Week 7 Preview: Amherst vs. Trinity


Contact: Ben Badua

Amherst College (5-1) vs.
Trinity College (6-0)

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
Jesse/Miller Field

Hartford, Conn. * 12:30 p.m.






Live Coverage
Saturday's game will feature live statistics, webcast and audio courtesy of Trinity Sports Information.

This Week in the NESCAC
Colby @ Tufts (12:30 p.m.)
Bates @ Bowdoin (12:30 p.m.)
Amherst @ Trinity (12:30 p.m.)
Middlebury @ Hamilton (1 p.m.)
Wesleyan @ Williams (1 p.m.)


Amherst holds a 56-42-9 edge in 107 meetings dating back to 1886. The Lord Jeffs have enjoyed several dominant stretches, winning seven straight from 1916-28 and 1963-69. Amherst’s most recent string of success came with six-consecutive victories from 1996-2001. Trinity has also put together a couple impressive stretches, notably winning 10 of 12 meetings from 1940-56. The Bantams, who also won seven in-a-row from 1989-95, are in the midst of another solid span, taking eight of the last 10 match-ups dating back to 2002. The Jeffs have started to turn things around of late, earning the decision in two of the last three showdowns.

Eric Bunker ’12 and Brian McMahon ’12 combined for five touchdowns to lead Amherst to a 35-28 victory over Trinity last season in a battle of undefeated teams on Pratt Field. The Jeffs carried a 21-0 advantage at the half and a 35-7 edge in the third quarter, but the Bantams stormed back, scoring the final 21 points of the game. Hoping to complete its comeback bid, Trinity mounted a promising drive with under two minutes to go in regulation, but Landrus Lewis ’13 came up with a big interception inside Amherst’s 20-yardline to seal the victory.

Bunker finished with 111 yards on 16 carries (6.9 ypc) with a pair of touchdowns. Exploiting what had been the nation’s top-ranked rushing defense entering the contest (34.0), the Jeffs snapped the Bantams’ streak of 16-consecutive games without allowing a team to run for 100 yards, piling up 146 yards on the ground. Averaging 5.0 yards per carry, Amherst’s running backs were able to crack the century mark against Trinity for the first time since 2004.

McMahon finished 22-of-42 for 250 yards and three touchdowns, while Mike Samela ’12 led all receivers with 92 yards on five catches. Trinity quarterback Ryan Burgess ’13 finished 18-of-34 for 169 yards and two scores (one passing), while Evan Bunker ’14 had 124 yards rushing with two scores.

Amherst’s Sam Clark ’13 recorded a game-high 14 tackles, while Kevin Heller ’12 made 13 stops with a pair of pass breakups. Matt Paskalides ’12 nabbed a pair of interceptions to lead the Bantam defense, while Stephen Goniprow ’14 finished with a team-high 10 stops.

Trinity finished with a 455-396 advantage in total offense, including a 286-146 edge on the ground. Controlling the time of possession (37:26), the Bantams converted 7-of-17 third downs, while holding Amherst to a 5-of-17 clip.


Quarterbacks Jonathan Pieterse ’16 and Max Lippe ’13 finished a combined 27-of-33 for 338 yards and three touchdowns to lead Amherst to a decisive 51-7 victory over Tufts. Racking up 538 yards, the Jeff offense enjoyed its most productive day since gaining 632 yards in a 70-49 win over the Jumbos on Oct. 30, 2010. Amherst’s 338 yards through the air are also the most since picking up 340 yards against Bowdoin on Oct. 2 of that same season.

Completing 14-of-17 passes, Pieterse threw for 177 yards, which included a 44-yard touchdown to Jake O’Malley ’14. Lippe was equally efficient, going 13-of-16 for 161 yards. O’Malley led the Jeff receiving corps with seven catches for 112 yards, while Gene Garay ’15 and Brian Ragone ’16 combined for 13 catches and 163 yards.

Also holding a 200-103 advantage in the running game, Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra ’16 and Steven Jellison ’14 racked up 78 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, while Sean Wilson ’16 averaged 7.2 yards on his six touches.

Keeping what had been the league’s second-ranked passing attack under wraps for most of the afternoon, the Jeffs limited Tufts to just 88 yards through the air, while Danny Chun ’14 and Michael Aldo ’13 nabbed a pair of interceptions. Holding the Jumbos under 200 yards of total offense, Travis Dickenson ’13 and Aldo each made four tackles, with Dickenson recording the game’s lone sack.

Evan Bunker ’14 and Ben Crick ’14 combined for 303 rushing yards and five touchdowns to lead Trinity to a dominating 45-7 victory over previously unbeaten Middlebury. Extending its nation-best regular season home win streak to 47, the Bantams outgained the Panthers 585-274, including a 385-67 edge on the ground.

Building a 31-0 lead at the half, Trinity tacked on a pair of third quarter scores to seal the victory. Crick finished with 158 rushing yards, while Bunker ran for 141. Quarterback Ryan Burgess ’13 was 9-of-16 for 193 yards and two scores, while Chris Ragone ’15 had a pair of catches for 84 yards.

Stephen Goniprow ’14 led the Bantams’ defensive efforts with seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and an interception, while Mike Mancini ’14 and Rob Gau ’15 made seven stops apiece.


Allowing a league-low 11.2 points per game, the Amherst defense has consistently been one of the team’s strengths. Ranking second in the NESCAC in yards allowed (255.0 ypg), the Jeff run defense has been especially stout, limiting opponents to a conference-best 82.0 yards per game.

Travis Dickenson ’13 has helped serve as the catalyst up front, leading the NESCAC with 12 tackles for loss. Danny Chun ’14, who had a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown against Tufts, sits second on the squad in tackles for loss (4.5), while ranking among the league’s leaders in sacks (3.0). As a team, Amherst has put a fair amount of pressure against opposing quarterbacks, tying for second in the NESCAC in sacks (12).

Also ranking third in the conference against the pass, an opportunistic Amherst secondary has nabbed seven interceptions in the last three weeks. Robbie Heflin ’13 has four picks on the season, while safety Michael Aldo ’13 has recorded an interception in each of the last two games.

Relying on a solid run game for much of the season, it’s been the Amherst passing attack that has risen to the challenge of late, putting together strong showings against Wesleyan and Tufts. Outgaining the running game for the first time in 2012 against the Cardinals, quarterbacks Jonathan Pieterse ’16 and Max Lippe ’15 combined to go 27-of-33 against the Jumbos for 338 yards - the Jeffs’ highest output through the air since 2010.

Averaging over 300 yards to open the year, the running game has come back down to earth, averaging just 165.5 per outing the last two weeks and 203.0 yards per game for the year. Getting more balance, a passing attack that threw for just 123.5 yards prior to Wesleyan, has more than doubled its output, picking up 255.0 yards through the air since Week 5. During that span, Pieterse has completed nearly seventy percent of his passes (20-of-29), averaging 122.0 yards, while Lippe has been nearly as efficient, connecting on 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) passes.

Leading the receiving corps since a Week 4 match-up with Colby, Jake O’Malley ’14 has averaged 75.0 yards per game with two touchdowns, while Gene Garay ’15 has made 12 of his 15 receptions over the last two weeks, averaging 63.0 yards during that span. James Durham ’13, who hauled in the longest pass play of 2012 with a 64-yard catch-and-run against Wesleyan, has averaged 50.0 yards per game over the last two outings.

Led by a formidable one-two punch at running back, Trinity enters Saturday’s showdown averaging a league-high 309.3 yards on the ground and 36.5 points per game. The conference’s top rusher, Evan Bunker ’14 is in the midst of a stellar season, averaging 153.5 yards (6.1 ypc) with eight touchdowns. Also ranking amongst the league’s leaders, Ben Crick ’14 has made the most of his touches, averaging 85.8 yards per game (7.0 ypc) with six scores.

Quarterback Ryan Burgess ’13 headlines the NESCAC’s most efficient passing attack (162.7 eff.), completing 64-of-110 passes with 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Wide receivers A.J. Jones ’13 and Andrew Grombala ’13 have combined for seven TDs, with Jones leading the team in receiving yards per game (43.8).

The Bantams have also excelled on the other side of the ball, topping the league in pass defense (133.8), while sitting second behind Amherst against the run (102.8). Linebacker Tom Szymanski ’15 leads the team in tackles (31, 17 solo), while Stephen Goniprow ’13 has two sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Rob Gau ’15 has also helped solidify the front seven, amassing 30 tackles with 1.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.


QB - M. Lippe
RB - S. Jellison
WR - W. McNamara
WR- J. O'Malley
WR - J. Durham
TE - T. Holahan
LT - R. Wasielewski
LG - J. Reynolds
C - J. Ceccio
RG - S. Mergner
RT - J. MacLennan
K - J. Schmidt

N - M. Sponheimer
DT - L. Jacoubs
DT - T. Dickenson
ILB - M. Pieterse
ILB - S. Clark
OLB - C. Tamasi
OLB - D. Chun
SS - M. Aldo
FS - M. Dietz
CB - R. Heflin
CB - K. Callahan
P - J. McGonagle

QB - R. Burgess
RB - E. Bunker
FB - M. Budness
WR - A.J. Jones
WR - D. Grombala
TE - B. Oliver
LT - J. Magardino
LG - G. Arnold
C - A. Weiss
RG - M. Valenti
RT - M. Porter
K - T. Costello
N - D.L. McDonald
DE - L. Baker
DE - N. Cyr
ILB - S. Goniprow
ILB - B. Cde Baca
OLB - T. Syzmanski
OLB - M. Weatherby
SS - R. Haynes
FS - J. Brown
CB - N. Campbell
CB - A. Labitue
P - K. Pulek



Max Lippe (63-of-100/708 yds/5 TD/1 INT)

Steven Jellison (61 att/268 yds/3 TD)
Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra (32 att/109 yds/1 TD)

Jake O'Malley (20 rec/232 yds/2 TD)
Wade McNamara (19 rec/231 yds/2 TD)

Travis Dickenson (39 tackles/20 solo/12 TFL)
Sam Clark (38 tackles/23 solo/1 INT)
Robbie Heflin (20 tackles/4 INT/1 FR)


Ryan Burgess (64-of-110/1040 yds/13 TD/2 INT)

Evan Bunker (151 att/921 yds/8 TD)
Ben Crick (74 att/85.8 yds/6 TD)

Andrew Grombala (14 rec/190 yds/3 TD)
A.J. Jones (9 rec/263 yds/4 TD)

Tom Szymanski (31 tackles/17 solo/4.5 TFL)
Rob Gau (30 tackles/22 solo/1.5 sacks)
Stephen Goniprow (27 tackles/2 sacks/2 INT/1 FR)


A: 203.0 avg.
T: 309.3 avg.
A: 370.3 avg.
T: 492.3 avg.
A: 82.0 avg.
T: 102.8 avg.
A: 255.0 avg.
T: 236.7 avg.
A: 167.3 avg.
T: 183.0 avg.
A: 25.7 avg.
T: 36.5 avg.
A: 173.0 avg.
T: 133.8 avg.
A: 11.2 avg.
T: 11.2 avg.