Week 8 Preview: Williams

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Contact: Ben Badua

127th Meeting
Amherst College (5-2) vs.
Williams College (4-3)

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012
Pratt Field
* Amherst, Mass. * 12 p.m.

JEFF REPORT PODCAST

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HOMECOMING HEADQUARTERS

LIVE COVERAGE
Live Stats will be available for Saturday's game. A tape delayed video stream will also be posted shortly following the conclusion of the game.

THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Trinity @ Wesleyan (12 p.m.)
Williams @ Amherst (12 p.m.)
Hamilton @ Bates (12 p.m.)
Tufts @ Middlebury (12:30 p.m.)
Bowdoin @ Colby (12:30 p.m.)

THE SERIES
Williams holds a 71-50-5 edge in 126 meetings dating back to 1884. The Lord Jeffs recorded their first win in 1886, but would not get another until 1892, as the Ephs piled up an 8-1-1 mark through the first 10 games. The rivals were relatively even against each other until Amherst strung together a six-game win streak from 1981-86. Williams responded by putting together the rivalry’s longest unbeaten stretch, going 12-0-1 from 1987-99. The Ephs enjoyed another four-game streak from 2005-08, but Amherst has since regrouped, taking two of the last three showdowns en route to undefeated seasons in 2009 and 2011.

ON THE LINE
Amherst is 28-27-3 at home against Williams since Pratt Field was built in 1891, and the Jeffs would love to close the books on its historic turf with a winning record. However, given how the rivalry has gone of late, the Ephs might very well even the series at 28-28-3, as the visiting team has won each of the past four meetings dating back to 2008. While neither team remains in contention for the NESCAC Championship, Saturday’s outcome will decide this year’s Little Three title with Amherst and Williams entering the contest having each earned a win over Wesleyan.

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LAST MEETING
Amherst capped off its second undefeated season in three years with a 31-18 victory at Williams. Up 7-3 early, the Lord Jeffs went on a 24-point run and held a 31-6 lead late in the third quarter. Defensive lineman Kevin Ferber ’12, running back Eric Bunker ’12 and kicker Matt Rawson ’12 set single-season program records for sacks, rushing touchdowns and field goals, respectively, while quarterback Brian McMahon ’12 threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Recovering a fumble in the end zone for a pivotal touchdown that opened the second-half scoring, Ferber finished with 4.0 sacks to give him 11.0 on the season.

Rushing for only 21 yards against Williams in 2010, Bunker gained 107 yards on 27 carries (4.0 ypc), while giving the Jeffs a 13-6 second-quarter lead on a 3-yard run that broke the previous single-season touchdown record of 11. McMahon accounted for 205 total yards after completing 14-of-27 passes and running the ball 15 times.

The Ephs outgained the Jeffs 353-314, including a 238-147 advantage through the air, but three costly turnovers that led to 10 Amherst points helped put the visitors on top. Keeping drives alive by going 6-of-13 on third downs, the Jeffs made the most of their chances in the red zone, scoring on three of four trips.

Safety Doug Gebhardt ’12 led all players with 14 tackles, while Kevin Heller ’12 had a pair of interceptions. The win was only Amherst’s second at Weston Field since 1985.

AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
Carrying a 20-12 lead into the fourth quarter, Amherst surrendered 20 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes en route to a 32-20 loss to Trinity on Jesse/Miller Field. Entering the game with the conference’s stiffest run defense, the Jeffs gave up 250 yards on the ground, with the Bantams’ Evan Bunker leading the way with 215 yards on 34 touches (6.3 ypc).

Quarterback Max Lippe ’15 led the Amherst offense, accounting for 243 total yards (192 passing, 51 rushing) and two scores, but a costly pick-six with under nine to go gave Trinity a lead it would not relinquish. Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra ’16 led the Jeffs’ rushing attack, gaining 63 yards on just nine carries (7.0 ypc), while Steven Jellison ’14 picked up 40 yards on 10 touches (4.0 ypc). Jake O’Malley '14 led the receiving core with nine catches for 61 yards, while James Durham ’13 and Gene Garay ’15 combined for 93 yards and six catches.

Trinity outgained Amherst 375-325, which included a 250-133 edge in the running game. The Bantams converted 10-of-18 third downs, while the Jeffs found a way to move the chains on half of their opportunities (10-of-20). Sam Clark ’13 made a game-high 12 tackles (9 solo), while recording one of two Jeff sacks. Chris Tamasi ’15 and Travis Dickenson ’13 combined for 21 tackles (16 solo) while Michael Aldo ’13 picked off his third pass in as many games.

Trailing 9-3 in the second quarter, Amherst marched the ball 76 yards in just 2:12, retaking the lead on a Lippe quarterback keeper. Getting the ball back just before the half, the Jeffs upped the margin to 17-9 on a Brian Ragone ’16 touchdown reception. Down 20-12 after a Jake Schmidt ’14 third quarter field goal, Trinity began its comeback bid with Bunker capping off a 9-play, 71-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run. Rae Haynes then took back an interception for a score with 8:55 left before Michael Budness sealed the deal with a 26-yard touchdown reception in the waning moments of regulation.

Williams

WILLIAMS LAST TIME OUT
Alex Scyocurka ’14 rushed for 205 yards on 29 carries to lead Williams to a 19-7 Homecoming win over Little Three rival Wesleyan. Breaking a 93-yard run on the Ephs’ second possession, Scyocurka set the tone for a Williams offense that piled up 305 total yards. Pinning Wesleyan deep in its own territory in the latter stages of the first quarter, the Ephs upped the margin to 9-0 with a safety. The defense netted seven more points just before the half when Antonio Blanco ’15 scooped up a fumble and rumbled 18 yards to pay dirt. With Wesleyan cutting the deficit to nine on a LaDarius Drew rushing touchdown, Williams capped off the scoring with a Joe Mallock ’14 19-yard field goal.

Tom Murphy '15 completed 7-of-24 passes for 96 yards, while Jeff Reimann’13 and Jeff Brewington ’14 combined for 67 yards on three catches. Tom Cabarle ’15 recorded a game-high 12 tackles, while Emmanuel Whyte ’13 made four stops with an interception.

SCOUTING AMHERST
Rushing for 254.3 yards per game over the first three weeks of the season, Amherst’s offense has morphed into a more balanced attack during the second half of 2012. Since a Week 4 match-up with Colby, the Jeffs have averaged 207.8 yards through the air, while picking up 147.0 yards on the ground. Amherst’s increased reliance on the passing game has been a combined result of injuries and the progression of its young quarterbacks.

Max Lippe ’15 enjoyed arguably his most productive outing of the year against Trinity, accounting for 243 yards of total offense (192 passing, 51 rushing) and two scores, while Jonathan Pieterse ’16 has completed 22-of-34 (64.7 percent) passes with two touchdowns en route to a 140.99 efficiency rating. Unable to stretch the field earlier in the year, the Jeffs have made several big plays in the passing game of late. Jake O’Malley ’14 has hauled in 24 catches since Colby, averaging 61.2 yards with two scores, while Gene Garay ’15 and James Durham ’13 have averaged 55.5 and 36.2 yards, respectively, since Week 4.

In the absence of several key running backs, Steven Jellison ’14 and Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra ’16 have picked up the slack, keeping the Amherst rushing attack churning by combining to average 85.8 yards (3.9 ypc) with three touchdowns. Recently garnering NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors, Jake Schmidt ’14 has become an effective weapon in the kicking game, converting 8-of-10 attempts this season with a long of 37 yards.

Despite giving up 250 yards against Trinity, Amherst’s run defense remains the NESCAC’s stiffest, allowing just 106.0 yards per game. Travis Dickenson ’13 continues to help the Jeffs’ surge up front with a league-high 13.0 tackles for loss, while linebacker Sam Clark ’13 leads the team in stops with 50 (32 solo). Also ranking third against the pass, Amherst’s secondary has done a good job to creating turnovers, nabbing eight interceptions in the last four weeks (11 overall). Michael Aldo ’13 has led the charge, with picks in each of his last three games, while Robbie Heflin ’13 has logged a team-high four interceptions.

SCOUTING WILLIAMS
Opening 2012 with a 1-3 record, Williams has rattled off three straight wins, assuring itself of a non-losing season for the 26th-consecutive year thanks to a 19-7 victory over Wesleyan last Saturday. Enjoying a breakout game after battling injuries for much of the season, Alex Scyocurka ’14 rolled up 205 yards on 29 carries, pacing the Eph offense. On the season, the junior running back has averaged 98.7 yards (5.5 ypc) with one touchdown.

Taking over for Adam Marske ’14 in Week 5 against Tufts, sophomore quarterback Tom Murphy ’15 has managed the passing game in three wins, completing 32-of-71 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Receiver Darren Hartwell ’13 has helped maintain the balance offensively, averaging 51.0 yards with three scores, as the Ephs rank sixth in the conference in both passing (172.7) and running (123.0) yards.

On the other side of the ball, Williams has struggled against the pass, sitting last in the conference in yards allowed (233.9). Emmanuel Whyte ’13 has enjoyed a solid season, making 48 tackles with five break-ups, three fumble recoveries and one interception. Led by senior linebacker Chris Cameron’s team-high 55 tackles (42 solo), Williams has fared a little better against the run, sitting sixth in the league (131.1). James Howe ’16 has also made himself at home in opposing backfields, ranking amongst the conference leaders in sacks (3.5).

PROBABLE STARTERS

AMHERST OFF.
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

AMHERST DEF.
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

WILLIAMS OFF.
QB - A. Marske
RB - K. Lapointe
FB - T. Morris
WR - D. Hartwell
WR - J. Reimann
TE - S. Krieg
LT - C. Tian
LG - P. Christiani
C - A. Felix
RG - R. Loughran
RT - A.J. Walsh
K - J. Mallock
WILLIAMS DEF.
DE - M. Flynn
DE - E. Higginbotham
DT - T. Foote
DT - E. Gyasi
LB - A. Blanco
LB - E. Whyte
LB - C. Cameron
SS - T. Cabarle
FS - C. Kim
CB - A. Lafontant
CB - N. Safold
P - J. Mallock










STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMHERST

Passing
Max Lippe (85-of-141/900 yds/6 TD/2 INT)
Jonathan Pieterse (22-of-34/254 yds/2 TD/1 INT)

Rushing
Steven Jellison (71 att/315 yds/3 TD)
Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra (41 att/172 yds/1 TD)

Receiving
Jake O’Malley (29 rec/293 yds/2 TD)
Wade McNamara (23 rec/259 yds/2 TD)

Defense
Sam Clark (50 tackles/32 solo/3.5 TFL)
Travis Dickenson (49 tackles/13 TFL/2.5 sacks)
Robbie Heflin (26 tackles/4 INT/5 BrUp/1 FR)

WILLIAMS

Passing
Adam Marske (60-of-110/698 yds/3 TD/8 INT)
Tom Murphy (32-of-71/511 yds/3 TD/2 INT)

Rushing
Alex Scyocurka (54 att/296 yds/1 TD)
Kristian Lapointe (68 att/219 yds/2 TD)

Receiving
Darren Hartwell (28 rec/357 yds/3 TD)
Richie Beaton (15 rec/183 yds/0 TD)

Defense
Chris Cameron (55 tackles/42 solo/5 TFL)
Emmanuel Whyte (48 tackles/3 FR/1 INT/5 BrUp)
Antonio Blanco (41 tackles/4 TFL/2 INT/1 FR)








STATISTICAL COMPARISON

RUSHING OFF.
A: 193.0 avg.
W: 123.0 avg.
TOTAL OFF.
A: 363.9 avg.
W: 295.7 avg.
RUSHING DEF.
A: 106.0 avg.
W: 131.1 avg.
TOTAL DEF.
A: 272.1 avg.
W: 365.0 avg.
PASSING OFF.
A: 170.9 avg.
W: 172.7 avg.
SCORING OFF.
A: 24.9 avg.
W: 21.6 avg.
PASSING DEF.
A: 166.1 avg.
W: 233.9 avg.
SCORING DEF.
A: 14.1 avg.
W: 18.1 avg.