Football (0–5, 0–5 in the NESCAC) lost to Tufts, which racked up 266 rushing yards — 92% of its yards from scrimmage — on the way to a 35–16 victory.
Jumbos’ standout player Chance Brady gained 157 yards on 26 rushes and four touchdowns; in doing so, Brady tied the Tufts record for single-game rushing touchdowns and broke the record for career rushing touchdowns (25).
The Ephs scored first, taking advantage of a muffed punt by the Jumbos’ Mike Rando — one of many casualties of the torrential rain during the first quarter — that allowed them to continue the opening drive. Connor Harris ’18 broke a 26-yard run to put the Ephs in scoring range, and, three plays later, Adam Regensburg ’18 knocked through a 26-yard field goal for the score.
The rain, which picked up substantially after the Eph field goal, prevented either team from scoring on their next possessions. After the rain subsided, however, Tufts was able to answer. On third-and-long at the Williams 39, Tufts quarterback Ryan McDonald scrambled out of a collapsing pocket for a 20-yard gain and, two plays later, Brady scored a one-yard touchdown. Willie Holmquist made the point-after, and the Jumbos led 7–3 with 35 seconds on the clock in the first quarter.
The Eph offense dug deep on the next drive, however, and answered right back. After benefitting from a pass interference penalty against Tim Preston, the Ephs converted three consecutive third-and-long situations through the air. The third of these completions saw quarterback Peter Cahill ’20 loft the ball to the back corner of the end zone for Tyler Patterson ’19, who came down with it to put the Ephs back in the lead at 9–7 after a missed extra-point attempt.
The teams then traded three-and-outs, and the Ephs’ punt was returned 20 yards by Mike Rando, giving the Jumbo offense excellent field position. A combination of strong runs by Brady and two costly offsides penalties by the Ephs culminated in another short touchdown run by Brady around the two-minute mark in the first half. This gave Tufts the lead they would hold for the rest of the game.
The first play of the ensuing Williams drive did not go as anticipated, as a pass by quarterback Jansen Durham ’20 was picked off by Tim Preston and returned to the Williams 13-yard line. The Eph defense, however, made a stand, forcing a field goal attempt that failed when Willie Holmquist’s plant foot slipped on the muddy field. Williams had no time to take advantage, and the teams went into the half with the score at 14–9 in favor of Tufts.
Although the second half started slowly for both teams offensively, Tufts scored back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter. The first came when Brady sliced through the Williams defensive front and outran the secondary, diving into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown run.
After forcing a three-and-out, Tufts chipped away at the Williams rush defense, this time with Dominic Borelli, until Brady capped the drive with a 15-yard run to the Williams two-yard-line and then a two-yard score. Thus, with 4:29 left in the third quarter, Williams found themselves trailing by 19 points, 28–9.
The Ephs’ spirits were dampened even further when a promising drive led by Peter Cahill ’20, ended with an interception. Trying to execute a trick play, Harris reversed the ball to Patterson who launched the ball towards the end zone. The ball was slightly underthrown, however, and J.P. Garcia came up with it for the Jumbos.
Two possessions later, the Ephs leveraged their own success on the ground into points; a quarterback run by Cahill capped a drive that included big runs by Harris and Noah Sorrento ’19 with a touchdown. With the score 28–16 with 6:20 remaining, Williams attempted but failed to recover an onside kick. A brilliant punt by Holmquist, the NESCAC leader in yards per punt, pinned the Ephs inside their own five-yard line, and the Jumbo defense forced a turnover on downs. The first play of the ensuing drive saw Max Athy drive the nail into the coffin with a 13-yard touchdown run, making the final score 35–16.
After the game, Head Coach Mark Raymond praised his running backs as a bright spot in the game: Sorrento set a career mark with 101 yards on 22 carries, while Harris contributed 86 yards on 17 carries. In spite of their deficit in points, the Ephs actually outgained the Jumbos from scrimmage 320 to 288 yards, with 227 of the Ephs’ yards coming on the ground. Coach Raymond also highlighted the play of his young offensive line in setting up those yardage totals.
Another bright spot for Williams was Cahill, who was responsible for both of the Ephs’ touchdowns. Cahill went 4–9 for 79 yards while also contributing 41 yards on ten rushes. Patterson was the team’s leading receiver with 65 yards on three catches.
“I was happy with the way were able to run the ball,” Head Coach Mark Raymond said. “We were physical up front and our backs ran very hard. [Cahill] really did a great job coming into the game and directing two scoring drives in tough conditions.”
Next week, Williams will travel to face-off against Hamilton on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in their third-to-last game of the season. At 0–5, the Ephs are still searching for their first win of the season.