AMHERST, Massachusetts -- The Amherst College Lord Jeffs leveled the Bates quarterback five times and returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown to beat the Bates College Bobcats 21-0 Saturday afternoon in the home opener for both teams. The Amherst defense held the visiting Bobcats to only 59 yards rushing and 106 passing while tallying 318 yards of its own in the dominating victory.
The Jeffs capitalized on the passing connection between first-year quarterback Mike Sweeney and sophomore receiver Matt Hall. The two hooked up four times for 88 yards, including a 23 yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and a 28 yard scoring strike in the first quarter. Sweeney finished his first college start going 14 of 31 for 203 yards and a touchdown. The gritty senior, who also doubles as the #1 pitcher on the Amherst baseball team, had several gutsy first down scrambles to go along with his passing genius. On the ground, Darin Byrne and Jeff Coviello ran for 48 and 43 yards respectively, keeping the Bobcat defense honest.
The Jeffs took a 13-0 lead into the locker room at halftime and the score remained the same until Jamie Deluca's 62 yard interception return for a touchdown at the end of the third. Bates had just turned the momentum with an interception of Sweeney and on the very next play, Deluca stepped in front of an Adam Greenlaw pass and beat the running back to the goaline. Deluca finished the day with 3 tackles, 4 assists and the interception. Junior noseguard Greg O'Neill squirted through the Bobcat offensive line all afternoon and came up with 3 sacks.
The Jeffs will travel up to Maine next Saturday to face the Bowdoin Polar Bears.
Bates (0-1) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Amherst (1-0) 7 6 8 0 -- 21
3:31 A Matt Hall 28 pass from Mike Sweeney (Liam Flemming kick good)
11:23 A Darin Byrne 1 yard run (kick failed)
0:08 A James Deluca 62 interception return (Hall 2 point conversion good)
BATES AMHERST First Downs 13 11 Rushing-Yard 40-59 38-115 Passing-Yards 106 203 Return Yards 67 36 Passes 9-21-1 14-31-1 Punts 12-384 8-277 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0 Penalties-Yards 8-70 9-77
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