Football preview: Bobcats (0-5) visit red-hot Ephs (4-1) for Saturday showdown in Williamstown

Junior Liam Spillane leads the Bates rushing attack, averaging 31.6 yards per game on the ground and 3.9 yards per carry so far in 2019. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates football team hits the road this Saturday to take on the Williams College Ephs, a team that has won four straight games by an average of 27 points since a season-opening loss to undefeated Middlebury.

As a team, the Ephs run the ball well, averaging 229.6 yards per game, tops in the conference. But Bates (0-5) will also need to stop reigning NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week wide receiver Frank Stola, who leads the conference in receiving yards, averaging 147.2 per game. 

Williams (4-1) is excellent on defense as well, giving up just 284.6 yards per game, second-best in the NESCAC. 


THE PARTICULARS:

What: Bates (0-5) at Williams (4-1) 

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m.

Where: Farley-Lamb Field (Williamstown, Mass.)

Live Coverage: Video | Stats

All-Time Series: Williams leads 25-6

Previous Meeting: Williams 31, Bates 7 (Oct. 6, 2018 in Lewiston, Maine)


WILLIAMS LAST WEEK:

Junior quarterback Bobby Maimaron's five touchdown passes led the Williams College Ephs (4-1) to victory over the Hamilton College Continentals (2-3). He also rushed for 80 yards on 11 attempts.

Four of his touchdowns went to his receiver and classmate Frank Stola, who added to his statistically dominant season with eight receptions for 168 yards.

The five touchdown passes by Mamaron tied the Eph single game-record.

The Continentals had a strong first drive, lasting seven minutes and culminating with a field goal. Countering this, Maimaron and the offense led a scoring drive of their own. Starting on their own 44-yard line, they nearly coughed the ball back up to Hamilton on what looked to be an interception by linebacker Jeremy Barr. However, a roughing the passer penalty that negated this play and kept the drive alive. The Ephs would not let this second chance go to waste, as Maimaron then found Stola in the end zone for a touchdown.

On the next successful drive, after rushes by Dan Vaughn, Joel Nicholas and Maimaron, the Ephs found themselves on the Hamilton 26-yard line. From there, with Stola isolated in single-coverage, Maimaron threw a pass to the corner of the end zone. Stola timed the catch perfectly, fitting in one foot in-bounds with tight coverage around him. This stretched the score to 21-3 at the half. The Ephs would score two more times in the following quarter.

Stola came up big again as soon as the second half commenced, scoring two more touchdowns in succession. First, he made a back-shoulder catch in the end zone for his third touchdown of the day. Then, for good measure, he beat his opponent on the next drive and caught a well-placed pass in stride for a 54-yard touchdown. Hamilton later added a touchdown to the score on a 40-yard pass play, making the final score 35-10.  

Stola broke several records on the day. First, his 8 caught passes brought his career total to 139, breaking the previous record of 135 receptions set by Jon Drenckhahn. He also became the first Eph receiver to total over 2,000 career receiving yards. Finally, he set the Eph single season receiving touchdowns record by finding the endzone 12 times.

BATES LAST WEEK:

Trinity demonstrated why it is the three-time defending NESCAC football champion, dominating every phase of the game in handing the Bates football team a 51-0 loss Saturday at Garcelon Field.

The Bantams (3-2) led 30-0 at the halftime with a 17-0 advantage in first downs. They scored three more touchdowns in the third quarter before finishing out the game with a scoreless fourth quarter.

The Bobcats (0-5) were outgained by a 416-105 margin in total offense, as a balanced Trinity attack gained 194 yards on the ground and 222 through the air.

Seamus Lambert completed 14-21 passes for 222 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He handed off to Tijani Harris 27 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Koby Schofer caught five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

Matt Patry returned an interception 68 yards for the first touchdown of the third quarter to make it 37-0 in the visitors' favor.

Bates senior Peter Daley (Wilmington, Mass.) made a game-high 10 tackles (1 solo) and junior David Campbell (Marblehead, Mass.) added seven tackles with 1.5 for loss.

BATES' AND WILLIAMS' LAST MEETING:

Coming to Garcelon Field as heavy favorites after a big win over Trinity the previous week, Williams College was tested for three quarters by the Bates College football team before prevailing by a 31-7 score.

Bates trailed 17-7 but had the ball on the Williams 1-yard line late in the third quarter. The Ephs ended Bates' 17-play, 74-yard drive by stuffing Christian Sanfilippo's (Gloucester, Mass.) fourth-down run from the 1, then received a pair of breakaway touchdown runs by TJ Dozier in the fourth quarter to pull away from the host Bobcats.

Dozier had touchdown runs of 35 and 75 yards in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 151 yards on 12 carries.

Bates possessed the ball for over 36 minutes of the game clock, a season-high, gained a season-best 259 yards of offense, and totaled 19 first downs to Williams' 15.

The game began disastrously for the hosts, as the ball was fumbled away on the Bobcats' first play from scrimmage and recovered by the Ephs. Williams took over at the Bates 12 and got a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bobby Maimaron to Ryan Kingman in the flat on their first offensive play.

The Ephs appeared to be on their way to a blowout, as they tacked on a touchdown and a field goal for a 17-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.

But Bates' defense rallied and forced Williams to punt on six straight possessions through three quarters.

Liam Spillane (Byfield, Mass.) blocked Jake Mohan's punt late in the second quarter and Sanfilippo recovered at the Williams 32 with 1:17 left. Williams committed pass interference on an option pass thrown by wide receiver Jackson Hayes (San Marino, Calif.), bringing the Bobcats to the Williams 15. Quarterback Brendan Costa (Westport, Mass.) ran it the to 7, and Sanfilippo was given three straight carries to eventually punch it in from the 1. Justin Foley's (Lynnfield, Mass.) extra point closed the gap to 17-7 with 22 seconds left in the half.

Bates' defense held Williams to two short drives to start the third quarter, and Bates took over at its own 25 with 9:33 to go in the period. The Bobcats embarked on their lengthiest drive of the season, taking 17 plays to advance 74 yards. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on the Ephs in their end zone after a pass to Bates tight end Erik Stephens (Dover, N.H.) was broken up gave Bates 1st and goal at the 8. Sanfilippo received three handoffs to advance to the 1, and on 4th and goal he was stopped at the line of scrimmage with a hard hit from Desmond Butler, ending the threat and returning the ball to Williams.

BATES' PROBABLE STARTERS:

MULTIPLE OFFENSE

LT 70 Matt Flanagan Sr. 6-6 313
LG 65 Josh Gendron Jr. 6-1 265
C  64 Jack O'Brien Sr. 6-1 249
RG 71 Nick Florio So. 5-11 270
RT 75 Julien Nicolas Jr. 6-3 288
TE 85 Isaiah Saunders Jr. 6-4 218
WR 1 Jackson Hayes So. 5-9 147
WR 88 Parker Smith Jr. 6-2 206
QB 3 Brendan Costa Jr. 5-10 188
FB 15 Matt Golden Sr. 5-11 219
RB 5 Liam Spillane Jr. 6-1 217

3-4 DEFENSE

DE 49 Nolan Potter So. 6-2 227
NT 99 Ramon Ruiz Jr. 5-9 262
DE 52 Jack Ryan So. 6-0 246
OLB 36 Mike Bulman So. 5-11 195
ILB 37 Peter Daley Sr. 6-0 211
ILB 53 Spencer Adams So. 5-11 216
OLB 55 Tony Hooks Fy. 6-0 206
CB 21 Owen Straley So. 5-6 158
SS 6 Jon Lindgren Sr. 5-10 182
FS 18 Connor Hunt Jr. 5-11 178
CB 14 Jose Calleja So. 5-9 176

SPECIALISTS

K 86 Simon Redfern So. 6-1 194
P 17 Thomas Formus So. 5-11 187

WILLIAMS' PROBABLE STARTERS:

OFFENSE

LT 75 Jeremy Subjinski Sr. 6-4 280
LG 52 Jeff MacArthur Sr. 6-1 285
C 55 John Rooney Jr. 6-2 275
RG 71 Ryan Pruss Sr. 6-3 250
RT 70 Pat Watson Jr. 6-6 290
TE 31 Justin Burke Jr. 6-5 230
WR 3 Frank Stola Jr. 6-0 195
WR 13 Justin Nelson Jr. 5-11 170
WR 83 Rashad Morrison Jr. 6-2 196
QB 2 Bobby Maimaron Jr. 6-1 195
RB 7 TJ Dozier Jr. 5-11 205

DEFENSE

DL 56 Drake Mead So. 6-0 250
DL 54 Oscar Unobskey Sr. 6-3 210
DL 93 Ian Devine So. 6-1 250
DE 91 Stephen Kletscher So. 6-4 230
LB 45 TJ Rothmann Jr. 6-2 215
LB 17 Jarrett Wesner Jr. 6-0 210
LB 25 Luke Apuzzi Sr. 5-10 210
DB 38 Rocco Giandomenico So. 5-11 200
DB 29 Christian Cuttita So. 5-10 195
SS 4 Ben Anthony Sr. 6-0 200
FS 27 Jake Kastenhuber Jr. 5-11 185

SPECIALIST

K/P 10 Andrew Schreibstein So. 6-2 195