Williams football is ready to face Bates
WILLIAMSTOWN -- A 250-mile road trip might be enough for the Williams College football team to leave a disappointing loss in the rear-view mirror.
The Ephs are heading for Lewiston, Maine, for a matchup against Bates. The team departed Friday and stayed overnight in Maine.
"Yeah, we’ve got a long bus ride, but our routine isn’t going to change," said Kelton. "We’ll still have our Friday night meeting and we’ll do our walkthrough. All of that stuff stays the same for us."
Bates and Williams are the only 1-1 teams in NESCAC. The Ephs fell to 1-1 after losing 17-13 at home to Trinity last week. Bates improved to 1-1 with a 31-23 win over Tufts.
It was the loss by the Ephs that still sticks in the craw of Kelton, his staff and the players. Williams led 13-3 at halftime, but managed only two first downs in the second half as the Bantams scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to take the victory back to Connecticut.
"It was very easy because there’s a bitter taste in all of our mouths because we feel like we had the game and we gave it away," said the third-year Eph coach. "Getting their attention is pretty easy. It’s creating a mind-set of us not allowing it to happen to us again."
What also can get the Ephs’ attention is the fact that last year, the Bobcats of Mark Harriman came into Williamstown and got out of Dodge with a 35-26 win.
In that game, quarterback Trevor Smith threw for three touchdowns, two in the first quarter. Smith was 9 of 17 for 178 yards and he also ran for 33 yards.
Smith is back to lead the Bobcats’ triple-option offense. Bates will run much of its triple option out of the pistol formation.
"It’s a defensive coordinator’s nightmare," said Kelton, adding that Bates is the only NESCAC team that runs the triple option.
Last week against Tufts, Smith ran the ball 24 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Bobcats don’t like to throw the ball a lot. In two games, Smith has thrown the ball 32 times. That figure is six passes fewer than Williams quarterback Adam Marske has completed in two games.
The lack of a run game has been an issue, even in the 41-7 win over Colby.
After two games, Williams is ranked seventh in NESCAC in rushing offense. The only teams with fewer rushing yards are Colby, Hamilton and Tufts. All three teams are 0-2.
Bates linebacker Joe Dell’Erario was the NESCAC defensive player of the week, with a career-best seven tackles against Tufts. That will make the job of running the ball tough.
But the Ephs will get running back Tom Wohlwender back. The senior, who ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns last year against Bates, had been injured.
"We’ve got to do a better job of running the football and lean on our running game more than we have," said Kelton. "We’re going to do that. That’s what we believe in. That’s our philosophy. We’re going to do that. We’ve just got to get better at it."