Football extends winning streak to five with 35-7 win over Bates

Kevin Coakley

Football (5–1) extended its winning streak to five, defeating Bates (0–6) 35-7 on Saturday afternoon.

Bobby Maimaron ’21 had a great game, throwing for 209 yards and three touchdowns. He was helped by Tyler Spiezio ’22, who finished with 81 yards and touchdown on two catches, and wide receiver Justin Nelson ’21, who had 97 yards on three receptions. Running back Dan Vaughn ’22 led the way on the ground, with 96 yards on 13 carries along with his touchdown through the air.

Defensively, linebacker Jarrett Wesner ’21 was the best player on the day, finishing with seven tackles, an interception and returning a blocked punt for a special teams touchdown.

“I’m excited we came out and played this way,” head coach Mark Raymond said. “It was an all-around great team win for us.” Saturday’s win marked the first five-game winning streak at the College for Raymond, who took the helm of the program in 2016 after three straight losing seasons.

The Ephs got ahead early, courtesy of their special teams. On a Bobcats punt, co-captain Luke Apuzzi ’20 brushed past blockers to block the punt, setting up Wesner to pick the ball up and run unopposed to the end zone.

Bates nearly scored on the next drive, but safety and co-captain Ben Anthony ’20 made a touchdown-stopping tackle at the 1-yard line. In response to this big play, the defense showed incredible resilience, stopping the Bobcats from converting four run plays in a row. The score held at 7-0.

Using this momentum, the Ephs trudged forward from their own 1-yard line. Quarterback Maimaron and the offense kept the Bobcats defense off balance with a combination of runs and passes, steadily moving upfield. Soon, the team found themselves in a first-and-goal situation. Maimaron went to his biggest receiver, Spiezio, who came down with the ball in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown.

The Ephs extended their lead once more before the halftime. Only a drive after turning the ball over on downs in the redzone, the Ephs ran a play that fooled the Bobcats defense. Maimaron ran a play action pass and found Spiezio again, streaking downfield well past the last man on defense. He was able to beat his pursuers by 75 yards, placing the men at a comfortable 21-0 lead.

The second half got off to a chaotic start. First, defensive back Rocco Giandomenico ’22 intercepted a throw by the Bobcat quarterback, setting the Ephs up for another score by putting them in good field position. However, on the very next play, running back Joel Nicholas ’23 fumbled after being tackled from behind on a long run, giving the ball back to the Bobcats.

The defense, though, forced a three-and-out, giving the ball back to Maimaron. Vaughn played the starring role in each play of the drive, rushing for 38 yards and catching a wide-open touchdown pass for 26 yards. Each team would score one touchdown in the fourth quarter, making the score 35-7 at game’s end.

The men will have an away game at Trinity (4–2) on Saturday. The game will take place at 1:30 p.m.