Football Drops Second Matchup of the Season to Little Three Rival Wesleyan
Issue   |   Tue, 10/25/2016 - 22:10

For the first time since 2007, when Williams defeated the purple and white 20-0, Amherst was shut out in a football contest. The purple and white’s 20-0 loss against little three rival Wesleyan this past Saturday put Amherst’s record at 3-2 for the season. This is the team’s first multiple loss season since the 2012 campaign.
Wesleyan started its first drive at its own 23-yardline and marched 49 yards in eight plays as Mark Piccirillo completed a 31-yard pass to Andrew Mehr to help set up a 45-yard field goal by Ike Fuchs, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, Wesleyan marched from its own 39-yardline deep into purple and white territory. However, this time, Fuchs pushed the ball wide right on a 26-yard chip shot, keeping the Cardinal’s lead at 3-0 with only 1:58 remaining in the first quarter.

On the purple and white’s ensuing possession, Amherst quarterback Nick Morales ’19 threw his first of five interceptions in the game, and Wesleyan returned the ball 31 yards to the Amherst one-yard line. From there, the Cardinals punched the ball into the end zone, leaving the purple and white in a 10-0 deficit after 15 minutes of play.

The second quarter was marked by further futility on the part of the purple and white’s offense, with the team only mustering a paltry 10 yards of total offense. The anemic performance was capped off by Morales’ second interception of the half.

The Cardinals received the ball to start the second half and yet again cut up the Amherst defense in an eight-play, 27-yard drive capped by another Fuchs field goal, this time from 25 yards out, after a Wesleyan fourth-down extended the drive.

The purple and white tried to respond to this blow and engineered a promising drive. However, after crossing the 50-yard line and entering Wesleyan territory for the first time all game, the Cardinals picked off Morales for a third time.

Any hope of an Amherst comeback was quenched after Morales was picked off for a fourth time with 12:04 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals then drove 61 yards in four plays, and the drive keyed by a 58-yard pass play. Wesleyan closed out the drive with a three-yard passing touchdown and extended its lead to 20-0 with 10:16 remaining in the game.

Devin Boehm ’17 was the star of the Amherst offense with six receptions for 73 yards. While the Amherst defense was put in tough positions due to the number of turnovers in the game, many players on the defense had impressive showings.

Andrew Yamin ’19 and Andrew Sommer ’19 led the Amherst defense with 10 tackles each, while Yamin posted three tackles for a loss, including a clutch five-yard sack. Niyi Odewade ’17 and Isaiah Holloway ’17 added a half sack each to the purple and white defensive effort.

“Anytime you lose, it’s disappointing, but credit to Wesleyan for playing four hard quarters of football,” Sommer said. “However, ultimately, our mission doesn’t change. We’ve still got to take it one game at a time, one snap at a time, and really work to be our best every play, and that mantra never changes, win or lose. Tufts is going to come in with some fire, they haven’t beaten us in a long time, so they’re going to bring the juice, but I know that our guys are going to step up to the challenge. We’ve really got a group with a ‘no-quit’ type of attitude, and I’m excited to see what we can do moving forward.”

Sommer and the rest of the Amherst football squad hope to demonstrate this “no-quit attitude” this Saturday, Oct. 29 at home in a family weekend matchup against Tufts (4-1).