Eric Pender Named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week

Junior Eric Pender had 3.0 sacks and 10 tackles
in a 23-2 win against Colby.
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College junior defensive lineman Eric Pender (Drexel Hill, PA) was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week Sunday evening for his play in a Week 4 win over Colby College. This afternoon, the ECAC tacked on its Player of the Week honor for Pender as well. The Lord Jeffs defeated the visiting Mules 23-2 yesterday with Pender’s fine play anchoring the defensive unit.

Pender tied for the team lead in the game with a season-high 10 tackles (three solo), including three sacks for a combined loss of 30 yards. Colby entered the game ranked second in the conference in rushing, averaging 174.3 yards, but Pender and the Amherst defense held the Mules to just 51 yards on the ground.

After a 3-1 start to the 2008 season, the Amherst defense ranks atop the NESCAC standings in both rushing defense and overall defense. The Lord Jeff defensive front is allowing just 64.2 yards-per-game on the ground, and has seen opponents score just a pair of rushing touchdowns through half the season. Their 1.9 yards-per-carry allowed is in a league of its own as well.

Overall, the Amherst defense is surrendering just 241.2 yards per game for a conference-best mark by 43 yards. The seven overall touchdowns allowed are also a conference low through four games.

Pender sits as the NESCAC leader in sacks at the season’s midpoint, with 5.0. At an average of 1.25 sacks-per-game, Pender has three solo sacks and four assists, for a total loss of 36 yards. Pender is also third on the team in overall tackles with 12 solos and 15 assists for 27 take-downs.

Pender and Amherst will take to the road next Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. game at NESCAC and Little Three archrival Wesleyan University.