AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Rich Willard (Johnstown, NY) threw 14 completions for 264 yards to lead Amherst to a 35-8 pounding of Trinity (CT). The Jeffs held the Bantams to under 100 yards net rushing for the first time this season as Amherst stole 74 yards from Trinity for a net gain of 87 stripes. The best defense in the NESCAC allowed the Bantams 141 yards of total offense as Amherst pushes its record to 7-0 for the second straight year as the Jeffs prepare to travel to Williams next Saturday in search of their first undefeated season since 1984.
The Amherst offense started clicking on its first possession as the Jeffs drove 70 yards in 1:48 for a 7-0 lead. Willard threw a pair of bombs to wideouts Shaun Quigley (Chicopee, MA) and Colin Barnacle (Denver, CO) to spark the drive, one that made the quarterback Amherst's Career Passing Leader, surpassing John Kehoe's mark of 3,796 set in the 1969 season. Willard now stands at 4,009 yards in his four-year career.
Darin Byrne (Winchester, MA) notched his second of two touchdowns on the next Amherst possession, spinning off the line of scrimmage for a 38-yard run to goal. Todd Nichols (Skaneateles, NY), who tallied three picks against the Bantams last year, intercepted the second of two Trinity passes early in the second quarter to set up a 21-yard touchdown pass from Willard to Quigley. The Jeffs rounded out the half with a 37-yard pass to Barnacle in the endzone for a 28-0 halftime lead.
Trinity turned on the pressure in the third quarter as the Bantams kept the Jeffs out of the red zone. Taking over at their own 31, the Bantams mounted a 3:55 drive that culminated in an 8-yard run to goal by senior fullback Greg Gagne (Wolcott, CT). Going for the two-point conversion, quarterback Joe Mullaney (Wellesley, MA) sent the option pitch to junior rusher Sherman Francis (Boston, MA) for a 28-8 score. Amherst responded on its next possession with a 65-yard drive towards a Bob DiSabato (Westwood, MA) run middle for touchdown.
Defensively, Trinity leveled three sacks on Willard for 21 yards, while Amherst notched four of their own for a loss of 23. Co-Captain Seth Zimmerman (Lewistown, PA) led the Jeffs with 14 hits (8 solo), followed by Devin Moriarty (Springfield, MA) with 13 (2 solo), including one for a loss of four yards and a sack for seven. Sophomore sensation Brian Lahaie (Silver Springs, MD) registered nine hits for the Bantams, including one of their three sacks for seven yards.
Amherst will next travel to archrival Williams to round out the season, looking for the Jeffs' first undefeated year since 1984. Last year, the Jeffs also entered the matchup untainted, but fell to the Ephs 19-13 in the final 36 seconds. Trinity will finish out their 1997 campaign at home next week against Wesleyan (6-1), who defeated Williams (6-1) today 28-14.
Saturday, November 1, 1997 at Pratt Field, Amherst, Massachusetts Trinity (5-2) 0 0 0 8 -- 8 Amherst (7-0) 14 14 0 7 -- 35 First Quarter 13:12 A Darin Byrne 2 run (Liam Fleming kick) 9:56 A Byrne 38 run (Fleming kick) Second Quarter 9:39 A Shaun Quigley 21 pass from Rich Willard (Fleming kick) 0:41 A Colin Barnacle 37 pass from Willard (Fleming kick) Fourth Quarter 14:49 T Greg Gagne 8 run (Sherman Francis run good) 12:17 A Bob DiSabato 1 run (Fleming kick) Amherst Trinity First Downs 16 8 Rushing-Yards 37-109 51-87 Passing Yards 264 54 Return Yards 61 196 Passes 32-14-1 16-5-2 Punts 10-343 9-319 Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1 Penalties-Yards 9-70 8-103 Attendance: 1,142Rushing: Darin Byrne 17-91, Bob DiSabato 5-10, Harold Henderson 2-7, Josh Carroll 4-6, Rich Willard 6-0, Jeff Coviello 1-(-1), Mike Sweeney 2-(-4). T Sherman Francis 17-48, Joe Mullaney 14-28, Greg Gagne 5-25, Marc Maccarini 14-2, Walter Faget 1-(-16).
# # # 11/1/97