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Hamilton comeback falls short against Williams

By HAMILTON ATHLETICS

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Tom Wohlwender '13 ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns and Williams College hung on for a 34-26 NESCAC win against Hamilton College at Hamilton's Steuben Field Saturday.

Williams (3-3 overall and NESCAC) extended its win streak against the Continentals to 16 games and leads the all-time series, 40-7. Hamilton's record dipped to 1-5 overall and in the conference.

Darren Hartwell '13 returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and finished with 297 all-purpose yards for the Ephs. Hartwell also caught six passes for 86 yards with a touchdown. Tom Murphy '15 was 12 of 23 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Antonio Blanco '15 led all players with 13 tackles and returned an interception 8 yards for Williams, which scored 14 points off turnovers. Chris Kim '14 chipped in nine tackles and another interception. James Howe '16 was credited with 1 1/2 sacks and Mike Flynn '15 added another. Joe Mallock '14 pinned four punts inside the 20 and recorded two touchbacks, but was wide right on a pair of 37-yard field goals.

James Stanell '14 ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for the Continentals. Joe Jensen '15 caught six passes for a career-high 109 yards and Stanell added another 39 yards on three receptions. Jordan Eck '13 was 19 of 39 for a season-high 271 yards passing. Eck threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but was picked off twice. Hamilton owned a 414-304 advantage in total offense, and racked up 24 first downs.

Mike MacDonald '13 led the Hamilton defense with 11 tackles and Daniel Finger '16 broke up three passes. Michael De Percin '15 posted one sack and Austin Durham '15 and Darren Fuller '14 shared another.

Hartwell's 90-yard return on the opening kickoff and Mallock's extra point gave the Ephs an early 7-0 lead. After a 35-yard return by Stanell to the Williams 40-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, the Continentals marched 60 yards on six running plays to tie the score. Stanell broke off a 33-yard run to get Hamilton down to the Ephs' 23, and Eck scrambled 9 yards into the end zone on third-and-six. Garrett Hoy's PAT tied the score at 7-7 with 11:22 left in the first quarter. Williams finished the first quarter with no first downs.

The score remained tied until midway through the second quarter. After Hartwell returned a punt 12 yards to his own 44, Williams went 56 yards in six plays to take the lead for good. Wohlwender carried the ball four times for 46 yards on the drive, including a 12-yard run around left end and into the end zone. Mallock's extra point made the score 14-7 with 6:32 remaining.

On the second play of the Continentals' next drive, Kim intercepted Eck at the Hamilton 49. Murphy was 3-for-3 for 59 yards on the Ephs' scoring drive, which culminated in a 38-yard touchdown completion to Hartwell with 3:32 left. Mallock made it 21-7 with the PAT.

The Continentals got three points back before the end of the first half. Eck completed a pass to Stanell for 18 yards to the Hamilton 45 on third-and-17, and found Jensen for 39 yards to the Williams 16 on the next play. Four plays later, Hoy booted a 31-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining.

The Ephs had a chance to extend their lead before the half ended. Jean Luc Etienne '15 returned a squib kick 25 yards to the Continentals' 48-yard line, and after a pair of 14-yard gains, Mallock lined up for a 37-yard field goal attempt. The kick had plenty of distance, but sailed wide right as the the horn went off to end the second quarter.

Hamilton opened the second half with a 13-play, 75-yard march that chewed up more than 6 minutes. The Continentals had second-and-10 from the Williams 22 when they were hit with back-to-back false start and personal foul penalties. Facing second-and-30 from the 42, Eck completed a 15-yard pass to Pat Donadio '15, and then another 15-yard pass to Hoy on fourth-and-15. Finally, on third-and-10 from the Ephs' 12-yard line, Eck ran 11 yards and went out-of-bounds at the 1.

Stanell punched it into the end zone from the 1 to pull Hamilton within 21-16. After a timeout, the Continentals decided to go for two points. Eck completed a pass to Donadio in the end zone and it was 21-18 with 8:55 left.

Williams' next drive came up empty, but Blanco picked off Eck at the Hamilton 38 and returned it 8 yards to the 30. The Ephs took advantage of the short field and needed just five plays to go back up by double digits. On second-and-20 after an offensive holding call, Murphy found Ryan Prokesch '14 for 25 yards and a nice diving catch in the back of the end zone. Mallock made it 28-18 with 1:53 remaining in the third.

Williams added some insurance late in the fourth quarter after Hartwell gave the Ephs nice field position again after a punt. Williams started its drive at the Continentals' 34-yard line after a 17-yard return by Hartwell. Wohlwender ran the ball six times for 22 yards and Murphy completed a 12-yard pass to Richie Beaton '14 to account for the entire drive that took seven plays and more than four minutes. Wohlwender ran it in from the 2 on third down with 1:39 left for a 34-18 cushion. Mallock's PAT was blocked.

Hamilton completed the scoring on a 22-yard pass from Eck to Jensen in the left corner of the end zone with 10.8 seconds remaining. Jensen leads the Continentals with four touchdowns. Eck ran for the two-point conversion to make it 34-26. Hamilton's onside kick was recovered by Beaton, who clinched the win for Williams.

The Continentals host Middlebury College for the Old Rocking Chair Classic on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Ephs return home to take on Wesleyan University on Saturday.

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