Football falls short in opener to William & Mary

Patrick Dempsey, Sports Co-Editor

After 288 days of waiting since Bison fans last watched the football team take the field, the Orange and Blue stampeded onto the Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium field in their season opener against William & Mary on Sept. 1. Despite putting up a strong fight, the team fell to the Tribe 14-7.

With more than 5,000 people in attendance, the Orange and Blue held a very powerful William & Mary offense to only 14 points. The Tribe controlled possession of the ball for most of the opening quarter, thanks to a lengthy game-opening drive.

William & Mary marched down the field in a 15-play, 68-yard drive that was capped with a two-yard quarterback keeper touchdown. Similar to the Tribe, the Bison had a very strong first possession as well. Quarterback John Chiarolanzio ’20 led a seven play, 54-yard drive that was spoiled by an interception on a pass to the corner of the end zone.

Entering the final quarter losing 7-0, the very first play saw Joe Schiano ’20 make a statement, coming up with a strip sack that gave the Bison the ball on William & Mary’s 36-yard line. Five plays later, running back Marquis Carter ’21 willed himself 12 yards to the end zone for the Bison’s first touchdown of the game.  Jack Chambers’ ’19 extra point tied the game at seven apiece.

Unfortunately for the Bison, the team was unable to overcome their opponent. The Orange and Blue had been limiting the Tribe’s offense all night, but on the second play of the Tribe’s next drive following a Bison touchdown, William & Mary connected on a 75-yard passing touchdown that sealed their victory.

The Bison had three drives after the touchdown to try to tie the game back up. Head coach Joe Susan’s offense advanced as far as William & Mary’s 36-yard line, but could not finish any of their drives. A Bison fumble stalled what looked to be a promising 12-play drive in the final stretch.

“The team played exceptionally hard,” Chambers said. “William & Mary is a tough team and the defense played their all. The offense had amazing plays with some tough drives.”

The Bison entered the season winning their last seven season-openers, but snapped that streak on Saturday. They look forward to their next game at home on Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. against Sacred Heart.

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