Week 5 Preview: Amherst vs. Wesleyan

GowMIDD2.jpgContact: Ben Badua

Amherst College (4-0) vs.
Wesleyan University (4-0)
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
Pratt Field *
Amherst, MA * 1 p.m.

The Complete Package

From the Gridiron to the White House


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Saturday's game will feature a webcast and live stats.

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

Prior to the start of Saturday's game there will be a brief dedication ceremony beginning at 12:50 p.m. on the 50-yardline. Amherst President Biddy Martin and Director of Athletics Suzanne Coffey will make remarks before the ribbon cutting officially opens the new and improved Pratt Field.

Amherst won 50 of the first 99 games in what was once a tug-of-war Little Three rivalry, but the Jeffs have defeated the Cardinals in 18 of the past 19 match-ups to take a commanding 68-41-9 lead in the all-time series. Amherst has outscored Wesleyan by a 282-51 margin during its current 10-game unbeaten streak, shutting out the Cardinals four times during that stretch. Since Wesleyan’s 24-6 win in 1993, the Jeffs have won nine consecutive Homecoming games against the Cardinals, including lopsided results of 23-0 (2001), 41-0 (2003), 37-0 (2005), 28-9 (2007), 23-0 (2009) and 24-10 (2011).

Coming up with a pair of fourth quarter interceptions, the Amherst defense helped lift the Jeffs to a 17-9 win over Wesleyan, denying the Cardinals a chance to move to 5-0 for the first time since 1993. Wesleyan held a 356-303 edge in total yards, including a 136-131 advantage on the ground. Amherst allowed its first 100-yard rusher of the season, with the Cardinals’ Kyle Gibson ’15 picking up 107 yards on 32 carries.

Steven Jellison '14 led all Jeff rushers with 36 yards on 11 touches (3.3 ypc). Quarterbacks Jonathan Pieterse ’16 and Max Lippe ’15 combined for 56 yards on the ground, while Tyler Jacobs ’15 had 24 yards on nine carries. Pieterse finished 6-of-12 for 67 yards and a touchdown through the air, while Lippe went 3-of-10 for 105 yards and a score. Jake O’Malley ’14 and Gene Garay ’15 combined for 73 yards and four catches. Wesleyan quarterback Jesse Warren ’15 was 20-of-41 with 220 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while Josh Hurwitz ’15 led all Wesleyan receivers with 99 yards and a TD.

Scoreless after the first quarter, Amherst grabbed the lead early in the second when O’Malley turned a screen pass into a 30-yard scoring strike. Chewing up the final 4:23 of the half, Wesleyan marched 92 yards in 18 plays, connecting on a 24-yard field goal as time expired to get on the board. Finishing off a 61-yard, nine-play drive with a 33-yard field goal late in the third, Amherst went up by a touchdown. A 62-yard Warren touchdown pass at the end of the frame trimmed the margin to 10-9, but a missed extra point kept the Cardinals from tying the game. Extending its lead on its first possession of the fourth, Lippe completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to give Amherst an eight-point lead it would not relinquish.

Thanks to a pair of fourth quarter scoring drives, Amherst managed to remain unbeaten, escaping with a 14-10 victory at Colby College. Junior quarterback Max Lippe finished 16-of-28 for 165 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while first-year signal caller Alex Berluti completed four of his six attempts for 90 yards and a score. Jake O’Malley '14 led all receivers with a career-high 105 yards on five catches, while Kenny Adinkra ’16 paced all Amherst rushers with 38 yards on 11 carries (3.2 ypc). As a team, Amherst finished with a 255-240 edge in passing yards, while Colby held a 91-80 advantage on the ground.

Scoreless at the half, Colby put itself in great field position by intercepting a Lippe pass and returning it to the Amherst 33-yardline. Wasting no time, quarterback Justin Ciero went deep, lofting a ball to Luke Duncklee who made a one-handed catch before falling out of bounds inside the 10. Buying himself some time on second-and-goal, Ciero scrambled to his right before again finding Duncklee for an 11-yard strike that put Colby on top.

Pinned inside its own 2-yard line, Amherst earned a couple of first downs to make its way to the 28-yardline. In for his second series of the game, Berluti sold the play action before rolling to his left. Going long, the first-year hit a streaking O’Malley in stride for a 72-yard touchdown that suddenly pulled the Jeffs even.

Trailing 10-3 with less than four minutes to go after a 31-yard Louw Scheepers field goal, the Jeffs covered 75 yards on 12 plays. Lippe had completions of 12, 11 and nine yards on the drive before firing a 17-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Wade McNamara ’14 with just 33 seconds left in regulation.

Extending its winning streak vs. Bates to eight games while improving its overall record against the Bobcats to 28-4, Wesleyan yielded the opening TD to its visitor before rattling off 35 unanswered points to come away a 35-7 victor last Saturday. Wesleyan, ranked second in Division III for scoring defense, entered the game allowing just 15 total points through its first three contests. Bates got on the board at 3:45 of the first period for a 7-0 lead, but the Cardinals played shutout ball for the final 48:45 as the Bobcats got into the redzone just once after its initial score.

Wesleyan rolled up 440 yards of total offense to Bates’ 218.  Leading the Cardinals' ground game was Kyle Gibson '15 with 132 yards on 16 carries, including a 39-yard TD scamper up the left side at 2:29 of the second quarter. Earlier in the period, LaDarius Drew '15 burst in from two yards out to cap off an eight-play, 74-yard march. Wesleyan went ahead for good at 5:11 as Rob Manning '16 hauled in a nine-yard pass from quarterback Jesse Warren '15 in the endzone.

Once again boasting the league’s stingiest run defense, Amherst enters today’s contest giving up just 71.2 yards per game on the ground. Linebackers Ned Deane ’15 and Chris Tamasi ’15 have played an integral role in the Jeffs’ scheme, with Deane ranking fifth in the league in stops (36) and Tamasi leading the conference in tackles for loss (8.5). Helping to provide a surge up front, Max Lehrman ’15 leads the league in sacks (3.5). As a unit, Amherst has gotten to opposing quarterbacks a conference-high 11 times.

Also leading the league in takeaways, the Jeff defense has picked off 15 passes in 2013. Max Dietz ’14, Landrus Lewis ’14E and Christopher Gow ’16 each have three interceptions apiece, with five other players also recording a pick through the first four weeks of the season. Ranked second in total defense (308.0 ypg), Amherst has surrendered the second fewest points at 11.0 per outing.

Completing 60.0 percent of his passes, quarterback Max Lippe ’15 sits third in the conference in yards per game (179.0) and tied for third in touchdowns (6). First-year Alex Berluti, who has seen time in each of the last two weeks, threw a 72-yard game-tying touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of last week’s win over Colby. Wide receiver Jake O’Malley ’14, coming off a career-high 105 yards against the Mules, is tied for the league lead in touchdowns (4), while ranking fifth in yards per game (64.0). Gene Garay ’15 and Brian Ragone ’16 have also made their presence felt in the passing game, combining for nearly 85 yards per outing.

Kenny Adinkra ’16 leads a talented stable of running backs that has averaged 104.0 yards per game. Picking up 187 yards on 55 carries, Adinkra leads the team in rushing, while Myles Gaines ’17 has picked up 4.1 yards per touch as one of the team’s two feature backs. Leading the NESCAC in redzone efficiency, scoring on 12 of its 13 attempts inside the 20-yardline, Amherst has been especially tough closing out games, having outscored opponents 52-17 in the fourth quarter.

Off to a 4-0 start, Wesleyan has been the league's most dominant team, outscoring its opponents 163-22 entering Saturday’s showdown at Pratt Field. Featuring the conference’s stingiest defense, the Cardinals have surrendered a NESCAC-low 5.5 points per game, while ranking first against the pass (131.2 ypg) as well as total defense (230.2 ypg) and third against the run (99.0 ypg). Devon Carrillo ’17 leads the team with 26 tackles (17 solo), while Alex Daversa-Russo ’16 and Donnie Cimino ’15 have 19 and 16 stops, respectively. Ranking second in the league in sacks (9), the Cardinals have also produced eight turnovers through the first four weeks.

With a dynamic running game, Wesleyan tops the conference in scoring (40.8), total offense (450.0 ypg) and rushing yards (266.0 ypg). Kyle Gibson ’15 leads the NESCAC in rushing, averaging 105.5 yards per outing, while LaDarius Drew ’15 ranks second with 101.0 yards per game. Together the duo have combined for nine touchdowns. Jesse Warren ’15 headlines an efficient passing attack, leading the league in completion percentage (71.8), touchdowns (11) and passing efficiency (193.3), while Josh Hurwitz ’15 paces the receiving corps with 18 catches for 240 yards (60.0 ypg).


QB – M. Lippe
RB – K. Adinkra
WR – J. O'Malley
WR – G. Garay
WR – B. Ragone
TE – H. Falter
LT – R. Wasielewski
LG – A. Dirks
C – J. Woodrow
RG – S. Mergner
RT – J. MacLennan
K – P. Nwosu
N – R. Perdoni
DT – M. Lehrman   
DT – O. Davis
ILB – N. Deane
ILB – T. Mordas
OLB – C. Tamasi
OLB – D. Chun
SS – J. Fairfield-Sonn
FS – M. Dietz
C – J. Spears
C – L. Lewis
P – J. McGonagle
QB – J. Warren
RB – L. Drew
WR – J. Hurwitz
WR – J. Fabien
WR – K. Hughes
TE – J. Day
LT – B. Cunningham
LG – T. Bishop
C – J. Sheffer
RG – S. Scannell
RT – P. DiMase
K – S. Aguirre
DE – N. Powers
DE – J. Otis
DT – I. Khadar
DT – M. Godfrey
LB – G. Kelley
LB – A. Daversa-Russo
LB – M.Beaird
DB – J. Bussani
DB – D. Cimino
DB – D. Carrillo
DB – V. Davis
P – J. Hurwitz



M. Lippe (72-of-120/716 yds/6 TD/ 3 INT)
Kenny Adinkra (55 att/187 yds/1 TD)
Myles Gaines (30 att/122 yds/0 TD)
Jake O’Malley (18 rec/256 yds/4 TD)
Gene Garay (15 rec/177 yds/1 TD)
Ned Deane (36 tackles/27 solo/2.5 TFL)
Chris Tamasi (26 tackles/23 solo/8.5 TFL)
Max Dietz (18 tackles/3 INT/5 BrUps)


Jesse Warren (56-of-78/696 yds/11 TD/0 INT)
LaDarius Drew (73 att/404 yds/6 TD)
Kyle Gibson (49 att/422 yds/3 TD)
Josh Hurwitz (18 rec/240 yds/2 TD)
Kevin Hughes (11 rec/139 yds/2 TD)
Devon Carrillo (26 tackles/17 solo/1 BrUp)
Alex Daversa-Russo (19 tackles/1.5 TFL/1 Sack)
Donnie Cimino (16 tackles/11 solo/1 TFL)


104.0 avg.
W: 266.0 avg.

310.5 avg.
W: 450.0 avg.
71.2 avg.
W: 99.0 avg.
308.0 avg.
W: 230.2 avg.
206.5 avg.
W: 184.0 avg.
25.2 avg.
W: 40.8 avg.
236.8 avg.
W: 131.2 avg.
11.0 avg.
W: 5.5 avg.