Maimaron leads late touchdown drive as Williams knocks off Middlebury
The freshman quarterback from Duxbury drove the Ephs 80 yards on 12 plays, finding wide receiver Frank Stola as time expired as the Ephs shocked Middlebury, and by extension NESCAC, 27-26 on Saturday afternoon.
Williams was held without a point in the first 30 minutes, and had given up a safety to the Panthers. Williams outscored Middlebury 27-14 in the second half.
The victory ended Williams' five-game losing streak to Middlebury. In fact, the last time the Ephs beat the Panthers it was in the 2011 season on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium.
The loss was the first of the season for Middlebury (4-1), and gives Williams (4-1) its best record since the Ephs were 4-2 back in 2011. That year, Williams finished up 5-3.
It is, however, a far cry from last year's 0-8 mark.
Maimaron moved the Ephs with his arm and with his leg. The quarterback was 21 for 29 for 195 yards. He completed touchdown passes of 22 yards to Justin Burke and the one to Stoia. Maimaron also ran the ball 15 times for a game-high 93 yards, and scored on a five-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The Ephs cut Middlebury's lead to 26-21 on a 10-yard jet sweep for a touchdown by Rashad Morrison, capping off a 11-play, 75-yard drive. It was the freshman wide receiver from Atlanta's second TD run in as many games. That set the stage for the final minutes.
Williams held Middlebury on downs in the game's penultimate drive, and the Ephs (4-1) had to start their drive with 2:19 left to play and the ball on their own 20.
Maimaron completed six consecutive passes before throwing an incompletion on first-and-10 from the Middlebury 43. On the next play, Maimaron found Stola for 11 yards and a first down, with the wide receiver going out of bounds.
Maimaron was flushed out of the pocket and ran for 17 yards and a first down, and as the clock wound toward 0:00, he threw an incompletion to stop the clock with six seconds left.
On second down, Maimaron took the shotgun snap from center Ellis Eaton and was promptly under pressure. Using his legs to extend the play, Maimaron rolled right and found Stola open in the end zone for the touchdown. That set off a celebration by the purple-and-white clad Ephs.
Stola caught 11 passes on the day for 88 yards and the one touchdown.
One statistic of note, every Williams touchdown was scored by a freshman. Another freshman, kicker Min Kyu Park, was 3 for 3 on point-after kicks.
The Williams defense kept Middlebury's high-flying offense under control Saturday. Middlebury quarterback Jared Lebowitz was 24 of 37 for 304 yards and three touchdowns, but the Panthers weren't able to get their quick-strike scoring machine rolling.
Linebackers Luke Apuzzi and T.J. Rothmann led the tackling for Williams. Apuzzi, a sophomore in his first year at linebacker, had 16 tackles while freshman Rothmann had 15. The No. 3 tackler for the Ephs was freshman defensive back Ed Manzella.
Williams will have a chance to get five wins for the first time since 2011 when the Ephs host Tufts next week.
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