27-yard return. Colin Brown ’16 then toasted the Bowdoin defense with a nice post route to the three-yard line but failed to make the final plunge into the end zone. Just two plays later, Jean Luc Etienne ’15 finished the job for the Ephs, extending their lead to 19-0 heading into the half.
The third quarter was quieter as the teams struggled to mount much offense, despite the Eph defense forcing another turnover inside the Bowdoin end zone. Scyocurka finally reopened the scoring, rushing just three times, and covering 56 yards to the end zone, extending the lead to 26-0. Bowdoin finally made it into scoring territory toward the end of the third quarter, but Scott was determined to keep the shutout going and made a series of impressive plays to stall the Polar Bears’ drive.
The Ephs scored their final touchdown on the next drive as Etienne recorded his second touchdown of the day on a short pass from Lommen. The score then stood at 33-0. After this score, the Ephs turned to Pomella and running backs Connor Harris ’18 and Greg Plumb ’18 to close out the game.
Josh Gilkerson ’17 forced another Bowdoin turnover, resulting in a short field goal for Mallock. The score turned out to be the final score of the day as the Ephs went on to win 36-0.
The shutout by the defense was extremely impressive and certainly bodes well for the future. “As for the defense, there were a lot of positive aspects to the game on Saturday. To get a shutout is huge since it hasn’t happened for a couple years and shows that we played good team defense. We did not have many missed tackles and everyone executed their responsibilities,” Cabarle said. “We also were able to help the offense out by scoring a touchdown and getting three turnovers, something we haven’t been great at doing over the past couple years. As a defense we are confident that if we can help set up our offense in good field position they are going to score.”
Along with Scott, Cabarle and Jack Ryan ’16 were defensive standouts. Ryan led the team in tackles and also added a tackle for loss. Cabarle added two more tackles for losses as well as a fumble recovery.
In the end, both sides of the ball looked excellent against Bowdoin and this was a great team win.
“The points we put up despite committing a lot of penalties and missing some huge opportunities is indicative of the skill we have this year. We just need to sharpen up and eliminate mistakes,” Scyocurka said.
With that said, the Ephs were expected to beat Bowdoin, as this was their 11th-straight home victory over the Polar Bears, continuing a streak dating back to 1979. The real test for the men will be next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. as they take on Trinity at home. The Ephs had prime opportunities to defeat the Bantams last year, and are looking to avenge the loss.
“This team has a ton of potential,” tri-captain Alan Felix ’15 said. “This is the most excited I’ve ever seen our team.”