Football Loses to Tufts 27-10 For Second Successive Defeat
Issue   |   Tue, 11/01/2016 - 22:30
Clarus Studios
Senior quarterback Alex Berluti was back from an injury this week, totaling 27 rushing yards and 193 passing yards for the purple and white offense.

For the first time since 2008, the Amherst football team has lost back-to-back games. On Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field, Tufts pulled away in the second half for a 27-10 victory over the purple and white.

Midway through the first quarter, Tufts drove down to the Amherst 21-yardline and seemed poised to take an early lead. However, linebacker Parker Chapman ’17 improbably punched the ball out of the hands of a Tufts receiver, forcing the ball to bounce into the end zone and out of bounds giving the purple and white a touchback and a brief respite.

Amherst proved unable to capitalize on this this stroke of good luck, going three and out on their succeeding drive. After a short punt gave Tufts the ball on the Amherst 45-yardline, the Jumbos again cut through the Amherst defense, marching all the way inside the purple and white’s 10-yardline. Tufts finished out the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass, which, combined with a missed extra point, gave Amherst a 6-0 lead.

With the first quarter ending at the same score of 6-0, Amherst put together its best drive midway through the second quarter. Keyed by quarterback Alex Berluti ’17, who had 10 yards rushing and 38 yards through the air, the purple and white’s offense moved all the way to the Tufts two-yardline. Although Amherst couldn’t punch it in for a touchdown on the drive, Andrew Ferrero ’19 nailed a 19-yard field goal to cut the Jumbos’ lead to 6-3.

Tufts increased its lead with another touchdown on its first possession of the second half, after Amherst went three-and-out to start the half. The Jumbos’ again cut through the teeth of the Amherst defense, gaining sizable chunks of yardage on nearly every play. Tufts punctuated the drive with a one-yard touchdown run from Chance Brady.

This time, the purple and white were quick to answer, with Berluti again showing his impressive potential. The newly-restored starter ran for 31 yards and aired it out for another 48, highlighted by two first-down completions to Devin Boehm ’17. Amherst finished off the drive strong, with Craig Carmilani ’19 pounding it in for a two-yard touchdown to cut Amherst’s deficit to only three after Ferrero nailed the extra point.

Amherst carried over this momentum to the defensive side, with Evan Boynton ’17 picking off the Jumbos’ quarterback on the very next drive. Although Boynton was stripped on his return, his teammate Chapman recovered the fumble at the Tufts 23-yardline.

However, Amherst’s offense stalled and Ferrero shanked a 36-yard field goal attempt, leaving the score at 13-10 with 8:11 remaining in the fourth.

Tufts pounced on this Amherst miscue, again marching 80 yards down the field and tallying another touchdown to push the lead to 20-10. After Berluti threw his first interception of the game on Amherst’s next drive, Tufts’ Brady blew by the purple and white’s defense for a game-ending 49 yard touchdown run.

Amherst player highlights from the game included Boehm leading the receiving unit with six catches for 93 yards, while Widen and Bo Berluti ’19 followed with seven catches for 49 yards, and five catches for 44 yards respectively. Nick Kelly ’17 racked up 104 yards on kickoff returns, including a long scamper of 30 yards to go along with 18 yards rushing.

Defensively, Andrew Yamin ’19 led the effort with 11 tackles and almost intercepted a pass, while John Callahan ’19 and Chapman posted nine tackles each. Boynton and Paul Johnson ’17 added eight tackles apiece with Boynton registering Amherst’s only sack in the game in addition to picking off a pass.

“While we are all disappointed with our record right now, we need to focus on beating a very good Trinity team, which means a lot of hard work this week, ”Brantley Mayers ’19 said.

The purple and white will travel to Hartford, Connecticut for a showdown against an undefeated Trinity team on Saturday, Nov. 5, starting at noon.