September 17, 2012

2012 Williams College Football Season Outlook

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The 17 seniors on the 2012 Williams College football team have been working toward this season since last November, wanting to leave the program with one more conference title before they go.

With all the off-season lift sessions over, the preseason having concluded with a scrimmage against Amherst last Saturday, the Ephs are readying to raise the curtain on what could be a banner season.

Aaron Kelton (13-3, .813 win pct.) returns for his third season as the helm of the program, hoping to guide that senior group to its goals.

"We have a great close bunch of seniors," Kelton said. "They have high expectations of themselves and of the team. All they have spoken about is winning the NESCAC Championship. They are leading our young team the way we expect them to here at Williams."

Captains Darren Hartwell, Chris Cameron and Pete Christiani will be leading the way. While it's not always the case, this season's captains are also some of the Ephs' top returning players. Hartwell was selected First Team All-NESCAC at three positions (wide receiver, punt and kick returner), while Cameron was a First Team All-NESCAC selection at linebacker and Christiani a Second Team all-conference selection at guard.

Kelton said his squad had a great preseason.

Chris Cameron '13

"The team came back in great shape and it was easy to see they worked hard all off-season," he noted. "We are more athletic and faster as a program. Chris Cameron and Darren Hartwell are primed and ready for the season. Alex Scyocurka looks great; the offensive line is lean, strong and faster. On defense Nate Saffold, Tom Foote and Mike Flynn have all made great strides and stood out all preseason."

Offensively, the Ephs have a chance to be dynamic as eight of the 11 starters return. Hartwell concluded 2011 with a conference-leading 1,370 all-purpose yards, 673 receiving yards on 50 catches, and 354 kick return yards. He is second in the conference in reception yards per game at 84.1 and fourth in receptions per game at 6.25. The Ephs lost two of their big-play receivers with the graduation of Thomas Kearney and J.C. Stickney, but with senior Jeff Riemann emerging to earn a starting role and junior Greg Payton (10 receptions) are returning, the Ephs have plenty of targets. Juniors Richie Beaton and Jeff Brewington beef up the depth there.

Throwing to those targets will be junior signal caller Adam Marske, who started six games last year and played in seven. Marske completed 59.8 percent (104 of 174) of his passes with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

"I am expecting Adam Marske to have a very strong year at the QB position," Kelton said.

In the backfield with Marske will be a bevy of very fine runners, beginning with senior Tom Wohlwender, junior Marco Hernandez and the aforementioned Alex Scyocurka, who missed nearly all of last season with an injury but ran for 340 yards on 67 carries (5.1 yards per carry average) as a first-year in 2010.  Wohlwender and Hernandez combined for 928 yards on 207 carries last year, with Wohlwender scoring a team-leading 11 touchdowns.

Blocking for those guys will be an offensive line bolstered by the return of Christiani and fellow seniors Cong Tian and Ryan Loughran. Senior Tim Morris and junior Hill Hamrick will handle the fullback duties, while senior Sam Krieg is back at tight end.

Sophomores Alan Felix and A.J. Walsh will round out the starting line-up on the offensive line, while senior David Baker, sophomore Dan Loughran, will provide depth and first-years Charlie Grossnickle, Patrick McLoughlin and Matthew Jewett.

Pete Christiani '13

"I think our offense will be the strength of our team. We return some of the league's most dynamic and explosive players," Kelton said. "Our offensive line will be physical and our backs and receiver positions are as deep and talented as we have ever had here at Williams."

The Williams defense will be a work in progress early, as only three starters (Cameron, Emmanuel Whyte and Ladd Hamrick) return from 2011. Still, there are plenty of players with experience who have a chance to take advantage a starting opportunity and make a big impact.

Cameron made 50 tackles last year from his linebacker spot, 33 of those solo and 8 ½ for a loss. He also had three sacks. Whyte was active as well, with 36 tackles, 21 solo, in six games. Hamrick finished with 41 tackles, 22 solo, one interception and three pass break-ups.  Sophomore Antonio Blanco will fill out the starting line-up at linebacker.

Up front, the defensive line will be led by seniors Tom Foote and Ebeneezer Gyasi. Junior Ernest Higginbotham and sophomore Mike Flynn will handle the defensive end positions, with Markus Gonzalez and James Howe also seeing time there. Junior Mike Lomio and sophomore Adam Datema will also see time at the inside positions.

In the secondary, juniors Andre Lafontant and Nate Saffold will handle the corners, with Ladd Hamrick and Chris Kim at the safeties. Lafontant played in eight games last season and finished second on the team with four pass break-ups.

"On defense we will be young but we are fast and talented," Kelton said. "The defensive unit will have to come together early to help us be successful. We will be solid at LB and DB as we develop our young defensive line."

Joe Mallock will continue to handle the kicking duties, while Payton should be back punting for the Ephs. Mallock made 6 of 10 field goal attempts last season, while Payton averaged 36.9 yards per punt.

The Ephs' first test is this Saturday in a 1 p.m. contest home against Colby. The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable throughout Berkshire County, and in the states of Maine

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
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Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap