/seasons/2012/contrib/201209170mog7m

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

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
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Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
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at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
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Final
at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
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at Union 28, Hobart 23
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at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
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at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
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at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
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at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
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SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
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Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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at Amherst 21, Wesleyan 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
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Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
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Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
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at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
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Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
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at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
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Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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at Albion 31, Alma 28
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at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
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Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
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Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
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Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
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at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
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RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
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Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
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at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
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Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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at Trine 50, Hope 14
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Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
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Tufts 21, at Williams 13
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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Final
at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
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at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
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John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
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at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
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Final
Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
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UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
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Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
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at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
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Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
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Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
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Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
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Final
Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
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Final
Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
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Final
Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
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at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
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Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
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Final
at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
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at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
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at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
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at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
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at Loras 44, Coe 38
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Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
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Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
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Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
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Final
at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
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Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
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at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
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at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
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UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
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Final
at Centre 42, Rhodes 35
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Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
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Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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Final - OT
at Dubuque 28, Simpson 27
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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at East Texas Baptist 68, Louisiana College 35
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at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Final
Western Connecticut 27, at Bridgewater State 20
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Chapman 38, at La Verne 21
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Pacific 17, at Lewis and Clark 7
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Pacific Lutheran 27, at Willamette 14
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at Whitworth 38, Puget Sound 23
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Redlands 42, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 25
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at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Sul Ross State 52, at Howard Payne 15
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at Castleton 17, Dean 14
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N.C. Wesleyan 21, at Averett 15
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at Otterbein 37, Baldwin Wallace 29
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Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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Carnegie Mellon 42, at Thiel 10
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at Illinois College 23, Knox 13
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at Cal Lutheran 60, Whittier 34
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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