Jeffs Dealt 24-3 Loss at Middlebury
Contact: Ben Badua
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Amherst football team saw its 10-game win streak dating back to last season finally come to an end Saturday with a 24-3 loss to Middlebury on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium.
Rattling off 21 unanswered points in a big second quarter run, the Panthers improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2007 and join Trinity and Wesleyan as the league’s only remaining unbeatens. Dropping its first game to Middlebury since 2008, Amherst (2-1) now holds a slim 21-17 edge in the all-time series.
Slowing down one of the NESCAC’s most powerful offenses, the Panthers held the Jeffs nearly 200 yards below their season average, surrendering just 249 yards of total offense. Boasting one of the conference’s best rushing attacks with 308.5 yards per game entering today’s contest, Amherst struggled to gain traction against a stout Middlebury defense, picking up just 146 yards on 43 carries (3.4 ypc).
Ryan Silva ’14, who ranked among the league’s leaders in yards per game, managed just 86 on the ground despite 21 touches (3.7 ypc), while Steven Jellison ’14 ran for 44 yards on eight carries (5.5 ypc). With the running game held in check, sophomore quarterback Max Lippe struggled to get the Jeffs on track, completing just 6-of-15 passes for 66 yards. Wade McNamara ’14 led Amherst’s receiving corps, pulling down five catches for 74 yards.
Middlebury’s McCallum Foote ’14 threw for his third-consecutive 300-plus yard game this season, going 39-of-60 for 379 yards and two touchdowns. Billy Chapman ’13 caught 12 passes for 110 yards and two scores, while Zach Driscoll ’13 hauled in 11 balls for 126 yards.
Rolling up 421 yards of total offense, the Panthers held nearly a six-minute advantage in time of possession, averaging almost five (4.9) yards per play, while going 10-of-20 on third down.
Amherst’s Ned Deane ’15 led all tacklers with 14 stops (eight solo), while Danny Chun ’14 had 13 (10 solo). Robbie Heflin ’13 recorded his first interception of the season, picking off Foote in the end zone late in the third quarter, while Max Lehrman ’15 recorded one of two Jeff sacks.
Tim Patricia ’16 led the home team with 12 tackles and an interception, while Matthew Benedict ’15 made nine stops with three pass break-ups.
Beginning on the Amherst 44 after forcing the Jeffs into a quick three-and-out, the Panthers needed just five plays before McCallum found Chapman for an 11-yard strike early in the second quarter.
Piecing together a six-play, 64-yard drive that took just 1:06, Middlebury added to its tally when Foote once again linked up with Chapman, this time for an eight-yard touchdown reception.
Forcing another Amherst punt late in the quarter, the Panthers got the ball back on the 50 with 50 seconds remaining. Twice finding running back Remi Askar ’13 for a combined 22 yards, McCallum connected on a 20-yard pass to Harrison Goodkind ’16. Facing second and goal, the junior quarterback then earned his first career rushing touchdown to stake the home team to a 21-0 edge.
Opening the second half with a 14-play, 61-yard drive that ate up 6:21 off the clock, Amherst netted its only points of the afternoon on a Jake Schmidt ’14 29-yarder that trimmed the deficit to 18 at the 13:17 mark of the third quarter.
Taking advantage of a short punt early in the fourth, Middlebury covered 33 yards in 11 plays before closing out the scoring with a 28-yard Jake Feury ’16 field goal.
The Jeffs will look to break back into the win column when they play host to Colby on Saturday, Oct. 13.