|Colby College||Williams College|
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — John Baron made the biggest field goal of his collegiate career with just four seconds remaining and first-year quarterback Jack O’Brien led the Colby College football team down the field in the final two minutes of the game to lead the Mules to a thrilling 9-7 season-opening win over Williams College on Saturday.
Colby (1-0) will have its home opener next Saturday at 1 p.m. against Middlebury College at Harold Alfond Stadium.
After Williams scored with 1:46 left in the game and converted the extra point for a 7-6 lead, the Mules had to drive down the field with just one timeout.
Colby started with good field position after Williams had a poor kickoff. The Ephs wanted to go low and up the field, but the ball bounced nicely to linebacker Sam Friedman at Colby’s 33-yard line. Friedman barreled up the field for 11 yards and the Mules started on their own 44-yard line.
After three straight passes went for no yards, the Mules faced 4th-and-10 with 1:22 to play. After using their final timeout, O’Brien hit Ryder Arsenault on a 13-yard pass play on the right side. Arsenault had to go to the ground to make the huge catch.
O’Brien got some confidence after that completion and hit an 11-yard pass play to Jabari Hurdle-Price to the Williams 32-yard line. O’Brien and Arsenault connected again on the next play on a 23-yard pass play down the right sideline to the Williams 9-yard line. Hurdle-Price nearly went in for the touchdown on a 7-yard gain to the Williams 2-yard line.
After a spike of the ball from O’Brien with eight seconds remaining, Baron entered the game for the biggest kick of his career. Kicking from the right hash mark, he gave the Mules the season-opening victory.
O’Brien threw for 102 yards after entering the game in the opening half. Hurdle-Price rushed for 87 yards and caught four passes for 21 yards. Jake Schwern added 28 yards on six rushes and caught two passes for 10 yards. Arsenault had 36 yards receiving and Sebastian Ferrell caught two balls for 30 yards.
Noah Sorrento had some fine rushes for Williams and had 85 yards on 14 carries. Jansen Durham, who led Williams on its scoring drive, completed 9-of-13 passes for 69 yards.
Friedman made an impact early in the game when recovered a fumble on the Williams 24-yard line after a fumble by punt returner Mike Davis. Gabe Harrington, who was quarterbacking at the time, completed a key 3rd-and-7 pass to Hurdle-Price to the 3-yard line. On the next play, Hurdle-Price went to his right and got a push from behind from his offensive line to get in the end zone. Unfortunately, the snap was high on the extra point and it was 6-0.
The game was sloppy for the next few quarters. Both teams had two interceptions and two lost fumbles. Williams hurt its own cause with 11 penalties for 71 yards, while the Mules had five penalties for 25 yards.
Colby was trying to add at least three points in the fourth quarter when a Williams punt from its own end zone went to the Eph 24-yard line. However, the Mules threw an interception on a third down play that was returned all the way to the Williams 42-yard line.
The Ephs drove down the field and nearly scored on a Sorrento run, but Sebastien Philemon made a solo tackle to bring him down at the Williams 3-yard line. Bryan McAdams made a sack on the next play to push the Ephs back to the 11-yard line for fourth down. Williams went for it and was incomplete on a pass to the end zone.
After a three-and-out from Colby, Williams went on its scoring drive to take the lead. Colby’s Sam Gomez batted down a pass to force a 4th-and-7 at the Mules’ 27-yard line. Durham, though, completed a 17-yard pass to Adam Regensburg to the 10-yard line. After a short run, Durham had a pass to tight end John Dillon for a 7-yard scoring play to the left side.
Colby had a 16-15 advantage in first downs, but Williams led in total offense at 308-239.
Baron had a 63-yard punt and had two punts go inside the 20-yard line.
Colby’s defense was tough all day and had plenty of bruising hits. Philemon led the way with 12 total tackles at linebacker, while Ian Dickey had eight tackles and one interception. Craig Strand, who had 1.5 tackles for loss, and Don Vivian both had seven tackles. Will Caffey also had an interception and had six tackles along with Henry Wallrapp and McAdams.