The Jumbos take their first road trip of the 2019 season to Williamstown on Saturday to play the Williams College Ephs at Farley-Lamb Field. It's the 87th meeting between the teams.
|The Jumbo defense opened the 2019 season with a swarming effort against Trinity.|
Tufts (1-0) will bus to the Berkshires with the momentum of last Saturday's 14-8 season-opening victory versus Trinity College. The Jumbos defeated the Bantams for the first time since 2007 and handed the three-time defending NESCAC champions their first opening-day loss since 1995.
Williams (0-1) will start its home schedule this weekend after losing their opener at Middlebury 17-13.
The Jumbos and the Ephs both finished in the top half of the NESCAC standings by posting winning records last year. Tufts' 7-2 mark earned third place in the league and Williams' 5-4 mark tied for fourth.
Tufts' opening victory against Trinity was led by its defense, which held the Bantams to 2 of 15 on third down. Tufts sacked Trinity quarterbacks six times and intercepted two passes. The eight points scored by Trinity was their fewest since the 2015 season.
Jumbo sophomore defensive end Jovan Nenadovic finished the game with three sacks and five tackles for losses. He was selected as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week. He had a fourth-quarter TFL that along with an interception by senior defensive back Miles Shipp and an end-of-the-game sack by junior linebacker John DeLuca helped the Jumbos clinch the six-point victory. Senior linebacker Greg Holt led Tufts with 10 tackles (1.5 TFLs).
The Jumbo offense was effective in senior quarterback Jacob Carroll's first career start. He finished 13 for 23 for 173 yards, threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Mike Pedrini and had a one-yard TD toss to senior tight end Jack Donohue. Carroll also had a 48-yard completion to junior wide receiver OJ Armstrong, a 44-yard pass to junior Brendan Dolan and a 36-yard completion to graduate Frank Roche.
The Ephs are smarting from a last-minute loss to the Panthers and will look to take it out on the Jumbo. Host Middlebury scored with 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for the win. Williams had trailed 10-0, but surged to a 13-10 lead on a pair of Bobby Maimaron to Frank Stola touchdown passes of 47 and 30 yards.
Stola, a returning All-NESCAC first team selection, finished the game with six receptions for 151 yards and the two scores. The Tufts pass defense did a nice job limiting Trinity's returning first-teamers Jonathan Girard and Koby Schofer last Saturday and will be put to the test again this week. Stola also returned two kickoffs for a 32.5-yard average at Middlebury.
Maimaron, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2017 and the All-Conference second team QB last year, went 12 for 21 with 205 yards through the air. He was also the Ephs' leading rusher with 39 yards. Sophomore kicker Andrew Schreibstein struggled for the Ephs last week, but was an All-Conference performer a year ago.
Junior linebacker TJ Rothmann is another returning All-Conference player in the Williams line-up. He led the Ephs with 13 stops last weekend including a TFL and a pass break-up. The Ephs also have All-Conference selection Jarrett Wesner in their linebacker corp. Senior safety Luke Apuzzi finished the Middlebury game with 10 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles.
Both teams played well defensively last week as they were two of the three squads in NESCAC who allowed their opponent fewer than 300 total yards. However, both will be looking to clean up their penalties from week one. Williams' nine infractions were the most in the league and Tufts' eight were tied for second-most.
Tufts has won the last five games in the series against Williams, including 28-21 last year. The last Eph victory in the series was in 2013. Last year at the Oval, Holt had a game-high 13 tackles (9 solos) including two for losses and forced a fumble. He had two tackles during a huge fourth-quarter goal line stand as Tufts won a battle of 4-1 teams over the Ephs. In the third quarter, Holt stripped the ball from a Williams running back and Tufts recovered at the Ephs' 13-yard line. The Jumbos scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on the next play (9:51 of the 3rd). Holt was selected as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week and as the New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award recipient for his efforts.
Tufts returns to the Oval next Saturday to host Amherst College (1-0). Williams will be home against next Saturday against Bowdoin (0-1).
TUFTS VS. WILLIAMS SERIES
Series Record: 53-27-7 Williams
First Game: 1885, Williams 49-0
Last Tufts Win: 2018, 28-21
Last Williams Win: 2013, 49-35
Current Streak: Tufts, 5 games
Large Margins: Tufts 30-0 in 1979, 33-3 in 1986; Williams 61-0 in 1886