Football Remains Perfect, Edges Previously Undefeated Trinity in 16-7 Contest
Issue   |   Wed, 11/11/2015 - 00:09
Amherst Athletics
Thomas Kleyn ’16 was named NESCAC defensive player of the week back in week five when he recorded 18 tackles in the Jeffs’ win over Wesleyan.

The Amherst College football team extended its season record to 7-0 and increased its consecutive win streak to 18 games, with a 16-7 win over Trinity on Saturday. Despite Trinity’s early lead, the Jeffs were able to clinch the win and continue on the journey of seizing the NESCAC title.

Saturday was also family weekend, and the team honored the 20-member graduating class in the senior day game. The senior class boasts an impressive 15-1 record at home and a four-year record of 28-3 to this point. If they defeat Williams this weekend, the class of 2016 will be tied with the class of 2015 as the class for the most number of wins in Amherst history.

Both teams entered Saturday’s contest with undefeated records. At the outset, it was unclear who would maintain that title. Trinity received the opening punt and used nine minutes on the first drive. The Bantams went 53 yards, but were forced to punt. On the vistors’ next posession, they scored the first touchdown of the game. Trinity rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to get the 7-0 lead before the end of the quarter.

After the first quarter, the Jeffs prevented the Bantams from scoring again for the rest of the game. On the next drive, Amherst put three points of its own on the board. Roughly four minutes and 12 plays after the Trinity touchdown, Charlie Wall ’18 completed a 24-yard field goal attempt.

Trinity received the ball at its own 23-yard line following the kickoff. Just two plays later, Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn ’16 picked off the Bantams quarterback. He returned the ball five yards to get the Jeffs to the Trinity-32.

The interception led to a touchdown score for the purple and white. On 3rd-and-9, senior Jackson McGonagle evaded his defender in the end zone. Quarterback Reece Foy ’18 completed the pass to the wide receiver, and the Jeffs managed to claim the lead, 9-7.

The visitors chewed up the clock on the following possession. More than eight minutes later, Trinity found itself on the Amherst 5-yard line. On 4th-and-goal, the Bantams attempted a field goal to try and reclaim the lead before the close of the half. Fairfield-Sonn saved the day again by successfully blocking the attempt, and the purple and white had the lead at the half.

The second half opened with back-and-forth down-and-outs for the teams. With three minutes left in the third quarter, Amherst started its drive at the Trinity-46. On the first play, the Jeffs gained 19 yards when Devin Boehm ’17 made an incredible catch off a pass from Foy. Kenny Adinkra ’16 finished the drive with a 3-yard rushing touchdown score. The purple and white were up by nine.

While Trinity had a few opportunities in the fourth quarter to tighten the game and Amherst had the opportunity to stretch the lead, each offense was intercepted. With just under 11 minutes to play, Trinity faked a punt and Boehm intercepted a lob thrown into the midfield. With less than two minutes to play, Fairfield-Sonn notched his second interception of the game and secured the win for the Jeffs. The purple and white won their final game of the season on Pratt Field, `16-7.

Fairfield-Sonn was named as the NESCAC defensive player of the week for his standout efforts against Trinity, making him the third Jeff to earn the honor this season. He boasts 45 tackles this season (24 solo) and leads the conference in blocked field goals.

“The win over Trinity was a special moment for legacy of the senior class,” Fairfield-Sonn said. “We clinched our 3rd consecutive NESCAC championship and put ourselves in a position to be the winningest class in Amherst Football history with a win over Williams.”

The Jeffs will face longstanding rival Williams next weekend, Saturday, Nov. 14. The “Biggest Little Game in America” will take place at the recently renovated Weston Field in Williamstown, MA. The purple and white hopes to continue its win streak and to finish with back to back undefeated seasons. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.