WILLIAMSBURG, NOV. 24 -- Alan Williams, an overlooked talent who plays behind star running backs Robert Green and Tyrone Shelton, scored four touchdowns today as William and Mary routed the University of Massachusetts, 38-0, today in the first round of the NCAA Division I-AA football playoffs.
The victory represented two breakthroughs for the Tribe -- its first 10-victory season and its first Division I-AA playoff victory in three postseason appearances in the past five years.
The Tribe (10-2) now plays at Central Florida next Saturday in the quarterfinals. Central Florida upset No. 2-seeded Youngstown State, 20-17, in one of seven other first-round games.
William and Mary's offensive focus throughout this season has centered around Green and Shelton, each of whom gained more than a 1,000 yards during the regular season. Lurking in the background, however, was Williams, a multi-dimensional back who led the team in receptions last year. But because of the presence of Green and Shelton, Williams has played in the shadow of those backs.
Until today, that is.
"This has been a little bit of a disappointing year," he said. "I've wanted to get more playing time and I had hoped based on last year to play more. But both Robert and Tyrone have done so well, I'm just the odd man out.
"So today is especially satisfying for me. It makes up for a lot of the frustration and there's no use denying that it doesn't."
His numbers were not overwhelming for the day. He carried the ball only six times for 35 yards and caught two passes. But after a scoreless first quarter, whenever the Tribe got within range of the Massachusetts goal line, he was there to carry it in.
He broke three tackles on his first touchdown, a seven-yard run less than five minutes into the second quarter. That made it 7-0.
On their next possession, the Minutemen (8-2-1) drove to the Tribe 6 where they faced fourth and one. Coach Jim Reid elected to go for the first down, but fullback David Mitchell was stopped short.
On the Tribe's first play, quarterback Chris Hakel hit Mark Compher on a 72-yard pass play. That set up Williams's two-yard run four plays later, making it 14-0.
Massachusetts 0 0 0 0 0 William and Mary 0 17 7 14 38
W&M -- Williams 7 run (Mueller kick)
W&M -- Williams 3 run (Mueller kick)
W&M -- FG Mueller 35
W&M -- Williams 73 pass from Hakel (Mueller kick)
W&M -- Green 50 run (Mueller kick)
W&M -- Williams 8 run (Mueller kick)
A: 7,027 Mass W&M First downs 20 22 Rushes-yards 54-134 36-189 Passing yards 157 311 Return yards 21 75 Passes 15-28-2 20-27-0 Punts 8-33 5-40 Fumbles-lost 3-0 2-1 Penalties-yards 3-25 5-26 Time of poss
Massachusetts: Thimas 17-64, Mitchell 18-55, Johnson 11-20, McGovern 8-(minus 5).
William and Mary: Green 12-99, Shelton 11-38, Williams 6-35, Polhemus 3-12, Bodley 3-11, Hakel 1-(-6). PASS
Massachusetts: McGovern 11-19-1-116, Tornatore 4-9-1-41.
William and Mary: Hakel 20-27-0-311. RECEIVING
Massachusetts: Newsome 2-44, Blauvelt 3-38, Villone 2-31, Mitchell 3-22, Thimas 3-19, Barnosky 1-6, Johnson
William and Mary: Compher 4-118, Williams 2-80, Kingsfield 3-29, McGinty 2-29, Ludwig 1-14, Locke 1-14, Gre