Photo by Charlie Quigg '09

Senior quad-captain Mike Salerno led the top-ranked Jeff defense with 17 tackles against Tufts.

Amherst Runs Wild Against Tufts to Move to 5-1

October 28 , 2006

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College football team improved to 5-1 on the season with a convincing 24-6 win over visiting Tufts University Saturday. On an afternoon which saw all other Amherst athletics action either cancelled or postponed due to heavy rain and wind, Amherst rode the shoulders of its running game to victory.

This season, the Jeffs have no problem putting up high scoring numbers on offense; they also make headlines as the nation’s best scoring defense, surrendering only 4.6 points-per-game leading into this weekend. Amherst’s defense, though, looked early on as though it might struggle against the the Tufts running game; but the Jeffs clamped down, and the offense came from behind to win with 24 unanswered points.

In first-quarter action, the Jeffs and Jumbos traded three-and-out drives and exchanged punts on the first four possessions of the game, before the two teams traded interceptions to kill long drives. Amherst senior quad-captain quarterback Nick Kehoe (Washington Depot, CT) ended the day 8-for-23 with one touchdown and one pick for 97 yards in the air.

Following Kehoe’s first-quarter pick, Tufts strung together a 15-play, 89-yard scoring drive which featured the one-two-three running punch of Will Forde, Brian Camuso and Brendan Georges. The trio of Tufts backs combined for 181 yards on 42 carries. Amherst looked like it had its hands full, but the early Tufts score was the last time the Jumbos hit paydirt.

From the opening whistle of the second quarter, the Jeffs shook the mud from the field, and ran wild on the Tufts front line. First-year back Aaron Rauh (Hudson, OH) led the charge, and finished the day with a career-high 133 yards on 14 carries. Rauh couldn’t find the end zone, but sophomore back Eric NeSmith (Newark, NJ) punched a touchdown home for the Jeff backfield. NeSmith was Amherst's second-leading rusher, racking up 113 yards of his own on 14 carries. Kehoe also dove into the end zone from three yards out for a rushing touchdown of his own.

Senior quad-captain and utility-back Mark Hannon (Glen Rock, NJ) finished with over 100 all-purpose yards again this week: he caught two critical passes for 67 yards, and returned three punts for another 46 yards. Hannon's first catch was a 42-yard bomb in the first quarter on the long drive which eventually ended with the Kehoe interception in the red zone; his second reception was for a touchdown with 9:34 left in regulation, off an amazing 25-yard bullet from Kehoe across the middle; Hannon shot one hand out and snatched the ball, before evading three players and finding the end zone.

The top-ranked Amherst defense faced a test in the Jumbo’s 262 yards of total offense, but the Jeffs came together to quiet the Tufts threat. Senior quad-captain safety Mike Salerno (Shrewsbury, MA) posted a season-high 17 tackles in the game. Three other Jeffs finished the game with nine tackles each, and junior defensive back Chris Mottau (Holliston, MA) grabbed two interceptions during the bout.

The 5-1 Jeffs travel to Hartford, Conn. Saturday for a matchup with Trinity College at 12:30 p.m. Trinity rattled Middlebury College with a 34-3 win Saturday, and also holds a 5-1 record, resulting in a tie for second place in the NESCAC. Wiliams College, meanwhile sits atop the standings at 6-0. After its nose-to-nose with Trinity, Amherst will return to Pratt Field to host Williams for the 121st time on Nov. 11.

Saturday, October 28, 2006@Pratt Field – Amherst College – Amherst Mass

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Tufts University….  0  6  0  0  -  6       Record: (3-3,3-3)
Amherst…..........  0 10  7  7  - 24       Record: (5-1,5-1)

Scoring Summary:
2nd 10:22 TUF – Will Forde 7 yd run (Oliver Snider kick failed), 15-89 6:33, TUF 6 – AMH 0
    05:31 AMH – Matt Eberhart 23 yd field goal, 10-68 4:43, TUF 6 – AMH 3
    01:09 AMH – Nick Kehoe 1 yd run (Matt Eberhart kick), 4-28 1:11, TUF 6 – AMH 10
3rd 04:31 AMH – Eric NeSmith 28 yd run (Matt Eberhart kick), 3-39 0:56, TUF 6 – AMH 17
4th 09:34 AMH – Mark Hannon 25 yd pass from Nick Kehoe (Matt Eberhart kick), 3-28 0:41, TUF 6 – AMH 24

                                                               TUF      AMH
FIRST DOWNS…................                 17       15
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)….........   53-187   37-269
PASSING YDS (NET)…..........       75       97
Passes Att-Comp-Int…........                19-5-2   23-8-1
Fumble Returns-Yards….......              0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards….........                5-43     5-79
Kickoff Returns-Yards…......               5-93     2-11
Interception Returns-Yards….           1-6      2-0
Punts (Number-Avg)….........              6-32.3   5-30.0
Fumbles-Lost…...............                     1-1      0-0
Penalties-Yards…............                    2-35     4-42
Possession Time…............                   33:45    26:15
Third-Down Conversions….....           6 of 17  2 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions…....        1 of 2   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances…....          1-3      2-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards….....            0-0     2-15

RUSHING: Tufts University-Will Forde 15-72; Brian Cammuso 14-52; Brendan
Georges 13-43; Kevin Anderson 3-21; Matt Russo 5-4; Ryan Hanofee 1-1; Matt
Gaylord 1-1; Tom McManama 1-minus 7. Amherst-Aaron Rauh 14-133; Eric NeSmith
14-113; Will Beeson 3-19; Anthony Fuller 3-3; Nick Kehoe 2-1; Mark Hannon 1-0.

PASSING: Tufts University-Matt Russo 5-17-2-75; Tom McManama 0-2-0-0.
Amherst-Nick Kehoe 8-23-1-97.

RECEIVING: Tufts University-Mark Jagiela 3-44; Steve Menty 1-26; Asmerom
Adhanom 1-5. Amherst-Mark Hannon 2-67; Justin Macione 2-15; Aaron Rauh 2-13;
Matt Johnson 1-3; Chris Gillyard 1-minus 1.

FUMBLES: Tufts University-Brett Holm 1-1. Amherst-None.

SACKS (UA-A): Tufts University-None. Amherst-Mike Meola 1-0; Greg Smith

TACKLES (UA-A): Tufts University-Nathan Scott 4-4; Chris Decembrele 2-6;
Gary Heffernan 3-3; Alex Perry 3-2; Brett Holm 3-2; Stephen Albertine 1-4; John
Chappell 3-1; Ryan Byrne 2-1; Bryan McDavitt 2-0; Tyson Reynoso 1-1; Pete
Christensen 0-2; Jourdan Cancienne 0-2; Max Cassidy 1-0; Andy Henke 1-0; Max
Hatfield-Biondo 1-0; Noah Hatfield-Biondo 1-0; Darren Ferguson 1-0; Asmerom
Adhanom 1-0; J.B. Bruno 1-0; Steve Menty 1-0; Aaron Gallant 1-0; Brian Cammuso
1-0; Matt Gaylord 1-0. Amherst-Mike Salerno 9-8; Rob Grammar 4-5; Preston
Puryear 3-6; Greg Smith 3-6; Brendan McKee 2-6; Dakota Jones 2-4; Guy Matisis
4-1; A.J. Scola 3-2; Greg Muecke 1-4; Jon Attridge 1-3; Chris Mottau 2-1; Nick
Boehm 2-1; Chris Govey 1-1; Fran Florio 1-0; Fred Argir 1-0; Matt Dunleavy 1-0;
Mike Meola 1-0; Idris McClain 0-1; Michael Goldsticker 0-1; M.J. Smith 0-1; Mike
Taylor 0-1