Football Brushes Aside Last Season’s Woes With Rout of Bates
Issue   |   Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:16
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Avery Saffold ‘18 had two punt returns totaling 56 yards that provided great field position for the Amherst offense.

On Saturday, the Amherst men’s football team opened its season with a resounding 41-17 victory over the Bates Bobcats. This was a morale-boosting win for a program that was coming off of a disappointing 4-4 season, which saw the Mammoths devastated by a rash of injuries to key players.

The purple and white opened up the scoring with a seven-play drive, culminating in a 49-yard pass from Ollie Ebert ‘20 to James O’Regan ’20 in the back of the end zone.

“Although there are many things we hope to improve upon as a team from last year, the most important may be our ability to make big plays when our back is against the wall,” senior captain Bolaji Ekhator said.

After this early touchdown, Bates and Amherst held each other scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter.

In the next period, after forcing a punt, the Mammoths put the ball in the hands of Jack Hickey ’19, who ran for a four-yard touchdown at the end of a four-play, 55-yard drive.

On its next possession, Amherst marched down the field once more, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown catch by senior tight end Beau Santero ’18.

The Mammoths dominated defensively in the first half as well. Bates scored just one field goal as time expired, and Amherst entered halftime with a 20-3 lead.

In the third quarter, the Mammoths again played stellar defense, taking the ball away from Bates multiple times with an interception by Andrew Sommer ’19 and a fumble recovery.

The Mammoths’ offense capitalized on this opportunity with a run of 21 unanswered points. Craig Carmilani ’18 and Bo Berluti ’19 both caught touchdown passes, and Andrew Dorogi ’18 had a seven-yard run for a touchdown, making the score 41-3.

In the fourth quarter, Bates responded with two touchdowns, but it was too late to affect the game’s outcome.
In an overall promising day for the Mammoths, Amherst outgained Bates 383 yards to 218.

Even more impressive was the fact that the purple and white defense limited Bates’ quarterback to just 56 passing yards, compared to Ebert’s 211.

Carmilani led the team in receiving yards, with 97 yards on two receptions. On the defensive end, Sommer ended the game with a team-high seven tackles.

“This team wants to be the first [Amherst College football team] to be 9-0,” injured quarterback and co-captain Reece Foy ’18 said before the game. “We will do this by being a family and really loving and believing in one another.”

The team will look to continue its good form next Saturday, when the Mammoths face Hamilton College away at 1 p.m. The Continentals are coming off of a 35-28 overtime loss to Tufts. Amherst beat Hamilton last year 34-0 and has not lost to Hamilton in several decades.