Football defeats Williams in season opener, 9-7

The boys of fall came to play this past weekend ready to prove themselves on the turf. The Mules’ team effort resulted in what they hope will be a season defining win against the Ephs. Back and forth play all game came down to the wire with the game decided in the final seconds.

In the opening quarter Colby capitalized first, giving themselves the advantage for most of the game. A muffed punt gave the ball to the Mules deep in Williams’ territory and a quick strike from quarterback Gabe Harrington `17 to running back Jabari Hurdle-Price `17 put the Mules in scoring position. The next play, Hurdle-Price took the ball to his right and pushed past the goal line for the first points of the day. However, a miscue on the extra point kept the score at 6-0. Despite the early mistake, Colby’s special teams unit would get a shot at redemption later in the game.

The ensuing quarters included a multitude of mistakes on both sides. Each team tallied two interceptions and two lost fumbles on the day. Colby had another opportunity later in the game to capitalize on a fumble deep in Williams’ territory, but an interception negated the chance. Will Caffey ’19 and Ian Dickey ’18 both had interceptions and the Mules’ defense had two fumble recoveries for a total of four turnovers, exemplifying the impressive defensive effort on the day.

As the clock ticked down, Williams finally put points on the board with 1:46 remaining. The ensuing kickoff fortunately took a Colby bounce, as an unprecedented squib kick provided the Mules with generous field position. Starting their offensive efforts at their 44 yard line, all eyes turned to first-year quarterback Jack O’Brien ’20. Three straight incompletions began the drive, putting all the pressure on what could have been one final play. A clutch pass from O’Brien to Ryder Arsenault ’17 kept the game alive as Colby converted a crucial fourth and ten. Momentum swung and the relentless Mules pushed deep into Eph territory. Hurdle-Price nearly scored on the final drive, carrying the ball all the way to the Williams three-yard line, but the clock was winding down.
  Kicker John Baron ’18 then came onto the field to put the exclamation point on a defining and redemptive win for the Mules. With four seconds remaining, his picturesque kick from the right hash sailed through uprights to bring the final score to 9-7.

The win gave a huge boost of morale to a Mules team that is looking to make waves in the NESCAC this year.

Sam Gomez ’18 captured the true meaning of team effort in his description of the defensive effort. “The defense as a whole prepared all of camp and preseason to limit mental mistakes… we were able to come out and execute at a very efficient and high level. No one panicked or got overwhelmed. We were prepared for anything Williams could throw at us and were able to just go out, have fun, and play the game well.”

Blue team pride was clearly in full effect this week and the Colby football team will surely look to keep the momentum going next week in their home opener against Middlebury.

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