Junior quarterback Jeff Browne completed 10 of 17 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in Amherst's win over Bowdoin
Amherst Football Dominates Bowdoin in Home Opener, 35-0
September 29, 2001
AMHERST - Amherst College junior quarterback Jeff Browne (Victor, NY) completed 10 of 17 passes for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and senior co-captain wideout Derrell Wright (Hudson, OH) pulled in six passes for 106 yards, as the Jeffs rolled up 411 yards in total offense on Saturday, opening up a 21-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 35-0 rout in their home opener against NESCAC conference rival Bowdoin College.
One week after blowing out Hamilton College in their 24-0 season opener, the Jeffs nearly matched that score in the first quarter of Saturday's contest, thanks to stellar field position as provided by the Amherst defense. The Jeffs' defensive unit, anchored by senior co-captain Pat McGee (Marshfield, MA), held Bowdoin to nine total yards on its first four possessions, including a minus-four yard series that had Polar Bear first-year Adam Goodfellow (Milford, CT) punting out of the back of his own end-zone midway through the first quarter. Goodfellow's line-drive punt was fielded at the Bowdoin 27 by Wright, who returned it all the way to the Bowdoin nine-yard line, where Amherst would need just one play to get on the scoreboard. Sophomore Jim Devine (Centerville, VA), who gave the Jeffs a different look behind center, took the first snap and ran untouched around the right end into the endzone. Devine's first career TD gave the Jeffs an early 7-0 lead, one they would waste little time expanding.
After the Amherst defense held Bowdoin to three plays for minus-11 yards on the ensuing possession, the Jeffs once again had a short field to work with, needing only three plays, including a 17-yard scamper by Devine, to return to the endzone. Senior Jerimy Hiltner (Limon, CO) capped the short drive with a seven-yard TD run of his own, putting the Jeffs up 14-0.
Again, Bowdoin would go three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and, again, the Jeffs would capitalize, with a 50-yard completion from Browne to Wright setting up a nine-yard touchdown pass from the junior to classmate Brian Hart (Rutland, VT). In a span of 6:06, the Jeffs put up 21 points, taking a 21-0 lead into the second quarter.
Junior Polar Bear quarterback Justin Hardison (West Hartford, CT), who would finish the afternoon just 4-of-14 for 17 yards, turned the ball over on the Polar Bears' next possession, after a pass over the middle was deflected by senior Amherst defensive back Jay Hutchins (Columbus, OH), right into the hands of teammate Jeremy Carroll (Winchester, MA). The Jeffs took advantage of the first of two Bowdoin turnovers on the afternoon, going 42 yards in nine plays, capped by a four-yard TD run by first-year Matt Monteith (Madison, CT).
The Amherst defense continued to shut down the Bowdoin attack, holding the Polar Bears to 22 second-quarter yards, and the offense nearly made it 35-0 at the half, but the Jeffs' longest drive of the afternoon, a 10-play, 80-yard series, ended in Amherst's lone turnover of the day, sending the game to halftime with the hosts up four touchdowns, having put up 250 first-half yards compared to Bowdoin's 44.
With most of the starters resting in the second half, the Jeffs continued to roll up yards on the ground, despite playing without senior co-captain Okey Ugwonali (Dallas, TX), sidelined by an ankle injury after a career-high 152 yards in the season opener. Without Ugwonali, the Jeffs turned to sophomore Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH) and first-year Christopher Scarpelli (Wyckoff, NJ) to handle the bulk of the rushing duties, and the underclassmen turned in solid performances, combining for 112 yards on 23 carries, helping the Jeffs control the clock in the second half.
On Amherst's second drive of the third quarter, a pair of Ladd rushes got the Jeffs to their own 48, before what would turn out to be the biggest offensive play of the game, as Browne, on first down, hit Hiltner in stride on a crossing pattern, which the senior took to the house for his second score of the afternoon, opening up a 35-0 lead for the hosts just 4:12 after the intermission.
From there, the Amherst defense took over once more, holding Bowdoin to just seven yards in the third quarter. Along with McGee, who finished with a pair of sacks and four tackles for loss, senior linebacker Brian Landolfi (Hanover, MA) piled up 12 tackles, five solo and seven assists, adding a pass breakup and two tackles for loss to a dominating all-around defensive effort. Senior Gregg Stankiewicz (Portland, CT) also chipped in with solid work on defense, coming up with four tackles for loss, including two sacks for 19 yards.
The Polar Bears, who crossed midfield on their first drive of the game, would not get across the 50-yard line again until their second-to-last drive of the game, a 15-play affair midway through the fourth quarter that was the visitorsŐ best scoring opportunity of the day. With sophomore John Clifford (Wayland, MA) calling the signals, the Polar Bears got all the way to the Amherst 19, where McGee came up with a big sack on fourth-and-nine, sealing the shutout with the nine-yard loss.
All told, the Jeffs would outgain the Polar Bears 411-127, with 80 of the 127 Bowdoin yards coming on two drives. Browne, in only his second career start, finished with a near-flawless afternoon, completing 10 of 17 passes for 175 yards and two scores. Hiltner added a pair of touchdowns, Wright pulled in six passes for 106 yards, and Devine, in limited action, was 4-of-4 for 51 yards, adding seven carries for 26 yards and a touchdown. Amherst first-year placekicker David Bodner (Atlantic Beach, NY), whose 32-yard third-quarter field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar, was otherwise perfect on the day, converting all five extra-point attempts, as the Jeffs, who picked up their second-consecutive shutout, scored early and often, with Bowdoin actually holding a slight edge in the final time of possession.
The win gives Amherst a boost heading into next Saturday's home date with the Middlebury College Panthers, the team responsible for the Jeffs' lone loss during the 2000 campaign, a 17-0 thrashing in Vermont. Bowdoin, who falls to 0-2, will have its work cut out next weekend, when they travel to Medford, Massachusetts to battle Tufts University, who have scored 76 points in their first two games of 2001.
The Jeffs (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC), who remain tied atop the NESCAC with Tufts and Williams College, will host the Panthers, 1-1 after a 28-21 loss to Colby College on Saturday, in a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Pratt Field.
Click HERE for a full box score...