Amherst Defense Racks up Five of Jeffs' Nine All-NESCAC Honors

Justin Wiley
Junior Justin Wiley was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team as an offensive lineman.

AMHERST, MA – The NESCAC announced today the members of the 2007 Football All-Conference Team. Five of the 24 players earning All-NESCAC Defense honors are members of the Amherst College squad, as Trinity College was the only other school to place at least five defensive players on an All-Conference Team. The Lord Jeffs also earned a trio of Second Team Offense nods and a Second Team Specialists honor.

Representing Amherst on the offensive side of the ball and earning All-Conference recognition for the first time in their careers are fullback Chris Gillyard (Baltimore, MD) and linemen Dan Guariglia (Glen Rock, NJ) and Justin Wiley (Baltimore, MD), who each earned a spot on the Second Team. Senior tri-captains Gillyard and Guariglia teamed up with Wiley to form a solid offensive core that allowed only 11 sacks all season and featured the NESCAC’s best rushing offense through the first five weeks of the season, as the Jeffs were averaging an impressive 185.2 yards per game on the ground.

In addition to serving as the lead blocker for one of the conference’s most efficient running games, Gillyard totaled 40 yards on the ground and 88 receiving yards, adding a two-yard touchdown reception in Amherst’s win at Colby College. The Jeffs finished the season averaging 143.2 rushing yards per week for the NESCAC’s fourth highest average. While Guariglia and Gillyard will leave big shoes to fill in 2008, Wiley will return for what should be a stellar senior campaign.

Amherst’s defensive line is represented by senior Jon Attridge (South Boston, MA) and junior Greg Smith (Rockville, MD), who earned First Team and Second Team honors, respectively, for the first time in their careers. Attridge and Smith led a defensive line that allowed a mere 92.0 rushing yards per game, the third best average in the NESCAC. While Attridge recorded nine solo tackles and 24 in total, adding 2.0 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, Smith recorded 12 solo tackles and 12 assisted tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss, a sack and a pass breakup. Smith also recovered a pair of fumbles, one of which put a halt to a long Trinity drive in the second quarter. With the Bantams holding a 3-0 lead and threatening to score again, Smith returned a fumble recovery 67 yards to the 9-yard line, allowing Amherst to nail a 34-yard field goal that tied the game at 3-3 before halftime.

Jon Attridge
Senior Jon Attridge earned All-NESCAC First Team honors as a defensive lineman.

Linebacker Guy Matisis (Hingham, MA) also earned First Team honors after putting in an outstanding and well-balanced junior season. In addition to finishing tied for seventh in the NESCAC in sacks (4.0) and tackles-for-loss (9.5), Matisis ranked 23rd in the conference in total tackles (55). He led the Jeffs in solo tackles (32), sacks and tackles-for-loss, adding three pass breakups, a forced fumble, a blocked kick and a safety. Matisis seemed to thrive on tough competition, as he recorded a team-high 13 tackles against eventual NESCAC champion Middlebury and had two sacks with 11 tackles at Williams to close out the season.

Joining the Second Team are defensive backs A.J. Scola (Holden, MA) and Chris Mottau (Holliston, MA). Scola’s outstanding junior season was highlighted by his five interceptions, which was tied for the second highest total in the NESCAC. Scola had a pair of interceptions against Bowdoin and picked off another two passes at Colby, one of which was run back 44 yards for a touchdown. Scola was also tied for second in the conference in passes defended, as he added a team-high seven breakups to go with his five interceptions. He also chipped in with 18 solo tackles, eight assisted tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss.

Mottau tied Scola with a team-high seven breakups, adding interceptions against Wesleyan and Trinity, as he finished tied for sixth in the NESCAC with nine passes defended. Mottau finished with 40 total tackles, 20 of the solo variety, as he was one of the Jeffs’ best all-around defensive players. His 40 tackles marked Amherst’s seventh highest total, while he added 4.0 tackles-for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Mottau kicked off his senior season by leading Amherst with nine tackles at Bates.

Attridge, Matisis, Smith, Scola and Mottau were part of yet another stellar Amherst defensive unit, as the Jeffs finished with the NESCAC’s second best pass defense (169.5 ypg) and third best rush defense (92.0 ypg) to allow the second fewest total yards per week. Amherst allowed a mere 261.5 yards of total offense per game, with only Trinity allowing fewer (260.0). In addition, the Jeffs surrendered an average of only 13.6 points per week, marking the second best scoring defense in the conference.

Rounding out the All-NESCAC honors for Amherst is sophomore kicker Matt Eberhart (Plano, TX). Of the 57 players named to an All-Conference Team, 53 are juniors and seniors and only four are sophomores, as Eberhart joins a select group of talented young players. In addition to converting 15 of 16 point-after attempts for the NESCAC’s best percentage (93.8), Eberhart boasted the conference’s second best field goal percentage (71.4). In six games this year, he nailed field goals from 26, 27, 32, 36 and a career-long 41 yards out, while missing attempts from 31 and 44 yards. Eberhart accounted for an average of 5.0 points per game, marking the second highest average among NESCAC kickers.

Guy Matisis
Junior Guy Matisis led the Jeffs with 32 solo tackles.

Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Lucey - Williams
Defensive Player of the Year: Erik Woodring - Middlebury
Rookie of the Year: Donald McKillop - Middlebury
Coach of the Year: Bob Ritter - Middlebury

* 2006 All-Conference First Team
^ 2006 All-Conference Second Team

First Team Offense

QB - Patrick Lucey (Williams - Sr.) *
RB - Brian Morrissey (Williams - Jr.) ^
RB - David Randolph (Middlebury - Sr.)
FB - Kevin Anderson (Tufts - Sr.) *
OL - John Szawlowski (Williams - Jr.)
OL - John Mihalko (Trinity - Sr.) *
OL - Mike Robinson (Trinity - Sr.) *
OL - Rogan Donelly (Bowdoin - Sr.) *
OL - Nick Welch (Middlebury - Sr.)
WR - Ryan Powell (Williams - Jr.)
WR - Joe Clark (Trinity - Sr.)
WR - Andrew Matson (Middlebury - Jr.)
TE - Kevin Gleason (Tufts - Sr.)

First Team Defense
DL - Andrew DeSalvo (Williams - Sr.)
DL - D.J. Lanz (Trinity - Sr.) *
DL - Jeff Carpenter (Trinity - Sr.) ^
DL - Jon Attridge (Amherst - Sr.)
LB - Erik Woodring (Middlebury - Sr.) *
LB - Guy Matisis (Amherst - Jr.)
LB - Trevor Powers (Williams - Jr.)
LB - Nile Lundgren (Trinity - Sr.) ^
DB - Jared Boyd (Trinity - Sr.) *
DB - Lamont White (Bowdoin - Sr.)
DB - Tom Tassinari (Tufts - So.)
DB - Brian Young (Middlebury - Sr.)

First Team Specialists
PK - Adam Cox (Trinity - Jr.)
P - Jack Britton (Middlebury - Sr.)
RS - Kevin Flynn (Williams - Sr.)

Second Team Offense
QB - Zach Librizzi (Wesleyan - Sr.)
RB - Jordan Quinones (Trinity - Sr.)
RB - Kevin Flynn (Williams - Sr.)
FB - Chris Gillyard (Amherst - Sr.)
OL - Dan Guariglia (Amherst - Sr.)
OL - Ryan Wimberly (Bates - Sr.)
OL - Henry Szawlowski (Williams - Jr.) ^
OL - Justin Wiley (Amherst - Jr.)
OL - Tom Ames (Tufts - Sr.)
OL - Erik Jefferson (Trinity - Sr.)
WR - Justin Candon (Colby - Sr.)
WR - David Halas (Tufts - Jr.)
WR - Ryan Walsh (Wesleyan - Jr.) ^
TE - Ross Van Horn (Bates - Sr.)

Second Team Defense
DL - Chad Guerrero (Middlebury - Sr.)
DL - Taylor Soobitsky (Hamilton - Jr.) *
DL - Anthony Begon (Bates - Sr.)
DL - Greg Smith (Amherst - Jr.)
LB - Kevin Zikaras (Bowdoin - So.)
LB - Nate Clancy (Middlebury - Sr.)
LB - Matt Rettig (Trinity - Sr.) ^
LB - Tyson Reynoso (Tufts - Jr.)
DB - Tim Batty (Williams - Jr.)
DB - Matt Pitarresi (Hamilton - Sr.) ^
DB - A.J. Scola (Amherst - Jr.)
DB - Chris Mottau (Amherst - Sr.)

Second Team Specialists
PK - Matt Eberhart (Amherst - So.)
P - A.J. Taucher (Wesleyan - Sr.)
RS - James Millard (Middlebury - So.)