Heflin Named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week
Contact: Ben Badua
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Robbie Heflin ’13 has been named the NESCAC Football Defensive Player of the Week after recording three interceptions in Amherst’s 23-3 win over Colby on Saturday afternoon.
Two plays after the Jeffs turned it over on their opening possession, Heflin made a diving pick along the right sideline to give the home team the ball back on the Colby 38. While Amherst was unable to capitalize on the Mules’ miscue, Heflin’s first interception proved to be important in the battle for field position as the Jeffs pinned the visitors inside their two yard line. The next play, Travis Dickenson ’13 stuffed a Spencer Gopaul ’13 run in the end zone to notch the game’s first points on a safety.
Up 9-0 with Colby lining up for a 1st-and-10 from midfield, the defense needed another big stop. Taking a shot downfield, quarterback Connor Emmert ’15 looked to link up with Michael Lahiff ’13, but Heflin fought off the Mule receiver, coming down with the jump ball at the Amherst 28 put the brakes on another Colby drive.
Clinging onto a 9-3 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter, Heflin capped off a big day with his third interception. Jumping a Jason Buco ’15 route, the junior cornerback picked off Emmert’s errant pass at the Mules’ 24-yard line before racing into the end zone to make it 16-3.
Heflin’s three picks are the most by an Amherst player since Rob Walsh ’05 tied a program record with four picks in a double-overtime game against Bowdoin on Oct. 2, 2004. Also recording an interception against Middlebury, he has four picks on the season, all coming in the last two weeks.