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Amherst College > Athletics > Football > Football Downs Colby, 14-3
   
Fletcher Ladd
First-year kick returner Jason Wagstaff had an exceptional game, returning three kicks for 108 yards with a long of 47

Football Improves To 4-0 With 14-3 Win at Colby

October 13, 2001

WATERVILLE, ME - Colby College was looking for revenge but came away empty-handed as visiting Amherst College intercepted five passes and dominated the White Mules, 14-3, in a NESCAC football matchup Saturday afternoon at Seaverns Field. With the win, Amherst improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1997, while Colby fell to 1-3 with its sixth straight loss to the Jeffs.

Amherst, which came into the game with the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation, held the Colby rushing attack to just 105 yards and picked off five of junior quarterback Pat Conley's 25 attempts. Meanwhile, Amherst junior running back Kevin Kennard (Canton, OH) returned from a nagging shoulder injury to rush for a game-high 99 yards on 24 attempts, all but wearing Colby out in the second half.

The first half was ugly, to say the least, with six possessions changing hands by way of turnover, en route to a 0-0 halftime tie. The second half started on a more positive note for Amherst. After both teams punted to begin the third quarter, senior Derrell Wright (Hudson, OH) gave the Jeffs decent field position at the Amherst 49 with a 17-yard punt return. From there, Amherst plodded 51 yards on nine plays, capped by a five-yard touchdown run by Kennard, to take a 7-0 lead with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

Colby retaliated two possessions later after Amherst junior quarterback Jeff Browne (Victor, NY) - who had an otherwise solid afternoon - tossed his third interception of the season, giving the White Mules the ball at their own 20-yard line. A 43-yard pass play from Conley to senior wideout Danny Noyes set up a 40-yard field goal attempt, which senior place-kicker Keith Jonassen drilled through the uprights to cut the lead to 7-3.

With the score a little too close for comfort, Amherst's defense pressed the issue. Sophomore linebacker Ed Sylvester (Scituate, MA) stepped in front of yet another errant Conley offering and zigzagged eight yards to the Colby 37 at the end of the third quarter, sending a dagger through any hopes of a Colby comeback. From there, Kennard rushed three times for 15 yards, before sophomore running back Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH) took over, carrying the ball four out of the next five plays for 22 yards, including a punishing four-yard touchdown run that cemented the win for the Jeffs.

Ladd was a major factor late in the game, finishing with 13 carries for 52 yards and giving Kennard and senior tailback Okey Ugwonali (Dallas, TX) a chance to heal their respective wounds on the sidelines. Browne finished 7-for-21 passing, hooking up with junior fullback Jeff Ryan (Belmont, MA) five times for 57 yards. First-year kick returner Jason Wagstaff (Tewksbury, MA) had an exceptional game, returning three kicks for 108 yards with a long return of 47 yards.

On defense, senior linebacker Dan Lalli (Watertown, MA) - the Jeffs' leading tackler - was once again solid with a team-high seven takedowns. Fellow senior Gregg Stankewicz (Portland, CT) added five tackles and two sacks, while defensive tackle Pat McGee (Marshfield, MA) was all over the field with four tackles - all for loss - and three sacks. Seniors Brad Hensley (Cincinnati, OH), Geoff Dewire (Bernville, PA), Brian Landolfi (Hanover, MA), junior Jeremy Carroll (Winchester, MA) and Sylvester each posted interceptions - all in the second half.

With the win, Amherst remained one of three undefeated teams in the NESCAC along with archrival Williams College and Tufts University. Williams improved to 4-0 this afternoon with a 23-3 win at Middlebury College, while Tufts pulled out a narrow 9-7 victory against visiting Trinity College. Amherst returns to action next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against visiting Little Three rival Wesleyan University, who improved to 3-1 with a 42-16 blowout win over Bates College.

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