Football struggles to capitalize on strong first quarter, falls to Williams

Coming off of a difficult loss in the season opener against Trinity, Colby Football looked to bounce back against Williams in a home game this past Saturday. This was a difficult opponent who had just come off of a 28-14 win over Bowdoin in their own opener. The Colby team made a strong showing despite eventually falling to Williams 24-7.

The final score does not reflect the true performance of Colby Football, however. In the first quarter of the game Colby came out playing extremely well. After two strong drives, which chewed up over 13 minutes, quarterback Jack O’Brien ’20 threw six yards to receiver Brandon Miner ’20 for the game’s first touchdown. This was Miner’s first collegiate touchdown. Kicker John Baron ’18 converted the extra point and Colby Football closed out the first quarter with a dominant performance. Also deserving recognition was Running Back Jake Schwern ’19, who rushed for 71 yards on only 15 carries, which amounts to an impressive 4.7 yards per rush attempt. For the next two quarters, the spotlight moved from the offense onto the defense. While the offense was unable to score again, for the second and third quarter the Colby defense was able to limit Williams to just one touchdown and one field goal, making the score 10-7 at the end of the third quarter. The defense was led in tackles by defensive back Don Vivian ’19 with an outstanding 12 tackles on the day. Defensive line Craig Strand ’18 also contributed to the defense in a big way with six tackles, a sack, and a pass-breakup. The Mules defense managed to limit Williams to two of 12 for third down conversions, forcing their offense to punt seven times throughout the game.

It was not until the game clock was down to 3:18 that Williams managed to score again. The Eph’s drive consisted of seven plays for 71 yards and was topped off with a 19-yard pass from quarterback Bobby Maima- ron to receiver Justin Burke. The extra point was good, making the score 17-7 with only a little more than three minutes on the clock. In an unfortunate turn of events on the second to last possession of the game, Jack O’Brien ’20 was sacked by Williams line- backer Austin Thomas on our own 13-yard line. During the sack, the ball fell loose and Williams defensive line Christopher Hatta ran it into the end zone for a fumble recovery touchdown.

Despite the final score from Saturday’s game against Williams, Colby Football outperformed its opponent in many ways. The Mules got 18 first downs to the Ephs’ 13. Colby also ran for 100 yards to Williams 82 yards. Possibly the biggest statistic, however, is the time of possession. Colby Football was able to hold the ball for over 63% of the game. This is important because it means that Colby’s offense was both chewing up game time and keeping Williams’ offense off of the field.

With a painful 0-2 start to the 2017 season, Colby Football is not dwelling on their losses. Rather, the team is looking forward to their next game. First-year Ben Pickle ’20 “The game this week was tough, we’re reloading this week and getting ready to beat Middlebury.” Last year the Mules fell to the Panthers 35-14, but with a week to prepare, Colby is looking forward to the away game at 1:00 p.m. to turn this season’s slow start around.

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