Football Extends Win Streak To 17 Consecutive, Downs Wesleyan and Tufts
Issue   |   Wed, 11/04/2015 - 00:13
Amherst Athletics
Sophomore quarterback Reece Foy has amassed 1,288 total yards over the course of six games this season. He also boasts a 59.6 completion percentage.

The Amherst College football team pushed its win streak to 17 games, a program record, after two wins over Wesleyan and Tufts in the last two weeks. The Jeffs beat Little Three rival Wesleyan on homecoming weekend, 27-18, and notched a 32-7 win on the road over Tufts on Halloween.

The team celebrated a crucial win on homecoming day. Prior to the game, Amherst College celebrated the dedication of Lehrman Stadium at Pratt Field. The celebration continued afterward when the Jeffs overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Cardinals. Amherst has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with Wesleyan, and Amherst now boasts 70 wins of the 121 meetings between the two schools.

Wesleyan came out strong at the start. On Amherst’s first two possessions, the Cardinals picked off the purple and white offense. Wesleyan capitalized on the second interception. With five minutes to play in the quarter, they notched the first score of the game on a 1-yard touchdown, giving them a 6-point lead.

The Jeffs were unable to answer and were forced to punt on the next possession. The visitors responded with a 71-yard drive over 19 plays, and capped it off with a field goal. Minutes later, an Amherst interception allowed for another opportunity for the Cardinals. The Jeffs prevented the touchdown, but again Wesleyan kicked a field goal, bringing the lead to 12-0.

Amherst got some momentum on the following possession. Quarterback Reece Foy ’18 found Jackson McGonagle ’16 in the end zone to get the Jeffs on the board. Before the end of the half, Jimmay Fairfield-Sonn ’16 blocked an attempted Cardinal field goal to add to the turnaround for the Jeffs.

The Jeffs were forced to punt at the start of the second half, but Wesleyan made the next error. Parker Chapman ’17 forced the Cardinals to fumble on their first play of the drive, and linebacker Tom Kleyn ’16 recovered the ball at the Wesleyan 33. Foy threw to McGonagle for a 33-yard touchdown on the following play, giving the Jeffs the lead for the first time in the contest.

The purple and white forced a three-and-out on the following Wesleyan possession. The home team regained possession at its own 27-yard line. Kenny Adinkra ’16 drove 8 yards to bring Amherst to the 35-yard line before Foy pitched one to Devin Boehm ’17 for the 65-yard touchdown run. With the extra point, Amherst led 21-12.

After back and forth three-and-outs, Wesleyan managed to get back on the board. The Cardinals scored a touchdown but again fell short on the extra point. The score brought the visitors within three points of the Jeffs.

Amherst sealed the victory on its next possession with about three minutes to play. Strong efforts over 10 plays by Foy, Nick Kelly ’17 and Nick Widen ’17 brought the Jeffs to the Wesleyan 1-yard line. Rory Walsh ’17 rushed for a 1-yard touchdown, the first of his career, which made the final score 27-18.

Despite Wesleyan holding the advantage in total offense and possession time, the Jeffs proved victorious, notching yet another homecoming win. In the offensive end, Foy threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns on 20 throws. McGonagle collected 91 receiving yards on just four catches, while Kelly gained 62 rushing yards on only seven carries.

The defense also put up impressive numbers. Kleyn was named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week. He amassed a game-high 18 tackles and recovered a fumble. Additionally, Jack Drew ’17 finished the day with a game-high 13 tackles, while Fairfield-Sonn, Chapman and Evan Boynton ’17 tallied nine tackles each. The Jeffs carried the strong defensive effort into the game against Tufts the following week.

Amherst came out firing to start against the Jumbos, scoring on its first possession of the game. Kelly ran into the end zone on the ninth play of the drive for a 6-yard touchdown, giving the Jeffs the lead just under eight minutes into the game.

Each team was forced to punt a number of times before Tufts made it into scoring range early in the second quarter. The Jumbos had a field goal attempt but couldn’t secure the three points. However, they made up for it on the following possession. The home team picked off Foy at the Jeffs 37-yard line. Over 10 plays, the Jumbos managed to even the score on a one-yard rush into the end zone.

The purple and white had a strong response and scored just 2:52 later. A few strong drives by Kelly and a beautiful Foy to McGonagle connection helped the Jeffs down the field, and Foy capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown score. Amherst led 14-7 with just under three minutes to play in the half.

On the following play, Fairfield-Sonn intercepted the Tufts offense and carried the ball into the end zone. The half closed 2:26 later with the Jeffs leading 21-7.

Though neither team could reach the opposing end zone in the third quarter, Amherst added another three points to increase its lead. Charlie Wall ’18 secured a 29-yard field goal after about seven minutes of play.

The fourth quarter began with forced punts for both teams. With 10 minutes in regulation, Reid Singer ’16 sacked the Tufts quarterback at the home 5-yard line. The Jumbos fumbled the ball and recovered it in their end zone, resulting in a safety for the Jeffs. The purple and white’s lead increased to 26-7.

On the following possession, the Jeffs notched another six points. Adinkra rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 5:12 to play, sealing the win at 32-7.

An overall powerful performance allowed the Jeffs to total 30-plus points for the fourth time this season. Foy amassed 170 yards, going 18 of 27, while Boehm, Widen and McGonagle led the receiving core. Defensively, Fairfield-Sonn recorded nine tackles and a pick-six, Kleyn and Drew each added seven tackles, and Drew, Boynton and Singer each tallied a sack.

The purple and white will face tough competition ahead as they are set to take on an undefeated Trinity team at home Saturday, Nov. 7. In 2014, the Jeffs edged Trinity 7-6, and hope to come out on top again.

“We are excited about how well we have been able to come together as a team to play at a championship level of football and remain undefeated,” Fairfield-Sonn said. “We have beaten Trinity the last two years by a combined two points so we know that the game next weekend is going to be a fight to the very end. We know that Trinity is going to be another championship game and we are excited to go out and prove that we are the best football team in the NESCAC.”

It will be an exciting family weekend for football fans. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Pratt Field.