Amherst and Williams Ready to Battle for Little Three Championship in "The Biggest Little Game in America"

WilliamsThe winner of Saturday's game between Amherst and Williams will finish second in the NESCAC standings and will be crowned the 2008 Little Three champion.
Amherst College (5-2)
Williams College (5-2)

November 8, 2008 * Pratt Field
Amherst, MA * 12 p.m.

1. Trinity (7-0)
T2. Amherst (5-2)
T2. Williams (5-2)

T4. Middlebury (4-3)
T4. Tufts (4-3)
T6. Bowdoin (3-4)
T6. Colby (3-4)
8. Hamilton (2-5)
T9. Bates (1-6)
T9. Wesleyan (1-6)

Williams @ Amherst  (12 p.m.)
Hamilton @ Bates (12 p.m.)
Trinity @ Wesleyan (12 p.m.)
Tufts @ Middlebury (12:30 p.m.)
Bowdoin @ Colby (12:30 p.m.)

Saturday’s game between Amherst and Williams will be televised live on New England Sports Network (NESN), with a live audio broadcast available courtesy of the Lord Jeffs’ student radio station, WAMH.

Williams holds an overall edge in this heated rivalry, winning 69 of the 122 matchups dating back to 1884. The Ephs also hold an advantage in Little Three titles, having won 54 to Amherst’s 37 since 1910. The two archrivals traded wins from 1999-2005 before the Ephs defeated the Lord Jeffs by a combined 57-7 in 2006 and 2007. Williams’ 37-7 victory in 2006 marked its first win at Pratt Field since 1998. The last time one of these teams won four consecutive meetings was when Williams went 4-0 against Amherst from 1996 to 1999.

The 2007 meeting between Amherst and Williams got off to a slow start as the Ephs stalled in the red zone on each of their first two possessions, while the Lord Jeffs were forced into two punts. 2007 NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year and Williams senior captain Pat Lucey went straight for the kill in the Ephs’ third drive by connecting with sophomore Nick Caro on a 32-yard bomb for the first points of the game, marking Lucey’s 16th passing touchdown of the year. Amherst responded with a long run by sophomore Aaron Rauh and a long completion from Lucas Loeffler to junior tight end Jay Hebb to land the Jeffs on the Williams 28-yard line, but Eph senior John Snipes picked up a crucial interception to hand possession back to the Ephs.

The Jeffs and Ephs failed to score on each of their next two possessions before Williams was handed great field position once more late in the second quarter. Lucey got right to work by hurling a 27-yard completion to Caro that brought the hosts to the Amherst 23-yard line with three minutes remaining before halftime. The home crowd grew rowdy in hopes of seeing a second touchdown, but junior A.J. Scola came up with a huge pass breakup on 3rd-and-10 to force the Ephs into another field goal attempt. Sophomore Scott Sobolewski converted his attempt this time to give Williams a 10-0 lead with just 36 seconds showing on the clock. Loeffler was intercepted by senior Luke Moran in Amherst’s final play of the half, as the Ephs took a 10-0 lead into the locker room.

Neither team could put together a significant third-quarter drive until Lucey drove Williams down to Amherst’s 6-yard line, allowing junior Brian Morrissey to pick up his 13th rushing touchdown of the season, as the Ephs took a commanding 17-0 lead with less than a minute to play in the third quarter. A final field goal was all that stood between the Ephs and a 20-0 win over the Lord Jeffs, securing yet another perfect 8-0 campaign for Williams.

1998 - Williams 35, Amherst 16
1999 - Williams 10, Amherst 7
2000 - Amherst 20, Williams 12
2001 - Williams 23, Amherst 20 (OT)
2002 - Amherst 45, Williams 35
2003 - Williams 14, Amherst 10
2004 - Amherst 13, Williams 10
2005 - Williams 34, Amherst 23
2006 - Williams 37, Amherst 7
2007 - Williams 20, Amherst 0

In week seven, the Lord Jeffs traveled to face Trinity College with the NESCAC title on the line. The Bantams pulled out a 30-13 win to improve to 7-0 and win their fifth NESCAC Championship in the last seven seasons, while Amherst dropped to 5-2. The Lord Jeffs traded scores with Trinity, but missed a crucial point-after attempt to trail 14-13 late in the third quarter. Trinity responded with a field goal, before Amherst turned the ball over on downs. The Bantams broke the game open with a 69-yard touchdown run to take a 23-13 lead in the fourth quarter, before tacking on an insurance score in the final minute. Amherst senior wideout Jim Eckenrode hauled in six catches for 111 yards and a score to lead the Jeff attack.

Last weekend, Williams improved to 5-2 with a 48-14 drubbing of Wesleyan University at the Ephs’ Homecoming. Wesleyan scored the game’s opening touchdown, but the Ephs responded with 21 straight points. Wesleyan cut the deficit to 21-14 with 51 seconds remaining in the first half but would never find the end zone again, as Williams pumped home 24 second-half points to cruise to the victory. Running back Brian Morrissey picked up 138 yards with three scores on 30 carries to take the brunt of the workload for Williams. Quarterback Patrick Moffitt tossed 108 of his 222 yards to Stew Buck as the offense hit its stride early and often.

WR - Andre Gary
WR - Sean Legister
WR - Jim Eckenrode
TE - Jay Hebb
RB - Aaron Rauh
LT - Sam Rudman
LG - Tim Rose
C - Justin Wiley
RG - Wyatt Moss
RT - Ryan Bone
QB - Alex Vetras
PK - Matt Eberhart
DT - Edwin Urey
NG - Greg Smith
DT - Eric Pender
LB - Mike Taylor
LB - Brandon Quinn
OLB - Guy Matisis
OLB - Jake Spadafora
CB - AJ Scola
CB - Fran Florio
S - Chris Govey
S - Fred Argir
P - Matt Eberhart
LT - John Szawlowski
LG - Simon Kloeckner
C - Tim Bishop
RG - Kevin Rose
RT - Henry Szawlowski
TE - Austin Norris
WR - Ryan Powell
WR - Todd Schnuck
WR - Stew Buck
RB - Brian Morrissey
QB - Pat Moffitt
PK - Scott Sobolewski
DE - Charlie Birns
DT - Devin McLoughlin
DT - Colin Curzi
DE - Tim Kiely
OLB - Pat Barren
MLB - Trevor Powers
OLB - Alex Bain
DB - Sean Milano
DB - Will Cronin
DB - Tim Batty
DB - Ikenna Iheoma
P - Will Cronin



Alex Vetras (160-of-245/1,657 yds/12 TD/8 INT)
Aaron Rauh (118 att/448 yds/5 TD)
Eric NeSmith (62 att/281 yds/1 TD)
Brandon Bullock (33 recs/311 yds/2 TD)
Brian Murphy (29 recs/308 yds/2 TD)
Mike Taylor (2 INT/45 tackles/3 breakups/5.0 TFL)
Eric Pender (40 tackles/5.0 sacks/7.0 TFL)
Patrick Moffitt (108-of-183/1,375 yds/10 TD/5 INT)
Brian Morrissey (197 att/909 yds/10 TD)
Elijah Weeks (41 att/154 yds/3 TD)
Nick Caro (32 rec/556 yds/3 TD)
Ryan Powell (32 rec/300 yds/4 TD)
Trevor Powers (53 tackles/7.0 TFL/2 breakups)
Charlie Birns (30 tackles/7.0 sacks/1 forced fumble)



Rushing Yards/Avg.
A: 930 yds/132.9
W: 1,125 yds/160.7

Passing Yards/Avg.
A: 1,657 yds/236.7
W: 1,534 yds/219.1

Total Offense/Avg.
A: 2,587 yds/369.6
W: 2,659 yds/379.9

Total Points/Avg.
A: 152 pts/21.7
W: 191 pts/27.3

Rushing Allowed/Avg.
A: 393 yds/56.1
W: 701 yds/100.1

Passing Allowed/Avg.
A: 1,389 yds/198.4
W: 1,174 yds/167.7

Total Offense Allowed/Avg.
A: 1.782 yds/254.6
W: 1,875 yds/267.9

Total Points Allowed/Avg.
A: 120 pts/17.1
W: 84 pts/16.8