Sunday September 30, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN -- It was the kind of loss that could crush a team's spirit. But the defiance among the Williams College players and coaches after Trinity's come-from-behind 17-13 victory Saturday may yet tell another tale.

"There's a lot of stuff that can happen in this league. We've seen it before," Williams quarterback Adam Marske said. "It would have been nice, because it's a big game in the second week of the season. There are still six games left. We're not going to slow down. We'll let it hurt for a day and we'll be back at it [today]."

Williams actually led 13-3 at halftime. Trinity won the game with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from A.J. Jones to Ryan Burgess. The game winner came on a second-and-20 play. It was a screen pass that Jones broke and ran away from the Eph defense.

The statistics told a story of a Bantam team that dominated the final 30 minutes. At the half, Williams had 227 total yards to 163 for Trinity. The Bantams finished up with 455 yards in total offense, 261 rushing and 194 passing. Williams had only 10 net yards in the second half. Marske, who was 16 of 30 for 198 yards, was sacked three times -- twice in the second half.

Trinity tailback Evan Bunker ran the ball 29 times for 165 yards, and averaged 5.7 yards every time he touched the football. Williams had 21 running plays and netted 67 total yards. That total didn't count the three Marske sacks. But the Ephs are still without a 100-yard rushing game.

"They ran the football. They pounded us and hit us in the face and said OK, stop us," said Ephs coach Aaron Kelton. "We couldn't stop them. We had too many missed assignments, too many penalties, stuff that characteristically we're better at. We weren't good today with that."

Williams scored first as Marco Hernandez completed a 11-play drive on a one-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left in the first quarter. The key play was a 23-yard swing pass to Kristian Lapointe on a third-and-9. There were three second-quarter field goals, two by the Ephs' Joe Mallock. His second field goal was good from 43 yards, beating his career best by a yard. At halftime, both teams went into the locker room with the Ephs holding a 10-point lead.

"I told them that the last two times Trinity won on this field, they were down 10-3 at halftime," Trinity coach Jeff Devanney said. "We were down 13-3. Williams made all the plays in the first half. We didn't make any plays in the first half."

Williams didn't make any offensive plays in the second half. The Ephs had one first down in the second half and were three-and-out on their final four drives.

As the Ephs gathered around Kelton, the Bantams sang and chanted -- loudly.

That memory could fuel the Ephs, who travel to Bates on Saturday. That's the same Bates team that won on Weston 12 months ago.

"Nobody wants to lose, especially to your rivals. We have to have a short memory and just play the next game," said Williams' Emmanuel Whyte. "It's going to have to be easy [to forget]. We have confidence that we're a good team, but Bates beat us last year and they're a better team this year."

To reach Howard Herman:
hherman@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.