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Quick-strike Ephs foil Bobcats' bid for an upset, 27-7

Matt Gregg '10 had his second straight productive week at wide receiver, hauling in five passes for 128 yards.
STATS: Wiliams 27, Bates 7

LEWISTON, Maine -- Williams College scored 24 points in less than eight minutes of the third quarter, and shut down Bates College in the second half, to erase a 7-3 halftime deficit and win 27-7 Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Williams (3-0) QB Pat Lucey connected with Jon Drenckhahn on a 38-yard touchdown pass to take a 13-7 lead, and bookended a Kevin Flynn 29-yard touchdown run with a 46-yard scoring connection with Brendan Fulmer, as the Ephs quickly foiled the Bobcats' (0-3) upset bid.

The Ephs outgained the Bobcats in total offense, 357 yards to 247, while holding Bates to 19 yards of offense in the second half. They also won the first down battle, 18 to 8, holding the Bobcats without a first down over the entire second half. Williams has won nine straight games, including last weekend's triumph over Trinity.

Bates freshman wide receiver Matt Gregg (Milton, Mass.) caught five passes from junior quarterback Brandon Colon (13-for-37, 200 yards) for 128 yards, including a 51-yard connection in the second quarter that took Bates to the Williams 1-yard line. Senior Jamie Walker (16 rushes, 38 yards) pounded it in for the score to put Bates ahead 7-3.

Lucey finished the day 13-for-22 passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Gleeson was 8-for-14 for 60 yards, with two interceptions.

Neither team ran the ball effectively, with Williams outgaining Bates 78 to 41 on the ground.

Scott Sobolewski hit two out of three field goals and all three extra point attempts for the Ephs.

Coming out of halftime with a 7-3 lead, the Bobcats were braced for Williams' adjustments in the second half. The Ephs' first series of the third quarter culminated in a 22-yard field goal by Sobolewski after Bates held Williams, with a first down on the Bates 10, to only six more yards on the next three plays.

But the Bobcats suffered a three-and-out first possession of the half, and the Ephs, starting at the Bates 38 after first-year Tom Beaton's (West Newbury, Mass.) 24-yard punt,, countered on their next offensive play from scrimmage with the Drenckhahn touchdown catch.

Recent history repeated itself as Bates traded another three-and-out and a 23-yard punt by Beaton for a two-play, 42-yard touchdown drive, with Flynn bursting through the heart of the Bates defense on his 29-yard scoring run.

Bates' offense continued to struggle, as Colon threw three straight incompletions before, on fourth down and 10, getting picked off for the only time of the day by Williams linebacker Jordan O'Reilly at the Bates 44. Lucey then completed his second touchdown pass of the day on 3rd-and-12, connecting with Fulmer on the 46-yard score to make it 27-7 with 4:04 still remaining in the third quarter.

OLB Ron DiGravio '08 had a big day for the Bates defense.
It was a much brighter picture for Bates in the first half. Sparked by the Colon-to-Gregg connection, the Bobcats rolled up 228 yards of offense to Williams' 100. Senior wide receiver Dylan MacNamara (San Francisco, Calif.) had all six of his catches and 57 yards in the first half, and Walker had a workmanlike 37 yards, including a 23-yard gain on Bates' touchdown drive.

Junior linebacker Ron DiGravio (Farmington, Maine) spearheaded the Bates defense with 4.5 tackles for a loss of a total of 24 yards among his eight total tackles, and also had a forced fumble. Junior ILB Graham Raymond (Westfield, Mass.) had a team-high 11 tackles. Senior safety Adam Kayce (North Easton, Mass.) and sophomore linebacker Coleman Peeke (Exeter, N.H.) both came up with interceptions of passes thrown by Gleeson.

With possibly its toughest opponent behind them, the Bobcats will next take on Wesleyan on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. at Garcelon Field.