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Football team opens new Garcelon Field with loss to Ephs

A crowd of over 3,000 spectators were present for Bates' first game on the newly renovated Garcelon Field, with its new FieldTurf playing surface, grandstand and lights.

LEWISTON, Maine -- On a classically crisp autumn day, perfect for opening a beautiful new football stadium, even a 41-0 loss to Williams couldn't dampen all of the positive energy felt around historic Garcelon Field on Saturday.

But the Ephs did insist on making their presence known on Garcelon's new playing surface. Pat Moffitt completed 21 of 29 passes for 280 yards and threw three touchdowns to three different receivers, as Williams (3-0) outgained Bates in total offense, 435 yards to 82. Nine different receivers caught balls for the Ephs, who also gained 146 yards on the ground.

Bates fell to 1-2, somewhat dampening the dedication of comprehensive renovations to historic Garcelon Field, the Bobcats' home field since 1899. The event, a centerpiece of Parents & Family Weekend activities at Bates, included a brief ceremony prior to kickoff and a halftime program recognizing supporters of the $2.6 million donor-funded project.

Bates will host Wesleyan next Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. Follow the game via Live Video Webcast and new and improved Live Stats.

Senior captain Myles Walker was all over the field, tallying career highs of 14 tackles, 12 of them solo.

On Garcelon's new FieldTurf gridiron, the Williams defense smothered the Bates offense in nearly every conceivable way. Although the Bobcats never turned the ball over, Bates quarterbacks completed just 2 of 15 passes for 19 yards, and the Bobcats rushed for 63 yards on 38 attempts as a team. Bates went 2-of-14 on third-down conversion attempts, while the Ephs converted them at an 8-of-15 rate, helping to negate the 11 penalties Williams was flagged for, which cost the Ephs a total of 104 yards. Bates junior receiver John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.), who couldn't be contained in Bates' win over Tufts last week, was draped in multiple-man coverage throughout the game and held without a reception.

Sophomore running back Patrick George (Gloucester, Mass.) was perhaps the most effective player on the Bates offense, gaining 34 yards on five carries.

Senior Myles Walker (Needham, Mass.) made a game-high 14 tackles, 12 solo, for Bates, career highs for the captain in both categories. His breakup of a would-be six-yard touchdown pass to Jon Carroll in the third quarter may have been Bates' best defensive play of the day, although the Ephs were able to pull off the same successfully on the following down, to cap off a 15-play, 62-yard drive and go up 28-0.

Meanwhile junior Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.) had 10 stops, nine solo. Junior Kyle Aulet (Belmont, Mass.), first-year Andrew Kukesh (Exeter, N.H.) and junior Will Taft (South Hamilton, Mass.) all registered career highs in tackles, with eight, six and five, respectively.

Junior Ryan Katon (Durham, Conn.) started at quarterback for Bates, then rotated with sophomore Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.) for most of the game, each playing two series at a time. It was the first appearance this season for Smith, after he missed the first two games with injury. First-year Ezra Wolfinger (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) also took some snaps in the fourth quarter.

Tyler Kuehl '12 tries to take down Williams quarterback Pat Moffitt.

Alex Scyocurka led Williams in rushing with 49 yards on 10 attempts, including a touchdown. Ryan Lupo gained 41 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Backup quarterback Chris Cleary carried four times for 26 yards, and Marco Hernandez gained 24 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

Williams receivers J.C. Stickney (5-119), Jon Carroll (5-52) and Darren Hartwell (4-37) all caught touchdown passes from Moffitt, combining for 14 catches and 208 yards in the process.

Dylan Schultz led the Ephs with 11 tackles (10 solo), including a sack.

Neither team turned the ball over for the whole game. The Bobcats turned the ball over on downs on thier second possession of the game, and all 11 of their other possessions ended in punts by senior Gavin Segall-Abrams (Greensboro, N.C.), who averaged 37.1 yards per kick.

Williams scored on every other possession to start the game, resulting in three touchdowns and a 21-0 lead at halftime. Lupo's five-yard touchdown run put the Ephs on the scoreboard with 5:18 left in the first quarter. Scyocurka ran it in from four yards out with 11:13 left in the second quarter, and Hartwell caught a 7-yard scoring pass with 1:10 left in the second quarter, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive.

Moffitt and Stickney were responsible for the highlight play of the game, with 12:00 left in the fourth quarter. Facing fourth down and 13 to go at the Bates 31, Moffitt rolled left and threw a laser to Stickney, who made the catch in the end zone while shielding Bates defensive backs with his body and without drifting out of bounds.

Stats and Play by Play: Williams 41, Bates 0