WILLIAMSTOWN -- Twelve months ago, Adam Marske was toting a clipboard and watching Chris Cleary play quarterback for Williams College.
Cleary was sacked on Williams’ second drive at Trinity, played in the third and then retired to the bench with an ankle injury. Marske played the rest of the game and came close to leading the Ephs back for an upset victory.
"It’s always a little bit weird to think back to that game," Marske said. "When we prepared [for today], we watched that game on film. It’s different to see how far we have come as a team. It brings back those feelings I had during that game, and how unexpected it was. I didn’t have any time to think."
Marske and the Ephs will host the Bantams this afternoon at Weston Field, one year after Trinity escaped with a 21-13 win. In that game a year ago, Marske brought the Ephs back to within a touchdown on a four-yard TD pass to Darren Hartwell with 54 seconds left. Williams linebacker Chris Cameron recovered the onside kick, but the Ephs were flagged for illegal procedure. That forced a rekick, which was recovered by the Bantams, who ran out the clock. In that game, Marske was 20 of 33 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The junior from LaGrange, Ill., has picked up where he left off. He was 22 of 27 for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in last week’s 41-7 thrashing of Colby. Marske leads NESCAC in pass efficiency and is 36 points ahead of second-place Jesse Warren of Wesleyan.
The Bantams come to town having beaten Williams seven out of the last 10 games. Trinity is 4-1 in the last five games, but the average margin of victory has been 5.8 points. The last blowout win in the series came in 2006 when the Ephs earned a 41-16 win. If you are keeping tabs, the only two wins by the Ephs in the last 10 years came in seasons where Williams ran the table and went 8-0.
The Ephs will start junior Marco Hernandez at tailback. Starter Alex Scyocurka bruised a shoulder last week, and while available, won’t start. Tom Wohlwender, who did not dress in the opener, will make his season debut against the Bantams. Greg Payton, who did not play against Colby, will be in uniform. Left tackle Cong Tien, who did not dress last week, will be available and it will be a game-time decision for the coaches if he plays.
Williams will be tested by junior running back Evan Bunker, who ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns in Trinity’s win over Bates last week. He is the younger brother of Eric Bunker, who ran for 132 yards and a touchdown in last year’s win over the Ephs. If Williams can control the line of scrimmage, quarterback Ryan Burgess will have to win the game for the Bantams. He was 13 of 26 for 161 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions last week.
"They’re fast, they’re physical," said Kelton. "They’re very athletic. They have a good contingent of returners. They’re a typical Trinity team in that they’re strong at the running back position and have a good defense."