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Jeffs Place Six on ECAC Northeast All-Star Team

December 7, 2001

Brian Landolfi '02
ECAC Northeast All-Star Brian Landolfi capped his career with 57 tackles and three interceptions in 2001
AMHERST, MA - Amherst College placed six players on the ECAC Division III Northeast Football All-Star Team, including first-team selections Pat McGee (Marshfield, MA), Dan Lalli (Watertown, MA), Josh Ahearn (North Brookfield, MA) and Geoff Bough (Los Altos, CA). Senior linebacker Brian Landolfi (Hanover, MA) and senior strong safety Jay Hutchins (Columbus, OH) also earned second-team honors, tying Amherst with Plymouth State and Westfield State as Colleges with the most players selected.

McGee's trophy case is literally overflowing with a bevy of postseason accolades, including last week's inclusion on the 2001 Football Gazette NCAA Division III All-East Region Team, as selected by the regions' sports information directors. The senior quad-captain defensive tackle was also recently named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, and was tabbed a Division II/III All-Star by the New England football writers. He led Amherst with a single-season school record 9.5 sacks and a team-high 17 tackles for loss, and capped his career as Amherst's all-time sack leader with 29.5 in four seasons.

McGee also earned First-Team All-NESCAC and Second-Team All-ECAC honors as a junior after leading the Jeffs with 12 tackles in the backfield and eight sacks, despite missing the season's final three games due to injury. Furthermore, McGee is a national nominee for the prestigious Melberger Award, presented annually by the Downtown Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Touchdown Club, which was founded and incorporated in 1991 to promote and honor student-athletes and coaches in NCAA Division III College Football.

Like McGee, Lalli - a senior quad-captain linebacker - also earned his second consecutive First-Team All-NESCAC selection earlier this season, leading the Jeffs with a whopping 79 tackles in 2001. He saved perhaps his finest outing for the last home game, torching visiting Trinity College for a career-high 18 tackles and forcing a fumble as Amherst improved to 7-0 heading into its season-finale at undefeated archrival Williams College. Lalli is no stranger to postseason accolades, earning First-Team All-NESCAC and Second-Team All-ECAC honors as a junior and All-ECAC and Team MVP honors as a sophomore, after being named the NESCAC Defensive Rookie of the Year as a freshman. He is one of the few players in school history to start all 32 games during his career, including two seasons as team captain.

Ahearn is Amherst's lone representative from the offensive line, capping his career as one of the region's finest centers. Behind Ahearn - also a First-Team All-NESCAC selection in 2001 - the Jeffs averaged 204.4 yards rushing despite suffering a wealth of injuries in the offensive backfield. Amherst also rushed for 1,355 yards in 2000, Ahearn's junior season.

Just a junior, Bough recently joined McGee on the 2001 Football Gazette NCAA Division III All-East Region Team and was a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, leading the conference with a 38.2-yard punting average, including 19 boots inside the opponent's 20-yard line - a dramatic improvement over his 33.2-yard average as a sophomore. Bough hinted at great things to come in the Jeffs' 2000 season-finale, recovering a potentially disastrous errant snap and unleashing a career-long, game-saving 61-yard punt in Amherst's dramatic 20-12 NESCAC-clinching win over archrival Williams College.

Hutchins' award was long overdue, leading the Jeffs with 76 total tackles as a junior before tallying a team second-best 68 this season. The senior strong safety was a First-Team All-NESCAC selection and a two-time NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week in 2001; once after notching 12 tackles and forcing a turnover in Amherst's 7-3 win over Middlebury College, the second after a 10-tackle performance at Trinity College in which he recovered a fumble in Amherst's end zone and raced 24 yards, setting up the game-winning touchdown.

Despite recently earning First-Team Al-NESCAC honors, Landolfi - a senior linebacker - has been similarly underrated during a spectacular four-year career, capped by this season's 57-tackle, three-interception performance, making him the team's third leading tackler. He also finished third on the team with 55 tackles as a junior, was second in 1999 with 46 takedowns and was the Jeffs' fourth-leading tackler as a first-year with 61.

Amherst finished its season at 7-1, losing its final game, 23-20, in overtime at undefeated conference champion Williams, narrowly missing out on becoming the first Amherst team to finish 8-0 since 1984. Along the way, Amherst's defense tied a 21-year old NCAA Division III record by not allowing a passing touchdown all season long and led the nation (all divisions) in scoring defense, surrendering just 6.1 points per game.