|Amherst Football Hammers Bates in Season Opener|
Amherst Football Hammers Bates in Season Opener
By Kevin Graber, special to Amherst College Sports Information
September 23 , 2005
AMHERST, MA – Senior wideout Mark Hannon (Glen Rock, NJ) scored a trio of backbreaking touchdowns in the first half – two on scoring strikes from senior quarterback Nick Kehoe (Washington Depot, CT) and another on a sizzling 64-yard punt return – as the Amherst College football team manhandled visiting NESCAC foe Bates College 31-6 on Saturday. Amherst has now won seven straight season openers dating back to 2000.
Keyed by stellar pass protection from its offensive line, Amherst’s offense was dominant, but the defense was equally, if not more, impressive, holding Bates to just 159 yards of total offense. Ten different Jeffs logged four or more tackles, led by senior defensive lineman Brendan McKee (Hull, MA), who finished with nine takedowns, three tackles in the backfield and 1.5 sacks. Senior linebacker Dakota Jones (Boston, MA) and junior defensive back Chris Mottau (Holliston, MA) pitched in with eight tackles apiece. Mottau added one of two Amherst interceptions, along with sophomore defensive back Rob Grammer (Glen Rock, NJ).
Amherst’s offense struck early and often, finding the back of the end zone on each of its first three possessions and four of its first five overall. Hannon set the tone with a 39-yard scoring strike from Kehoe on the Jeffs’ opening drive, after senior wideout Justin Macione (Mansfield, MA) keyed the stampede with a clutch 18-yard reception on third and nine.
The defense forced Bates into a three-and-out its next possession, and Hannon returned the ensuing punt 64 yards for his second touchdown in the game’s first eight minutes. Amherst wasn’t finished yet. After Mottau picked off a Brandon Colon (Manchester, NH) offering at the Bates 43, Kehoe found sophomore running back Eric NeSmith (Newark, NJ) on a slant from 13 yards out to push the lead to 21.
Kehoe and Hannon connected once more midway through the second quarter for a 28-point halftime cushion. Kehoe was a perfect three-for-three for 69 yards on the drive, finding NeSmith for 20 yards and junior wideout Mike Meyers (Foxboro, MA) before drilling Hannon with a 16-yard bullet.
Amherst was content to grind out the clock in the second half, but first-year kicker Matt Eberhart (Plano, TX) sealed the win with 27-yard field goal at the tail end of the third quarter. Eberhart was stellar all afternoon, connecting on all four extra point attempts and booming several kickoffs into the Bates end zone.
Bates took advantage of an Amherst turnover to stave off the shutout, as sophomore cornerback Kevin Reyes (North Andover, MA) picked off a Kehoe attempt and logged a 32-yard return all the way to the Amherst 15. Bates senior running back Jamie Walker (Needham, MA) then capitalized with a three-yard touchdown rumble, but the Bobcats would never seriously threaten again.
Hannon finished the day with seven catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns in addition to his 64-yard punt return. He also punted twice with a long boot of 34 yards. Kehoe was similarly impressive with 14 completions for 260 yards and three scoring strikes. Macione, NeSmith and Myers combined for 139 receiving yards on two catches apiece. First-year running back Aaron Rauh (Hudson, OH) paced the ground attack with 33 yards on 10 carries, followed by senior Will Beeson (Kansas City, MO) with 27 yards on 12 carries and NeSmith with 16 yards on 10 carries.
Walker led Bates with 48 rushing yards on a workmanlike 19 carries. Colon finished 10-for-21 passing for 99 yards and two interceptions. Senior defensive back Adam Kayce (South Easton, MA) paced the Bates defense with a game-high 12 tackles.
Amherst has won three straight against Bates dating back to 2002 and leads the all-time series 19-4-2.
The Jeffs return to action next Saturday at 1 p.m. at NESCAC rival Bowdoin College.
Saturday, September 23, 2006 @ Pratt Field – Amherst College – Amherst Mass
RUSHING: Bates College-Jamie Walker 19-48; Greg Thornton 6-33; Dylan
PASSING: Bates College-Brandon Colon 10-21-2-99; Tom Beaton 0-0-0-0.
RECEIVING: Bates College-Dylan MacNamara 7-52; Ross Van Horn 2-35; Matt
INTERCEPTIONS: Bates College-Kevin Reyes 1-32; 8 1-14. Amherst-Chris
FUMBLES: Bates College-Brandon Colon 2-0; Chris Hertz 1-0. Amherst-Justin
SACKS (UA-A): Bates College-Anthony Begon 1-0. Amherst-Brendan McKee 1-1;
TACKLES (UA-A): Bates College-Adam Kayce 6-6; Ron DiGravio 4-6; Graham
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