Jeffs Surge Past Bowdoin in Pratt Opener, 27-11
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Junior quarterback Max Lippe ’15 threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Amherst football team to a 27-11 victory over Bowdoin.
Playing their first game on a newly renovated Pratt Field, the Jeffs held a 298-194 edge in total offense, outgaining Bowdoin 102-16 on the ground. Lippe completed 19 of his 28 pass attempts, with touchdowns of 13 and 30 yards.
Gene Garay ’15 finished with a game-high seven receptions for 76 yards and a score, while Jake O’Malley ’14 had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kenny Adinkra ’16 averaged 4.0 yards per carry, picking up 56 yards on 14 touches. Rookie tailback Myles Gaines turned in another solid effort with 33 yards on nine carries, while Nick Kelly ’17 scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
Nabbing five interceptions in the season opener, the Amherst defense once again took advantage of opponent miscues, with Max Dietz ’14 and Christopher Gow ’16 each coming away with a pick. Danny Chun ’14 led the team with seven tackles, while Chris Tamasi ’15 had six stops, including three for a loss.
Forcing Bowdoin into a three-and-out on the game’s first possession, Amherst took over on the visitors' 44-yard line. Looking over the middle on first down, Lippe fired a 29-yard strike to Wade McNamara ’14 to put Amherst in the redzone. Following a 2-yard Adinkra rush, Lippe found O’Malley in the back left corner of the endzone to put the Jeffs on the board.
Coming right back, Bowdoin pieced together a 14-play, 56-yard drive, chewing up 6:03 before an Andrew Murowchick ’16 field-goal trimmed the deficit to four. Completing his first six passes on the drive, quarterback Mac Caputi ’15 helped set up a first-and-goal from the Amherst 4-yard line.
Beating a defender around the left edge on second down, Zach Donnarumma ’14 appeared to have the go-ahead touchdown, but a holding penalty negated the score. Taking advantage, the Jeffs forced an incompletion on the next play before stopping Sean O’Malley ’14 short of the goal line to force Bowdoin to settle for Murowchick’s 22-yarder.
With the score still 7-3 in the latter stages of the second quarter, Dietz picked off a Caputi pass over the middle, returning it 31 yards to the Bowdoin 44-yard line. Facing a third-and-one from the 35, Amherst’s Jonathan Pieterse ’16 looked to dump it into the flat, but Matt Savard '14 jumped up and snagged the pass, giving the ball right back to the Polar Bears.
Getting one final chance to put up points before the end of the half, Jaymie Spears ’16 returned a Murowchick punt 23 yards to the Bowdoin 25. Finding Garay on a 5-yard, third-down pass play, Lippe helped set up a 37-yard Phillip Nwosu ’15 field-goal as time expired.
Coming up empty on its first possession of the third quarter, Amherst strung together a 14-play, 68-yard drive to make it a two score game. On a third-and-six from the Bowdoin 36 yard line, Lippe scrambled to his left, picking up the first down with a 16-yard scamper. Getting into scoring position with an 11-yard completion to Brian Ragone ’16, Nwosu buried his second of the afternoon, this time from 29 yards out.
Hoping to put Bowdoin away in the fourth, Amherst marched 66 yards in 13 plays. Ripping off a 12-yard run on second-and-nine from the Jeff 46-yard line, Kelly picked up seven more to put the home team in on the other side of midfield. Inside the 10 on a third-and-eight, Lippe once again used his legs, gaining nine yards to keep the drive alive. Kelly capped things off by punching it in from the one-yard line.
With Bowdoin looking to get something going on its next possession, Gow intercepted a tipped ball on third down at the visitors’ 46-yard line before being forced out at the 28. Capitalizing on the turnover just two plays later, Lippe hit Garay on a bubble screen. Stiff arming a defender, the junior wideout raced up the sideline for the Jeffs’ third touchdown of the afternoon.
Covering 60 yards on eight plays, Bowdoin wasted no time cutting into the lead, scoring on a 2-yard Trey Brown ’16 sweep to the right and a Thomas Romero ’14 two-point conversion just over two minutes later. With time winding down, the Polar Bears tried an onside kick, but the attempt drew a penalty, allowing Amherst to regain possession.
Caputi finished 16-for-36 for 115 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Romero completed 5-of-10 pass attempts for 63 yards. Michael English ’14 hauled in a team-high six catches for 32 yards, while Ethan Drigotas ’15 made four receptions. Gaining 166 yards rushing in its opener against Middlebury, Bowdoin managed just 16 net yards on the ground on Saturday, led by Brown’s 21 yards on 10 carries. Picking up 95 yards on 22 touches against the Panthers, Donnarumma managed just 13 yards on 13 carries against a stingy Amherst defense.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 5 against Middlebury.