Football Reaches 21 Game Win Streak, Defeats Bowdoin 31-10
Issue   |   Tue, 10/04/2016 - 22:07
Amherst Athletics
Alex Berluti ‘17 keyed Amherst to a near-flawless offensive performance, throwing for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Amherst starting quarterback Alex Berluti ’17 helped to lead the purple and white to a 31-10 victory over Bowdoin with his 187 passing yards and pair of touchdowns on Whittier Field in Brunswick, Maine in Saturday afternoon’s NESCAC matchup.

With the win, Amherst extends its win streak to a program-record 21 games, improving to 2-0 on the season. The purple and white are now victors of 11 straight games against Bowdoin (0-2) since 2006.

After back and forth possessions to start the first quarter, the Polar Bears got the ball deep in their own territory. After a penalty that pushed the hosts back nine yards, on a second and 19 play from its own 12-yard line, Bowdoin’s quarterback attempted a deep pass down the sideline that was picked off by sophomore safety John Rak at the Bowdoin 45 yard-line.

This set up the purple and white’s second drive of the game for Alex Berluti who found his brother Bo Berluti ’19 for a nine-yard gain on first and 10, before standout sophomore running back Jack Hickey rushed for 13 yards on second down.

After a 22-yard touchdown pass to Hickey was called back following an illegal block, Alex Berluti found Devin Boehm ’17 in the end zone to give the purple and white a 7-0 lead. Amherst doubled its lead with 53 seconds remaining in the opening quarter when Alex Berluti found Bo Berluti for a 29-yard touchdown pass to give the visitors a two-touchdown lead.

To begin the second quarter, Amherst drove deep into Bowdoin territory before Alex Berluti threw an interception on second and 10 from the Polar Bears’ 21-yard line. Bowdoin marched to a six-play, 21-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal that set the score at 14-3.

The teams exchanged punts on their next two possessions before Rak nailed a 20-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to give the purple and white a commanding 17-3 lead at the intermission, a lead that would prove to be insurmountable.

Coming into the second half, Amherst jumped to extend its lead to 24-3 with 5:45 on the clock in the third quarter with a two-play, 50-yard drive that saw second-string quarterback Nick Morales ’19 hit Boehm for a first down, before connecting with Bo Berluti for a 39-yard touchdown pass.

The purple and white tacked on seven more points on a two-yard rush by Hickey as the visitors opened their lead up to 31-3 early in the fourth quarter. Bowdoin responded, however, by finding the end zone for the first time that day, making it 31-10 in favor of the purple and white.

On offense, Alex Berluti led the passing game with two touchdowns and a 77 perecent completion percentage, while Morales threw seven-of-10 for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Hickey once again led the rushing game with 63 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while senior Raheem Jackson added 43 yards on nine carries. Bo Berluti and Boehm led the team in receiving with three combined touchdowns.

On defense, Rak led the purple and white’s efforts with seven tackles, while Andrew Yamin ’19 added five tackles. Jack Barrett ’19 made an impact, adding a sack and forced a fumble, while Niyi Odewade ’17 and Markel Thomas ’18 also each notched a sack on the Polar Bears.

“Both teams played hard, but our execution was definitely superior,” Brantley Mayers ’19 said. “It was a great team win. Now it’s time to correct our mistakes and work hard this week to prepare for a very good Middlebury team.”

Amherst will be back in action against Middlebury (2-0) next Saturday, Oct. 8. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Alumni Stadium in Middlebury, Vermont.