Williams College Football players practice

Williams football defeated Tufts on the road 32-29 on Saturday.

SOMERVILLE — In a game with four lead changes and two ties, Williams got the last tie and the last lead change to improve its record to 2-0 in 2021.

Ivan Shuran's 33-yard field goal with 43 seconds left tied the game, and then in overtime, Joel Nicholas scored on a four-yard run as Williams rallied to beat Tufts 32-29 Saturday afternoon.

On a day where the Jumbos (0-2) celebrated the first stage of the Zinman Field renovation, Tyler Johnson's one-yard run with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter put Tufts up 26-23, with 6:30 left.

The Ephs answered with a 11-play drive of their own, and when the freshman from Medina, Ohio split the uprights after the drive stalled on the Tufts 16-yard line, the game was tied at 26-26, and overtime beckoned. It was the second kick he made in that situation. Tufts coach Jay Civetti called time just before the play, but Shuran had made the kick. So he had to do it again.

"Ivan doesn't seem to be bothered by much," Williams coach Mark Raymond said in a release. "He hammered the first one in, and after the timeout, he calmly just hammered the second one in, too. I don't think there was any doubt in his mind that he was going to make it."

Earlier in the game, Shuran had made a career-best 44-yard field goal. It was the longest field goal for a Williams kicker since Andrew Schreibstein hit a 40-yard attempt in a win over Hamilton on Oct. 27, 2018.

Williams won the toss before the start of overtime and elected to defer.

"If they kicked a field goal, we could go for a touchdown, and if we stopped them, all we'd need is a field goal," said Raymond, discussing the decision. "We felt good putting the defense on, knowing what we had to get at that point."

In college overtime, the ball is placed on the 25-yard line, which is where the Jumbos started the drive. Matt Crowley's first down pass was incomplete, and he then completed a two-yard pass to O.J. Armstrong. Facing third-and-8, Crowley was throwing again, but Rocco Giandomenico broke up a pass for Jackson Butler. Patrick Walsh, the second of two Tufts kickers, made a 40-yard field goal to put the Jumbos up 29-26.

Walsh was kicking because Sal LoCoco missed two point-after kicks in the first half. Had he made either, the game might well have ended in favor of the Jumbos in regulation.

Williams took over on the 25. On first down, Bobby Maimaron found his favorite target Frank Stola for 17 yards and a huge first down. The Eph quarterback ran for four yards on first down, and then gave the ball to Nicholas on second down. The junior from Buffalo burst through the line and got into the end zone with a four-yard TD run, ending the game.

Nicholas, who also scored on a two-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, carried the ball 22 times for 94 yards. Maimaron was 14 of 28 for 198 yards and a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dan Vaughn. Stola caught five passes for 83 yards, while Mike DeGasperis had four catches for 37 yards.

On defense, linebackers Coleston Smith and T.J. Rothmann led the way. Smith had 13 tackles to pace the Ephs, while Rothmann had eight tackles and two sacks. Defensive lineman Ian Devine had seven tackles and two sacks. The Ephs sacked Tufts quarterback Trevon Woodson, who split time with Crowley, four times.

The Ephs remain on the road next week, as they'll make the long bus ride to Brunswick, Maine, for a date with Bowdoin. The Polar Bears are 0-2, after losing at home to Trinity 38-14.


Williams     7    0     9     10     6     —     32
Tufts          6    6     0     14     3     —     29
First Quarter
T — Meriweather 10 pass from Woodson (Kick failed), 11:49.
W — Maimaron 10 run (Shuran kick), 4:01.
Second Quarter
T — Armstrong 12 pass from Woodson (Kick failed), 8:12.
Third Quarter
W — Vaughn 21 pass from Maimaron (Run failed), 10:36.
W — Shuran 44 FG, 3:01.
Fourth Quarter
T — Lutz 47 pass from Crowley (Walsh kick), 14:51.
W — Nicholas 2 run (Shuran kick), 11:00.
T — Johnson 1 run (Walsh kick), 6:30.
W — Shuran 33 FG, 0:43.
T — Walsh 40 FG.
W — Nicholas 4 run.
                            Will     Tufts
First Downs            25     20
Rushes-Yards     44-174     37-132
Passing yards       198     240
Comp-Att-Int     14-28-0     14-29-0
Third-down conversion     5-13     9-17
Fourth-down conversion     4-5     3-4
Punts/Avg.     3-36.7     5-37.6
Fumbles/Lost     0-0     0-0
Penalties/Yards     10-92      8-76
RUSHING — Will: Nicholas 22-94, Maimaron 2-69, Vaughn 8-24, Fischetti 1-2. Tufts: Johnson 21-100, Woodson 11-25, Pedrini 1-9, Smith 2-5, Crowley 2-5.
PASSING — Will: Maimaron 14-28-0 198. Tufts: Crowley 6-16-0 141, Woodson 8-13-0 99.
RECEIVING — Will: Stola 5-83, DeGasperis 4-37 Bedard 1-25, Vaughn 2-24, Harshbarger 1-15, McCullough 1-14.

Howard Herman can be reached at  hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.