Amherst Places Eight on Football All-NESCAC Team

Senior captain Guy Matisis earned All-NESCAC First Team honors for the second straight year.
AMHERST, MA – The NESCAC announced today the members of its 2008 Football All-Conference Teams, with eight Amherst College student-athletes earning a postseason honor. Six Lord Jeffs were named to a First Team, while two garnered Second Team honors.

Amherst’s six First Team selections were bested only by NESCAC champion Trinity, which featured seven. Representing Amherst’s offensive players on the First Team are offensive linemen Justin Wiley (Baltimore, MD) and Tim Rose (Richmond, VA). The senior duo spearheaded an O-line that allowed a conference-low five sacks for a total loss of 35 yards, as Amherst was one of only three teams in Division III to allow five or fewer sacks in 2008. Wiley—a 2007 All-NESCAC Second Team selection—and Rose also played a vital role in leading an offensive line that allowed the Jeffs to average 125.8 rushing yards per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Amherst’s four First Team selections were the most in the NESCAC. Earning All-Conference honors for a second consecutive year are seniors Guy Matisis (Hingham, MA) and A.J. Scola (Holden, MA), who were named to the First Team and Second Team, respectively, as juniors.

After racking up 55 total tackles and 4.0 sacks last year, Matisis had 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks while serving as a senior captain. As a sophomore, Matisis earned a NESCAC Player of the Week honor en route to 36 total tackles and 2.5 sacks, as he was a cornerstone of the Amherst defense in each of the last three years.

Senior Justin Wiley led an offensive line that allowed only five sacks in 2008.
Also wrapping up an impressive career with a stellar senior season was Scola, who had 40 tackles (28 solo), four pass breakups and an interception in 2008. After finishing with 35 tackles (17 solo) and two interceptions as a sophomore, Scola had a breakout junior season, during which he intercepted five passes (second most in the NESCAC) and broke up seven others to go along with his 26 total tackles.

Rounding out Amherst’s First Team honorees are junior defensive linemen Edwin Urey (Quincy, MA) and Eric Pender (Drexel Hill, PA). The duo was part of a unit that led the NESCAC in rush defense, allowing a mere 60.9 yards per game (third lowest average in the nation) and only six rushing touchdowns. Pender had 48 tackles (26 solo) and 5.0 sacks for a combined loss of 36 yards, while Urey recorded 33 stops (17 solo) along with 5.0 sacks and two pass breakups.

Earning All-NESCAC honors for the first time in their careers are junior running back Aaron Rauh (Hudson, OH) and junior wide receiver Brandon Bullock (West Orange, NJ), who were each named to the Second Team. Rauh ran for five touchdowns and was sixth in the conference with 58.8 yards per game on the ground, marking the third consecutive season he has scored at least four touchdowns. In his three years, Rauh has accumulated 1,361 yards on the ground while rushing for 15 touchdowns.

After leading all Amherst receivers with 240 yards, 24 receptions and three touchdowns as a junior, Bullock caught 33 passes for a team-high 311 yards and two touchdowns in 2008. Bullock was solid on kick returns, running back nine kickoffs for an average of 20.7 yards and a long of 31, as his 82.8 all-purpose yards per game led the Lord Jeffs.

Trinity’s Eric McGrath, Tyler Berry and Jeff Devanney came away with NESCAC Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Coach of the Year honors, while Donnie Simmons of Tufts was named the Rookie of the Year.