|Williams College||Bates College|
LEWISTON, Maine — Junior Frank Williams tallied career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns to lead the Bates football team to a 29-17 win over the Williams College Ephs Saturday afternoon at Garcelon Field.
The victory marks the fifth time in the last six years the Bobcats (1-2) have defeated the Ephs (0-3) on the gridiron.
Williams accumulated nine catches for 223 yards and three scores, including a career-long reception of 73 yards in the victory. Entering the game, Williams had 214 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in his entire career.
Sophomore quarterback Sandy Plashkes also set career highs by completing 10 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite the double-digit victory, it was a back-and-forth affair during the first half of action. The Ephs struck first on the opening drive of the game.
Facing 3rd and 9 on their own 26, quarterback Jansen Durham found Jaelon Moaney for a 20-yard connection and an Ephs first down. They then advanced the ball into Bates territory and on 2nd and 11 from the Bobcat 40, Durham found Kellen Hatheway streaking down the middle of the field for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave the Ephs a 7-0 lead with 12:23 remaining in the first quarter.
Two plays later after a Williams fumble, Plashkes found Williams on a swing route for his first receiving touchdown of the game.
With 7:53 left in the half, Bates got great field position after a punt at the Ephs’ 42-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Plashkes connected with Williams for a gain of 28 yards, all the way down to the 14.
But Ben Anthony picked up a bad pitch on the very next play and returned the ball 80 yards for a touchdown. The extra point made the score 14-7 in favor of the Ephs with 7:03 left in the half.
The Bobcats did not waste any time responding in a big way.
After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, Bates took over at their own 35. After a couple of rushes only gained a total of two yards, the Bobcats unleashed Frank Williams.
Plashkes connected with his junior slotback for a 63-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good but the touchdown trimmed the deficit to 14-13 with 5:47 left until halftime.
Down by one, Bates forced another crucial turnover.
On the first play from scrimmage, Harris was stuffed by Kentavius Dumas for a loss of four yards. The Ephs called timeout with 4:55 left. Then out of the timeout, Durham was picked off by Frake, giving the Bobcats the ball at the Ephs’ 27-yard line with 4:50 remaining.
Senior dive back Tyler Janssen plowed through the Williams defense three straight times to give Bates 1st and 10 at the Williams’ 17-yard line.
The Bobcats called timeout and out of the timeout Plashkes found sophomore Marcus Ross in the back corner of the end zone on a fade route..
The two-point conversion attempt failed but Bates had their first lead of the game: 19-14 with 3:34 left in the second quarter.
They did not trail again.
The Ephs did cut the Bates lead to two early in the third quarter thanks to a 38-yard field goal off the leg of Regensburg, trimming the margin to 19-17 in favor of the Bobcats.
On the ensuing drive, the Bobcats faced 3rd and 7 at their own 27-yard line.
That’s when Plashkes threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day, connecting with Frank Williams yet again. Williams out-raced the defense for his third touchdown reception of the afternoon, this one a career-long 73 yarder, and Bates extended their lead to 26-17 with 11:26 left in the third quarter after the extra point.
With 5:47 left in the third quarter, Bates started a drive at midfield. A defensive holding call gave them the ball at the Ephs’ 40 and Plashkes took advantage of the free yards by scampering 27 yards on the next play all the way down to the 13-yard line.
Although a couple rushes and an incomplete pass did not get them much further, DeWald drilled a 26-yard field goal to extend the lead to 29-17.
The Ephs went three-and-out on three straight drives after that. On the last play of the third quarter, the Bates defense got another combined sack, this time from Harrington and Dumas.
Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, it was Lyons’ turn as the safety picked up a sack on a blitz to force a punt.
With 7:01 to go in the game, the Ephs started to put together a little bit of a drive, taking the ball to the Bates’ 48 on a Durham 17-yard scamper on fourth down.
The Bobcats out-gained the Ephs in total offense by a count of 347 yards to 255. Bates averaged 10 yards per pass play while the Ephs only managed 3.6 yards per pass play.
The Bobcats tallied an impressive seven sacks on the day on defense and held the Ephs to only one offensive touchdown.
Harris led all players in rushing, carrying the ball 24 times for 151 yards, with a long run of 51 yards. Durham completed 15-36 passes for 132 yards, finishing with one touchdown and an interception.
Regensburg was his favorite target, catching five balls for 54 yards while Hatheway notched two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Ephs linebacker Russell Monyette led all players in tackles with 13 (six solo stops) and Francis led the Bobcats with 11 tackles of his own (three solo stops).