Photo by Charlie Quigg '09

Senior co-captain Mark Hannon had 11 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game.

Amherst Blanks Wesleyan for Fourth Win of the Season

October 21 , 2006

AMHERST, MA –The Amherst College football team blanked NESCAC and Little Three archrival Wesleyan University on the road this afternoon, 23-0.  The Jeffs improve to 4-1 on the season and remain tied for second place in the NESCAC standings, while Wesleyan drops to 2-3. 

It didn’t take Amherst long to draw first blood, as the Jeffs struck early with a 54-yard touchdown pass from senior Nick Kehoe (Washington Depot, CT) to fellow classmate Mark Hannon (Glen Rock, NJ), putting the Jeffs ahead 7-0 just over two minutes into the game. 

Only two minutes later, Amherst struck again when junior Rob Grammar (Glen Rock, NJ) intercepted a Zach Librizzi (Essex Junction, VT) pass attempt, returning it 38 yards for the Jeffs’ second touchdown in less than five minutes of play. 

Neither team put much together until late in the second quarter, when Wesleyan started a drive on the Amherst 37-yard line.  After a short rush, incomplete pass, and sack for 10 yards, Wesleyan was forced to punt with only one minute remaining, not giving Amherst enough time to score before heading into halftime, keeping the score 14-0 at intermission.

Early in the third quarter, Wesleyan rushed to the Amherst 47-yard line, but a fumble was caused and recovered by the Jeffs’ sophomore lineman Greg Smith (Rockville, MD).  The Amherst offense capitalized on Smith’s recovery, moving quickly down the field and eventually scoring when Kehoe hooked up with Hannon for the second time, connecting for a 22-yard touchdown reception to put the Jeffs up 20-0 with less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

The Cardinals responded by marching down to Amherst’s 22-yard line, but chose to go for a first down rather than attempt a field goal when faced with fourth-and-six.  Librizzi’s attempt on fourth down was incomplete, and the Cardinals handed the ball over to Amherst with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

Amherst again capitalized on Wesleyan’s failure to score, as the Jeffs strung together 12 plays to reach Wesleyan’s 18-yard line, setting up first-year Matt Eberhart (Plano, TX) for a  36-yard field goal attempt, which he converted for his first and only of the day, putting the Jeffs ahead 23-0 with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Amherst threatened one last time after driving 55 yards to the Wesleyan six-yard line, but elected to run the ball on fourth down rather than attempt a field goal.  On the drive, the Jeffs were able to run 9:11 off the clock, leaving the Cardinals with just over two minutes in the game, securing the 23-0 victory. 

Kehoe finished the day 23-of-31 for 226 yards, adding two touchdowns with one interception, while Hannon finished with 98 receiving yards on 11 catches and junior Mike Myers (Foxboro, MA) added 56 yards on five catches.  First-year Aaron Rauh (Hudson, OH) caught 3 passes for 34 yards, and added 53 yards on the ground to lead the Jeffs in rushing on the day.

The offense was solid as a whole, but it was the defense that once again stole the show, holding the Cardinals to just 23 rushing yards and recording their first shutout of the season.  Junior Chris Mottau (Holliston, MA) and sophomore Guy Matisis (Hingham, MA) led the way for the Jeffs, with Mottau racking up ten tackles and Matisis totaling seven tackles and two sacks.  The Jeffs’ defense is currently ranked first in the nation in points allowed per game with 4.6.

Librizzi finished the day 20-of-32 for 159 yards, adding one interception and no touchdowns, favoring sophomore wide receiver Ryan Walsh (Milton, MA), who caught nine passes for 95 yards.  Graduate student Quincy Francis (Stamford, CT) anchored the Cardinal defense, totaling 16 tackles on the day.

The Jeffs return to action next Saturday for a home match-up against NESCAC rival Tufts University.  Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.

Score By Quarter.......1.....2.....3.....4.....Final
Amherst......................14....0.....6.....3......23
Wesleyan....................0.....0.....0......0.....0

Scoring Summary: 1st 12:46 AMH - Mark Hannon 54 yd pass from Nick Kehoe (Matt Eberhart kick), 4-67 1:54, AMH 7 - WES 0 10:43 AMH - Rob Grammar 38 yd interception return (Matt Eberhart kick), , AMH 14 - WES 0 3rd 06:31 AMH - Mark Hannon 22 yd pass from Nick Kehoe (Matt Eberhart kick failed), 7-44 3:37, AMH 20 - WES 0 4th 12:51 AMH - Matt Eberhart 36 yd field goal, 12-60 5:29, AMH 23 - WES 0

RUSHING: Amherst-Aaron Rauh 11-53; Eric NeSmith 9-29; Will Beeson 11-22; TEAM 2-minus 8; Nick Kehoe 4-minus 11. Wesleyan University-P. Banks 7-18; K. Leamy 1-4; Z. Librizzi 12-1.

PASSING: Amherst-Nick Kehoe 23-32-1-226. Wesleyan University-Z. Librizzi 20-32-1-159; Z. Canter 0-2-0-0.

RECEIVING: Amherst-Mark Hannon 11-98; Mike Myers 5-56; Aaron Rauh 3-34; Justin Macione 3-23; Eric NeSmith 1-15. Wesleyan University-R. Walsh 9-95; P. Banks 4-11; C. Helsel 3-26; M. Barnum 2-11; D. Granatell 1-10; T. Cullen 1-6.

INTERCEPTIONS: Amherst-Rob Grammar 1-38. Wesleyan University-J. McLaren 1-0.

FUMBLES: Amherst-None. Wesleyan University-P. Banks 2-2.

TEAM NAME....................................AMH.............WES
FIRST DOWNS................................18..................12
RUSHES-YARDS (NET).....................37-85.............20-2
PASSING YDS (NET)........................226................159
Passes Att-Comp-Int.....................32-23-1..........34-20-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS........69-311..........54-182
Fumble Returns-Yards....................1-9................0-0
Punt Returns-Yards........................0-0................2-11
Kickoff Returns-Yards.....................2-38..............4-113
Interception Returns-Yards............1-38..............1-0
Punts (Number-Avg).......................4-33.2...........6-25.3
Fumbles-Lost..................................0-0................2-2
Penalties-Yards..............................4-35...............2-10
Possession Time............................35:50.............24:10
Third-Down Conversions................7 of 15...........2 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions..............1 of 2............0 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.............1-2................0-1
Sacks By: Number-Yards................3-26..............2-15

BOX SCORE/PLAY-BY-PLAY