Ngai Otieno '06
Photo by Erik Andrews '09

Senior tailback Ngai Otieno enters this weekend's matchup ranked second in the conference and sixteenth in the nation with 143.5 rushing yards per game.

Jeffs Look to Move to 2-1 Against Visiting Middlebury

October 5, 2005

Amherst College vs. Middlebury College
October 8, 2005 * Pratt Field
Amherst, MA * 1:30 p.m.

Amherst holds a 17-13 edge over Middlebury in 30 meetings, including a 51-5 blowout victory in their inaugural matchup in 1908. Since then, the Jeffs hold the longest winning streak, nabbing five straight from 1994-98, before suffering a narrow 14-13 loss in 1999 and falling victim to a 17-0 Panther shutout in 2000. The Jeffs have won three of the last four meetings, including a wild 34-26 victory at Youngman Field last season.

Senior tailback Fletcher Ladd scored a pair of touchdowns and became the first player in school history to crack the career 3,000-yard rushing plateau, rumbling for a workman-like 284 yards on 35 carries, as the undefeated Amherst football team improved to 3-0 with a 34-26 come-from-behind win at Middlebury on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2004. Hanging on to a 28-24 lead with eight seconds left in regulation, Amherst elected to take a strategic safety rather than punt from its own end zone. On the final play of the game, Middlebury tried a succession of desperation laterals, the last of which Amherst sophomore Will Beeson snagged mid-flight before sprinting 43 yards untouched for the game-sealing touchdown.

Rushing Yards/Per Game (602 yds/301.0 avg)
Passing Yards/ Per Game (282 yds/141.0 avg)
Total Offense/Per Game (884 yds/442.0 avg)
Total Points/Per Game (41 pts/20.5 avg)
Rushing Allowed/Per Game (109 yds/54.5 avg)
Passing Allowed/Per Game (209 yds/104.5 avg)
Total Offense Allowed/Per Game (318 yds/159.0 avg)
Total Points Allowed/Per Game (19 pts/9.5 avg)

Rushing Yards/Per Game (355 yds/167.5 avg)
Passing Yards/ Per Game (341 yds/170.5 avg)
Total Offense/Per Game (676 yds/338.0 avg)
Total Points/Per Game (28 pts/14.0 avg)
Rushing Allowed/Per Game (211 yds/105.5 avg)
Passing Allowed/Per Game (461 yds/230.5 avg)
Total Offense Allowed/Per Game (672 yds/336.0 avg)
Total Points Allowed/Per Game (42 pts/21.0 avg)

Amherst enters today's matchup at 1-1, boasting the top rushing attack and defensive unit in the conference. The Jeffs piled up 320 yards on the ground in their season-opener at Hamilton, and added 282 more rushing yards in last week's 16-13 loss to Bowdoin. Senior tailback Ngai Otieno has done most of the damage, posting 287 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 42 carries, good for a 6.2 yards per carry average, including a career-high 184 yards against Bowdoin. Classmate Dom Cama has been impressive as well, rolling up 150 yards on 34 touches. Junior wideout Mark Hannon has proved to be a dangerous triple-threat weapon for the Jeffs, netting 120 yards rushing, 96 yards receiving and 69 return yards so far this year. He has lined up in a variety of positions on offense, forcing opposing defenses to constantly be aware of his presence on the field. Junior signal caller Nick Kehoe boasts a quarterback rating of 103.6, completing 26-of-46 tosses for 263 yards and two scores. Hannon has been the main beneficiary of his throws, hauling in a team-best eight receptions. The Jeff defense has been quite stingy thus far, surrendering a conference-low 159.0 yards per game, and only 54.5 yards per game on the ground. Junior inside linebacker Greg Muecke has a team-high 17 tackles and posted a forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries against Bowdoin. Senior outside linebacker Justin Roemer and junior safety Mike Salerno have 15 tackles apiece, while Roemer adds 1.5 tackles-for-loss and an interception to his credit. Senior tri-captain nose guard L.J. Spinnato has nine tackles, 1.5 for loss, a sack and a blocked kick, and sophomore safety Rob Grammer leads the conference with five passes defended.

The Amherst football team suffered a tough 16-13 loss to Bowdoin in the Jeffs' home-opener. Amherst dominated the line of scrimmage all game, rolling up 399 yards of total offense, including 282 on the ground, while holding the Polar Bears to just 139 offensive yards, but Bowdoin capitalized on seven Amherst turnovers to earn the victory. Seniors Ngai Otieno and Dom Cama each pierced the 100-yard rushing mark, gaining 184 and 109 yards, respectively, while senior Justin Roemer and juniors Greg Muecke and Mike Salerno posted 10 tackles apiece.

Nick Kehoe (26-for-47/263 yds/2 TD/3 int)
Greg Hagar (2-for-2/19 yds/0 TD/0 int)
Ngai Otieno (42 att/287 yds/2 TD)
Dom Cama (31 att/150 yds/0 TD)
Mark Hannon (4 att/120 yds/1 TD)
Mark Hannon (8 rec/96 yds/1 TD)
Parnell Adam (5 rec/57 yds/0 TD)
Justin Macione (5 rec/34 yds/0 TD)
Mike Salerno (6 punt returns/7.8 avg)
Mike Quirk (5-for-5 PAT)

QB - #11 Nick Kehoe
FB - #34 Chris Gillyard
TB - #4 Ngai Otieno
WR - #1 Mark Hannon
WR - #5 Justin Macione
TE - #88 Parnell Adam
C - #75 Ryan Smith
LT - #66 Dan Guariglia
RT - #53 Gavin Weeks
LG - #76 Matt Mascioli
RG - #59 Nate Riccardi

OLB - #45 Justin Roemer
OLB - #14 Joe Bickerstaffe
DT - #98 Dan Kovolisky
DT - #55 Brendan McKee
NG - #56 L.J. Spinnato
ILB - #42 Jake Spadafora
ILB - # 31 Greg Muecke
DB - #20 Nick Zieler
DB - #7 Chris Mottau
DB - #2 Mike Salerno
DB - #8 Rob Grammer

Sept. 24 @ Hamilton W 28-3
Oct. 1 BOWDOIN L 16-13
Oct. 8 MIDDLEBURY 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 @ Colby 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 WESLEYAN 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 @ Tufts 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 TRINITY 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 @ Williams Noon

Middlebury is off to a slow start in 2005, suffering a heartbreaking 22-21 loss at Bowdoin in its season-opener and dropping its home-opener last weekend to Colby, 20-7. Although the Bowdoin loss was a close shave, decided by a fumble return for a touchdown and a blocked extra point, the loss to Colby was very one-sided, as the Panthers' only points came on a blocked punt late in the fourth quarter. The Panther offense generates in the strong legs of junior running back Stefan Hrdina. He leads the conference with 334 rushing yards on 63 carries, including 238 yards in the season-opener at Bowdoin, which earned him Co-NESCAC Player of the Week honors, and has eight catches for 58 yards as well. Junior quarterback Tiger Lyon is 37-for-63 passing for 341 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions, while junior tight end Jamie Staples has 14 receptions for a team-best 153 yards, good for second in the NESCAC. The Middlebury defense is led by senior linebacker Coleman Hutzler. Hutzler has a conference-best 30 tackles on the year, including 13 solo takedowns and 1.5 for loss. He also has a sack and a pass breakup to his credit. Bolstering his efforts are sophomore Erik Woodring with 19 tackles and a pair of blocked kicks and junior Scott Secor, who has 11 tackles, an interception, two pass breakups and a blocked kick as well.

The Middlebury football team dropped to 0-2 with a 20-7 loss to visiting Colby last weekend. The Panthers fell behind 20-0 and got on the scoreboard only as sophomore Nathan Shreve returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. Reigning Co-NESCAC Player of the Week Stefan Hrdina netted 96 yards on 25 carries, and junior quarterback Tiger Lyon went 20-for-36 passing for 172 yards. Junior tight end Jamie Staples was on the receiving end of most of Lyon 's tosses, grabbing eight catches for 89 yards. Senior Coleman Hutzler paced the Panther defense with 17 tackles.

Head coach Bob Ritter enters his fifth year as the Panthers' head coach, after graduating from Middlebury in 1982 and serving 12 years as an assistant under Middlebury coaching great Mickey Heinecken. In his time there he has also served as the teams' defensive and offensive coordinator and spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Middlebury men's lacrosse team as well. He also coached at NESCAC rival Tufts University from 1987 to 1995. He's 16-16 in four seasons as the Middlebury head coach.

Tiger Lyon (37-for-63/341 yds/1 TD/4 int)
Stefan Hrdina (63 att/344 yds/1 TD)
David Randolph (3 att/6 yds/0 TD)
Jamie Staples (14 rec/153 yds/1 TD)
Stefan Hrdina (8 rec/58 yds/1 TD)
Ryan Armstrong (6 rec/62 yds/0 TD)
Derek Polsinello (7 kick returns/16.6 avg)
Stefan Hauschka (2-for-2 fg/2-for-3 PAT)

QB - #9 Tiger Lyon
RB - #34 Stefan Hrdina
FB - #22 Ryan Armstrong
LT - #77 Drew Babin
LG - #63 Frank Silva
C - #67 Jake Navarro
RG - #61 Trey Stewart
RT - #65 Brendan Parnell
TE - #44 Jamie Staples
WR - #14 Tim Sheridan
WR - #10 Derek Polsinello

DL - #37 Kevin Ryan
DL - #23 Neiman Groce
DL - #7 Alex Buggy
LB - #11 Coleman Hutzler
LB - #32 Alejandro Miranda
LB - #45 Eric Woodring
LB - #51 John Lanahan
DB - #36 Nathan Shreve
DB - #25 Brian Young
DB - #2 Scott Secor
DB - #8 Ed Allen

Sept. 24 @ Bowdoin L 22-21
Oct. 1 COLBY L 20-7
Oct 8 @ Amherst 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 WILLIAMS 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 @ Bates 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 29 TRINITY 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 HAMILTON 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 @ Tufts Noon

Bowdoin (2-0)
Colby (2-0)
Trinity (2-0)
Tufts (2-0)
Amherst (1-1)
Hamilton (1-1)
Bates (0-2)
Middlebury (0-2)
Williams (0-2)
Wesleyan (0-2)

Amherst leads 30-17-0 (30 meetings)
1908 Amherst 51 Middlebury 5
1914 Amherst 14 Middlebury 0
1915 Amherst 17 Middlebury 7
1917 Middlebury 19 Amherst 7
1928 Amherst 19 Middlebury 7
1980 Middlebury 30 Amherst 5
1981 Middlebury 22 Amherst 7
1982 Middlebury 12 Amherst 10
1983 Middlebury 16 Amherst 3
1984 Amherst 28 Middlebury 10
1985 Amherst 14 Middlebury 3
1986 Amherst 24 Middlebury 21
1987 Amherst 28 Middlebury 16
1988 Middlebury 19 Amherst 0
1989 Amherst 10 Middlebury 0
1990 Middlebury 20 Amherst 13
1991 Middlebury 35 Amherst 0
1992 Middlebury 24 Amherst 13
1993 Middlebury 10 Amherst 6
1994 Amherst 21 Middlebury 7
1995 Amherst 28 Middlebury 13
1996 Amherst 17 Middlebury 10
1997 Amherst 22 Middlebury 17
1998 Amherst 14 Middlebury 3
1999 Middlebury 14 Amherst 13
2000 Middlebury 17 Amherst 0
2001 Amherst 7 Middlebury 3
2002 Amherst 17 Middlebury 10
2003 Middlebury 17 Amherst 14
2004 Amherst 34 Middlebury 26