Williams falls to Tufts, 21-13
WILLIAMSTOWN — In the education of a football team, things can't always go the way the side would like. The key, then, is to learn from mistakes.
That will be the goal for Williams this coming week, as the Ephs saw their three-game winning streak snapped by Tufts. The Jumbos controlled the ball for the final 6 minutes, 6 seconds of the game and held on to beat Williams 21-13 on Saturday at Farley-Lamb Field.
"I don't think we played as well as we could," Williams coach Mark Raymond said. "I'm proud of the effort. We slugged it out, had a chance at the end, and we'll get better next week."
The Ephs (4-2) had a couple of chances to get the ball back, but Tufts converted on two clutch third-down plays on that final, 12-play drive that ran out the clock.
"I know that, personally, I could have played better," Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron said. "I know we could have brought a little more effort into the game. We're going to have to look at it [Sunday], use it as motivation this week and come back against Hamilton."
Tufts took a 13-7 halftime lead on Mike Pedrini's two-yard run with 49 seconds left to play. The Jumbos (4-2) extended the lead in the third quarter. They got a safety when Eph running back T.J. Dozier was called for holding in the end zone. Then Jay Tyler ran 26 yards for a touchdown. The missed PAT kick by Matt Alswanger made it 21-7, and the Ephs were still in the game.
A three-and-out by the Williams offense led to a 39-yard punt by Adam Regensburg, a 15-yard return by Jack Dolan and a penalty against Williams for illegal helmet contact.
Facing first-and-15 from the Eph 44, Tufts quarterback Ryan McDonald had a pass intended for Joe Byrnes intercepted by linebacker Kyle Horihan, who returned it 12 yards to the Tufts 48. More on Horihan in a bit.
From there, Williams' drive seemed to stall at the Tufts 21. But on fourth down, Justin Burke caught a 16-yard pass for a first down at the Jumbo 5. Six plays, including a holding penalty, later, T.J. Dozier bulled his way into the end zone. Min Kyu Park's PAT kick clanged off the left upright, and it was 21-13.
Tufts recovered the onside kick on its 32 with 6:06 left, and never surrendered the ball.
Now, to Horihan. The sophomore linebacker from Hopewell, N.J., spent time playing both ways. He has been a backup tight end at times, and on Saturday, moved into the starting lineup because of an injury to Jarrett Wesner.
At linebacker, Horihan led the Ephs with 11 tackles, 10 solo stops and two for loss. He also had that interception. On offense, he caught one pass for a 13-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
"It's definitely a fun experience" to play both ways, he said. "I just did what my coaches asked me to do. I gave it 100 percent, and that's about it."
His first Williams TD came in the second quarter when he ran across the defense, caught a Maimaron pass in stride and went 13 yards for the score.
"We practiced it all week," Horihan said. "The first one, I messed up. The second one, I executed. The line held their blocks and Bobby put it right on me. That's how it's supposed to work."
It wasn't the best of days for the freshman Eph quarterback. He was 23 of 40 for 208 yards, an interception on the Tufts goal line when the ball ricocheted off the hands of tight end Justin Burke, and he was sacked four times.
"We knew that was a good defensive line. They had 21 sacks, and we knew they were good," said Raymond. "They just kept coming."
Maimaron faced more pressure against Tufts than he had all season. It was a learning experience.
"I just have to be better when there's pressure," said Maimaron, "and not taking a big loss or not making a two-yard loss into a 15 yard loss.
"I have to be better at that."
Tufts 0 13 8 0 — 21
Williams 0 7 0 6 — 13
T — Dolan 59 pass from McDonald (Alswanger kick), 3:38.
W — Horihan 13 pass from Maimaron (Park kick), 2:22.
T — Pedrini 2 run (Pass failed), 0:49.
T — Safety (Williams called for offensive holding in end zone), 5:12.
T — Jay Tyler 26 run (Kick failed)< 1:38.
W — Dozier 1 run (Kick failed), 6:06.
First Downs 23 21
Rushes-Yards 38-148 32-91
Passing yards 336 208
Comp-Att-Int 25-40-1 23-40-1
Total Offense 78-484 72-299
Penalties-Yards 8-78 8-60
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Possession time 28:21 31:39
Third-Down Conversion 7-15 6-15
Fourth-Down Conversion 0-2 1-1
RUSHING — Tufts: McDonald 17-55, Tyler 8-50, Pedrini 11-42, Sanders 2-1. Williams: Dozier 16-66, Maimaron 14-21, Morrison 1-4, Stola 1-0.
PASSING — Tufts: McDonald 25-40-1 336. Williams: Maimaron 23-40-1 208.
RECEIVING — Tufts: Dolan 5-119, Roche 7-66, Blount 1-50, Clouse 2-31, de Leon 3-29, Pedrini 3-24, Miller 2-12, Byrnes 1-4, Sanders 1-1. Williams: Stola 6-73, Regensburg 5-55, Dozier 5-20, Nelson 3-18, Burke 1-16, Horihan 1-13, Morrison 2-13.
Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.
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