Amherst vs. Tufts Football Preview|
Amherst College Lord Jeffs (6-1) vs.
Williams College Ephs (5-2)
November 11, 2000 * Pratt Field
Amherst, MA * Noon
Williams holds a 64-45-5 series edge over Amherst in the "Biggest Little Game in America," winning 12 out of the last 13 matchups dating back to 1987, Dick Farley's first year as Williams' head coach. Amherst's last series win came in 1986 in a 10-7 win at Pratt Field, capping a string of six straight victories for the Jeffs, starting in 1981. The Jeffs and Ephs first locked horns in 1884, with Williams coming away with a hard-fought 15-2 victory. This is the 16th consecutive year the game has been televised. Notably, the 1995 game, which finished in a 0-0 tie, was broadcast nationally on ESPN2, while the New England Sports Network (NESN) picked up the next four telecasts.
After shutout wins over Hamilton (30-0) and Bowdoin (35-0) to start the season, the Jeffs ran into a defensive juggernaut at Middlebury College in week three, returning home with their only loss of the season after a 17-0 Panther shutout. However, Amherst rebounded with a 28-14 victory over previously unbeaten Colby College, followed by narrow escapes against Wesleyan (9-7) and Tufts (8-0), and a 28-20 shootout win at Trinity in their last time out. The Jeffs' offense seems to have recovered from a brief midseason drought, racking up a season-high 455 yards of total offense at Trinity and averaging 19.7 points and 327.0 yards on the season, third among NESCAC leaders in both categories. Amherst also boasts one of the nation's top defenses, allowing a mere 8.3 points and 222.3 yards per game. Senior quarterback Peter Honig is the conference's second leading passer with 77 completions for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns, good for a 125.8 efficiency rating. His chief target continues to be junior wideout Derrell Wright, fourth in the NESCAC with 31 catches for 518 yards and six touchdowns. Honig and Wright hooked up for a school-record 91-yard touchdown reception in Amherst's 28-14 win over Colby on Oct. 14. In the backfield, junior Okey Ugwonali and sophomore Kevin Kennard combine for 157.6 yards rushing per game. Ugwonali is third in the conference with 726 yards on 146 attempts with a league fourth-best 5.0 yards per carry and has ground-games of 169, 151 and 158 yards to his credit, while Kennard is ninth with 406 yards on 87 carries. Amherst's young offensive line of Brendan Carolan, Josh Ahearn, Rob Vernicek, Colin Renz and Mike Somerville has also matured in recent weeks, as illustrated by the 237 yards rushing the Jeffs posted last Saturday at Trinity. On defense, the Jeffs boast two consecutive NESCAC Players of the Week in junior tackle Pat McGee and senior free safety David Frankel. McGee won the award after pounding Colby quarterback Pat Conley for four sacks in week four, but will most likely miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in the first half at Wesleyan, leaving junior linebacker Gregg Stankewicz as the Jeffs main pass-rushing threat. Frankel blocked a Wesleyan punt in the end zone for a safety to earn the honor in week five, also posting a career-high 12 tackles with an interception and three pass breakups. Senior defensive back Brian Daoust has been similarly impressive with a team-high four interceptions, including two against Colby, to go along with 33 tackles (21 unassisted). Juniors Jay Hutchins and Dan Lalli lead the Jeffs in tackles with 62 and 55, respectively. On special teams, Wright is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, as he did at Wesleyan with a career-long 68-yard punt return touchdown. He now has 263 yards on 31 punt returns. Daoust averages a whopping 26.6 yards per kick return after logging a huge 60-yarder against Colby. Meanwhile, sophomore Geoff Bough has done the bulk of the punting with 39 boots for a 32.7-yard average, while senior place kicker Liam Fleming has been consistent with 17 extra points in 18 attempts.
AMHERST PROBABLE STARTERS
QB #16 Peter Honig 6-2, 185, SR
FB #44 Jeff Ryan 6-1, 210, SO
TB #27 Okey Ugwonali 5-11, 185, JR
WR #81 Derrell Wright 6-1, 195, JR
WR #13 Matt Hall 6-0, 170, SR
TE #88 Matt Flavin 6-3, 225, JR
C #57 Josh Ahearn 6-0, 240, JR
LT #71 Rob Vernicek 6-5, 287, SO
RT #74 Mike Somerville 6-4, 245, SR
LG #63 Brendan Carolan 6-5, 250, SO
RG #55 Colin Renz 6-1, 205, JR
OLB #59 Gregg Stankewicz 6-1, 215, JR
OLB #2 Ken Barrington 6-2, 205, SR
ILB #6 Brian Landolfi 6-0, 210, JR
ILB #4 Dan Lalli 5-10, 200, JR
NG #53 Brad Hensley 6-1, 220, JR
DT #96 Pat Hayes 6-2, 215, SO
DT #85 Ted Hollo 6-3, 245, SR
CB #5 Brian Daoust 5-9, 178, SR
CB #31 Steve Yung 5-10, 175, JR
FS #28 Dave Frankel 6-0, 190, SR
SS #24 Jay Hutchins 5-8, 185, JR
PK #10 Liam Fleming 6-2, 180, SR
P #98 Geoff Bough 5-11, 175, SO
PR #81 Derrell Wright 6-1, 195, JR
KR #5 Brian Daoust 5-9, 178, SR
Hold #13 Matt Hall 6-0, 170, SR
LS #15 Grant Webb 5-10, 180, SO
Williams began the 2000 season with its first opening-game loss in 13 years, a 27-24 shocker to Colby, but seemed to revert to business as usual a week later, drubbing Trinity 23-0 on Sept. 30. The Ephs next two outings brought a nerve-racking 17-14 overtime win at Bates and a 7-0 shutout loss, again at home, to Middlebury on Oct. 14. The Ephs seem to have quelled their early-season struggles, however, with a 21-10 win at Tufts and a 24-10 come-from-behind victory at Hamilton, followed by a 28-7 blowout-win over Little III rival Wesleyan last Saturday. Williams has used a trio of quarterbacks this season, primarily using junior Marshall Creighton and rookie Joseph Reardon, with Reardon emerging as the starter in recent weeks. Both quarterbacks had thrown for 416 yards through the five games, but Reardon established himself as the frontrunner behind center with a combined 281 yards passing in his last two outings. Also, first-year signal-caller Jake Moore logged valuable second half minutes last week vs. Wesleyan. WilliamsÕ chief pass-catching threat is four-year letterman Matt Student, who needs just five catches to shatter the EphsÕ single-season school record for receptions. Student has paced the Ephs in receiving each of the last two seasons and holds the school record for single-season receiving yards (779). Thus far in 2000, he leads Williams with 44 catches for 555 yards and a 12.6 yard-per-catch average. Fellow wideout Colin Brooks has also been effective with 21 catches for 327 yards and a touchdown. First-year phenom Michael Hackett leads the ground attack with 433 yards rushing and four touchdowns on a team-high 92 carries, while veteran Fred Storz has 294 yards on 76 carries despite missing much of the season with a shoulder injury. On defense, sophomore James Kingsley paces a hard-hitting linebacking corps with 44 tackles, including a team-high nine for loss, with three sacks and 33 unassisted takedowns. Fellow linebacker Louis Moll is next in line with 32 tackles, while junior defensive back Benjamin Sands and senior linebacker Dev Brown each have 30. In the secondary, Johnny Kelly and Villanova transfer Scott Farley have combined for seven of the EphsÕ 10 interceptions. On special teams, senior placekicker Robert Kaufman has been solid with four field goals in six attempts with a long of 43 yards, while junior punter Jarod Kidd has done all the punting for the Ephs with a 34.4-yard average.
WILLIAMS PROBABLE STARTERS
QB #13 Joe Reardon 6-1, 185, FY
TB #2 Fred Storz 6-0, 210, SR
FB #18 Ken Ojukwu 5-11, 205, SR
WR #89 Collin Vataha 6-3, 185, SR
FL #84 Matt Student 6-0, 155, SR
TE #87 Sean Collins 6-3, 230, JR
LT #55 Tim Sullivan 6-2, 270, SR
RT #73 Jeff O'Neill 6-3, 260, SR
LG #64 Rob Houle 6-3, 270, SR
RG #56 Phil Swisher 6-2, 265, SR
C #65 Dave Fontes 6-2, 265, JR
DE #95 Chris Ripley 6-3, 250, SR
DE #77 Garrett DiCarlo 6-4, 280, SO
DT #90 Ian Wilkofsky 6-3, 250, JR
NT #86 Will Gilyard 6-1, 240, JR
LB #49 Louis Moll 5-11, 210, SR
LB #40 Devareaux Brown 5-10, 210, SR
LB #41 James Kingsley 6-0, 200, JR
CB #9 Johnny Kelly 6-1, 180, SO
CB #22 Lexi Evriviades 5-9, 170, SR
SS #8 Dan DiCenzo 5-10, 185, SR
FS #45 Ben Sands 6-2, 195, JR
PK #62 Robert Kaufman 6-5, 200, SR
P #24 Scott Farley 6-2, 205, SO
PR #84 Matt Student 6-0, 155, SR
KR #9 Johnny Kelly 6-1, 180, SO
AMHERST HEAD COACH E.J. MILLS
Head Coach E.J. Mills took the Amherst helm in 1997, succeeding current Yale Head Coach Jack Siedlicki after four years as the Lord Jeffs defensive coordinator. Three seasons and 23 wins later, Mills is widely recognized as one of the top head coaches in the NESCAC. As an interim coach in his inaugural season, Mills quickly shook the temporary tag with a stellar 7-1 record, an unofficial conference championship and part ownership of the coveted Little III title. His two ensuing seasons produced consecutive 5-3 records and a bevy of outstanding individual performances. Mills's greatest asset could be his prowess as a defensive coordinator. Under his tutelage, the 1996 Lord Jeffs led the nation in scoring defense, allowing a miniscule 8.4 points per game. The following year, the Jeffs engineered shutouts in three of their first four outings, including a lopsided 38-0 triumph in his head coaching debut. 1998 brought similar results, including a whopping 35 sacks for a total loss of 220 yards, while last season's Lord Jeffs surrendered just 11.0 points per game with 63 tackles for loss. Mills is a graduate of the University of Dayton, where he earned a degree in history and secondary education in 1988.
WILLIAMS HEAD COACH DICK FARLEY
Dick Farley enters the 2000 season with an 93-15-3 record since taking over as head coach at Williams in 1987, the second best mark in NCAA Division III, and has won or tied for every Little III Title during his accomplished tenure. He is the Ephs' all-time winningest coach, ahead of the legendary Charley Caldwell, with 13 consecutive winning seasons to his credit, including undefeated marks in 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1998. Farley has been recognized as National and Regional Coach of the Year on several occasions by a variety of organizations, including the American Football Coaches Association, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and the New England Football Writers Association. A 1968 graduate of Boston University, Farley was an All-American defensive back and two-sport captain before embarking on a two-year career with the San Diego Chargers of the now-defunct American Football League. He then coached football and track at Danvers (MA) High School before moving to Williamstown as a Williams assistant in 1972. Farley is also a physical education instructor and serves as an assistant men's and women's outdoor track coach at Williams.
Williams tailback Fred Storz broke through for a one-yard touchdown run with 2:24 remaining in regulation as the Ephs edged Amherst 10-7 in a thrilling 1999 season-finale on Saturday, Nov. 13, 1999. Ephs quarterback Sean Keenan, now with the NFL's Phoenix Cardinals, drove Williams 88 yards in nine plays for the game winner, leaving Amherst just over two minutes for a last ditch comeback attempt. The Jeffs then turned the ball over on downs after three incompletions and a sack, cementing the victory for Williams. Amherst trailed 3-0 at the half after Eph kicker John Kaufman booted a 23-yard field goal late in the first quarter. The Jeffs rebounded to take a 7-3 lead in the third on a 1-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Peter Honig to freshman fullback Jeff Ryan. The lead was short-lived as Williams marched the ball downfield in the fourth quarter for the game-winner. Storz paced the Ephs with a game-high 86 yards rushing on 24 carries, while Keenan threw for 204 yards, despite five Amherst interceptions. Sophomore tailback Okey Ugwonali led Amherst with 57 yards rushing on 13 attempts. Jeffs linebacker Gregg Stankewicz added a game-high 10 tackles on defense.
AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
Junior running back Okey Ugwonali topped the 150-yard mark for the third time this season and scored a pair of touchdowns, while the Jeffs' defense held off a late Bantam surge as Amherst outlasted host Trinity, 28-20. With the win, Amherst improved to 6-1 and remained in a three-way tie for first place in the NESCAC. The Jeffs drew first blood six minutes into the game on a one-yard plunge by sophomore tailback Kevin Kennard, his third of the season. Trinity's defense rebounded on the Jeffs' next possession as Amherst quarterback Peter Honig overthrew junior wide receiver Jerimy Hiltner, right into the hands of senior strong safety Gavin O'Reilly, who returned the ball 39 yards to the Amherst nine-yard line. The Bantams then scored on three plays, capped by a two-yard bootleg touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Greg Ward to even the score at 7-7. On the next drive, Amherst answered with its second touchdown of the first quarter as Honig lofted a 65-yard touchdown strike to junior wide receiver Derrell Wright, who wrestled the pigskin from a pair of Trinity defenders at the Bantam 30 and weaved through a host of pursuers for his seventh touchdown of the season. Late in the second quarter, Amherst extended its lead to 21-7 on a three-yard touchdown run by Ugwonali. Both teams put up zeros in the third quarter and Amherst missed a 33-yard field goal attempt to start the fourth, when the momentum suddenly shifted towards Trinity. Starting with the ball in its own 20-yard line, the Bantams drove the ball 80 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown. Amherst sophomore Pat Hayes blocked the point after attempt, leaving Trinity with an eight-point deficit (21-13) with 6:43 left in regulation. On the next play from scrimmage, Ugwonali sliced untouched through the middle for a 53-yard touchdown run to push the lead back up to 15 points at 28-13. Despite Ugwonali's backbreaking touchdown run, a resilient Trinity attack wasn't finished. The Bantams battled back with a 64-yard touchdown drive, keyed by a sack-negating Amherst defensive holding penalty. Trinity had one last chance with under 1:30 remaining, but coughed the ball up on downs as Hayes stopped Pierandri five yards short of the first down marker on fourth and seven.
WILLIAMS LAST TIME OUT
Williams downed Wesleyan 28-7 and raised its record to 5-2 on the strength of a superb fourth quarter and a strong debut by rookie quarterback Jake Moore, who took over for starter Joe Reardon in the second half and completed six passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Fred Storz also had a big game, rushing 29 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns. The problems came fast, furious, and early for Wesleyan. On the Cardinals' opening possession, running back Ronnie Jacobs fumbled a handoff into the waiting arms of Williams defensive lineman William Gilyard at the Wesleyan 25-yard line. Storz then scored the first of his two touchdowns of the afternoon to give the Ephs a 7-0 lead. Wesleyan rebounded in the third quarter as quarterback Brennan Carney connected with Pat Moffett on a 16-yard scoring strike to tie the game at 7-7. The Cardinals would get no closer, however, as Moore took over in the fourth quarter with touchdown passes to Matt Student and Collin Brooks, while Storz logged his second touchdown run of the afternoon. On defense, Williams held Wesleyan to just 44 yards rushing, while Johnny Kelly, Lex Evriviades and Dan DiCenzo all victimized Brennan with interceptions. Senior defensive lineman Chris Ripley also had two sacks on the afternoon for Williams.
AMHERST STATISTICAL LEADERS
Peter Honig (77-for-145/1,021 yds./5 int./9 TD passes)
Okey Ugwonali (146 carries/726 yds./5 TD)
Kevin Kennard (87 carries/406 yds./3 TD)
Derrell Wright (31 rec./518 yds./6 TD)
Derrell Wright (31 punt returns/263 yds/1 TD)
Brian Daoust (8 kick returns/26.6 avg.)
Geoff Bough (39 punts/32.7 avg.)
WILLIAMS STATISTICAL LEADERS
Joseph Reardon (53-for-99/697 yds./6 int./2 TD passes)
Michael Hackett (92 carries/422 yds./4 TD)
Fred Storz (76 carries/269 yds./2 TD)
Matt Student (44 rec./555 yds./2 TD)
Matt Student (16 punt returns/115 yds./0 TD)
David Kinsley (7 kick returns/179 yds./0 TD)
Robert Kaufman (4-for-6 FG/43-yard long/17-for-18 pat's)
TEAM STATISTICAL COMPARISONS
Rushing Yards/Per Game....1,233 yd./176.11 avg.
Passing Yards/Per Game....1,056 yd./150.9 avg.
Total Offense/Per Game....2,289 yd./327.0 avg.
Total Points/Per Game....138 pts./19.7 avg.
Rushing Allowed/Per Game....583 yd./83.3 avg.
Passing Allowed/Per Game....973 yd./139.0 avg.
Total Offense Allowed/Per Game...1,556 yd./222.3 avg.
Total Points Allowed/Per Game....58 pts./8.3 avg.
Rushing Yards/Per Game....1,171 yd./167.3 avg.
Passing Yards/Per Game....1,246 yd./178.0 avg.
Total Offense/Per Game....2,417 yd./345.3 avg.
Total Points/Per Game....137 pts./19.6 avg.
Rushing Allowed/Per Game....828 yd./118.3 avg.
Passing Allowed/Per Game....972 yd./138.9 avg.
Total Offense Allowed/Per Game....1,800 yd./257.1 avg.
Total Points Allowed/Per Game....75 pts./10.7 avg.
THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Williams @ Amherst
Hamilton @ Bates
Bowdoin @ Colby
Tufts @ Middlebury
Trinity @ Wesleyan
LAST WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Amherst 28, Trinity 20
Bates 44, Bowdoin 13
Colby 28, Tufts 14
Middlebury 20, Hamilton 3
Williams 28, Wesleyan 7
Amherst, Colby and Middlebury are all tied for first place in the NESCAC with matching 6-1 records...Junior running back Okey Ugwonali of Amherst rushed 33 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, topping the 150-yard mark for the third time this season, as the Jeffs outlasted Trinity 28-20 in Hartford, CT...Freshman tight end Mike Moynihan caught his first two career passes, both for touchdowns, while sophomore running back Sean Atkins rushed 29 times for 175 yards and one touchdown as Bates drubbed Bowdoin 44-13...Junior wide receiver Danny Noyes of Colby caught seven passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-14 win over Tufts...Middlebury Senior running back Bryan Sanchez rushed 32 times for 165 yards to become the school's all-time leading rusher with 2,742 yards. He also set a single-season school record with 996 yards as the Panthers nearly blanked Hamilton 20-3...Williams topped Wesleyan 28-7 as senior running back Fred Storz returned from a separated shoulder to rush for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He is now just the second player in school history to score 200 career points...This weeks Amherst-Williams game marks the 115th meeting between the Jeffs and Ephs. Williams holds a 64-45-5 series edge. The game will be televised regionally on NESN.
This Saturday's Amherst - Williams football game will be broadcast live on the New England Sports Network, NESN. Coverage will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m. ET. For viewers outside of NESN's regional broadcast area, the telecast can be viewed live via satellite on channel SBS6, transponder #3. During the broadcast, the NESN play-by-play team of Mike Ruth and Tom Larsen will field and answer questions submitted by viewers via E-mail live on the air. Fans can send questions regarding the Amherst-Williams game to the E-Mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. NESN will also Web broadcast the game live at www.nesn.com. Fans can visit the site, click on the "Watch NESN" icon and follow the posted instruction. The Amherst College athletics Website will also link to the NESN Website on the day of the game.
ECAC DIVISION III REGIONAL POLL
1. Springfield (9-0)
2. Western Connecticut (8-1)
3. Middlebury (6-1)
4. Amherst (6-1)
5. Colby (6-1)
6. Norwich (7-2)
7. Bridgewater St. (7-2)
8. Salve Regina (7-2)
9. Nichols (7-2)
10. Worcester St. (7-2)
Also receiving votes (to be listed a team must receive at least one percent of the available points): Williams (14).