Photo by Charlie Quigg '09

Sophomore back Eric NeSmith ran for 105 yards in a losing effort at Middlebury.

Amherst Falls to Middlebury 7-3 for First Loss of 2006

October 7 , 2006

AMHERST, MA - In a game featuring two undefeated NESCAC rivals, Amherst and Middlebury proved to be equally matched through four quarters of play. Amherst clung to a slim 3-0 lead at halftime, but it was not enough to ensure victory, as the Panthers came back to win 7-3 in an exciting game.  The Panthers improve to 3-0 on the season, while the Jeffs drop to 2-1. 

The Jeffs drew first blood, scoring on a Matt Eberhart (Plano, TX) 29-yard field goal with 7:47 remaining in the second quarter.  The field goal capped off a nine-play drive featuring 38 rushing yards by sophomore Eric NeSmith (Newark, NJ).  Amherst took the 3-0 lead into halftime. 

Amherst threatened early in the second half, marching down to Middlebury’s 27-yard line after a 22-yard run by NeSmith and a 15-yard pass interference penalty against the Panthers.  A costly fumble by NeSmith on the opposing 21-yard line, however, placed the momentum in Middlebury’s hands, and the Panthers took full advantage of the turnover.  Middlebury drove 79 yards to score on a 1-yard run by Stefan Hrdina.  The extra point gave the Panthers a 7-3 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

After a 19-yard pass from senior Nick Kehoe (Washington Depot, CT) to junior Mike Myers (Foxboro, MA) placed Amherst on Middlebury’s 41 yard line to end the third quarter. The Jeffs appeared to be starting the final quarter in great position, however, Kehoe was intercepted by Middlebury’s Mac Conn on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The offenses were unable to put much together in the fourth quarter, as neither team gained more than 19 yards on any possession until late in the quarter.  Facing 4th-and-24 with nearly two minutes remaining, Kehoe completed passes for 38 and 20 yards, respectively, to bring his team to Middlebury’s 36-yard line with the end of the game nearing.  Two key sacks by the Panthers defense, along with a costly Amherst penalty, prevented the Jeffs from advancing any farther.  Middlebury regained possession with just nine seconds remaining and was able to run out the clock. 

NeSmith finished the day with 105 yards on the ground, while Kehoe went 10-of-27 with 137 yards passing, but was sacked five times for a total loss of 46 yards.  Kehoe’s favorite receiver on the day was senior Justin Macione (Mansfield, MA), who caught three passes for 65 yards.  Sophomore Mike Flanagan (Sherborn, MA) and senior Brendan McKee (Hull, MA) each had a sack for Amherst. 

Amherst returns to action Saturday, October 14 in a home game against NESCAC rival Colby College. 

 

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4
Amherst.................. 0 3 0 0 - 3 Record: (2-1,2-1)
Middlebury.............. 0 0 7 0 - 7 Record: (3-0,3-0)

Scoring Summary: 2nd 07:47 AMHERST - M. Eberhart 29 yd field goal, 9-34 4:17, AMHERST 3 - MID 0 3rd 05:03 MID - S. Hrdina 1 yd run (S. Hauschka kick), 13-79 5:50, AMHERST 3 - MID 7

RUSHING: Amherst-E. NeSmith 21-105; W. Beeson 5-13; A. Rauh 2-6; N. Kehoe 6-minus 43. Middlebury-S. Hrdina 18-31; D. Randolph 11-29; L. Scherer 1-3; T. Lyon 7-minus 2; C. Schmidt 1-minus 7.

PASSING: Amherst-N. Kehoe 10-27-1-137. Middlebury-T. Lyon 18-25-0-167.

RECEIVING: Amherst-J. Macione 3-65; M. Hannon 3-26; J. Eckenrode 1-20; M. Myers 1-19; M. Dunleavy 1-4; E. NeSmith 1-3. Middlebury-T. Dillon 4-47; E. Beilin 4-34; S. Hrdina 3-17; J. Staples 2-32; D. Polsinello 2-19; A. Matson 2-16; C. Schmidt 1-2.

INTERCEPTIONS: Amherst-None. Middlebury-M. Conn 1-0.

FUMBLES: Amherst-E. NeSmith 1-1. Middlebury-S. Hrdina 1-1.

STATISTICAL COMPARISONS.....AMH......MIDD

FIRST DOWNS.............................15..........15
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)..................34-81......38-54
PASSING YDS (NET).....................137........167
Passes Att-Comp-Int....................27-10-1..25-18-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 61-218....63-221
Fumble Returns-Yards...................0-0.........0-0
Punt Returns-Yards......................4-12........2-7
Kickoff Returns-Yards...................1-22.......2-32
Interception Returns-Yards............0-0........1-0
Punts (Number-Avg).....................8-32.6....8-33.9
Fumbles-Lost...............................1-1........1-1
Penalties-Yards............................4-43......7-60
Possession Time...........................26:30....33:30
Third-Down Conversions................2 of 13....6 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions..............1 of 2.....0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances............1-1..........1-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards...............2-21......5-46

BOX SCORE/PLAY-BY-PLAY