Week 1 Preview - Amherst vs. Hamilton

Week 1 Preview - Amherst vs. Hamilton

Amherst College (0-0) vs.
Hamilton College (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 * Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium
Amherst, Mass. * 1 p.m.

LIVE COVERAGE
Amherst's 2016 season opener will feature live stats and a webcast courtesy of the Northeast Sports Network.

THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Bates @ Trinity (1 p.m.)
Colby @ Williams (1 p.m.)
Bowdoin @ Middlebury (1 p.m.)
Hamilton @ Amherst (1 p.m.)
Wesleyan @ Tufts (6 p.m.)

THE SERIES
Amherst and Hamilton have met 26 times since 1920, with Amherst holding a commanding, 25-1 series lead. Defeating the Continentals, 30-7 in the inaugural meeting, the Purple & White won the first 14 meetings, outscoring Hamilton, 350-51 during that stretch highlighted by eight shutouts. The Continentals' lone win in the series came in 1992 as they posted a 41-0 triumph over Amherst. The Purple & White have since won 11 straight games against the Continentals, including a 23-7 victory in the most recent tilt in 2013.

LAST MEETING (Box Score/Recap)
Amherst College and Hamilton College last met on Sept. 21, 2013 at Steuben Field in Clinton, N.Y. as the Purple & White opened their 2013 campaign with a decisive, 23-7 victory. Danny Chun '14 and an opportunistic Amherst defense help turn five Continentals' turnovers into 13 points. On the game's opening possession, Chun returned an interception 22 yards to pay dirt setting the tone for the game. Ned Deane '15, Jaymie Spears '16, Max Dietz '14, and Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn '16 also came away with interceptions. Holding Hamilton to just 70 yards through the air, Amherst finished with a 263-223 advantage in total offense. Deane and linebacker Chris Tamasi '15 each made a game-high nine tackles, while Fairfield-Sonn had seven stops.

Quarterback Max Lippe '15 completed 16 of his 29 pass attempts for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while Brian Ragone '16 led the receiving corps with seven catches for 99 yards and a score. Getting the bulk of the carries, running back Kenny Adinkra '16 picked up 46 yards on 19 touches, while Myles Gaines '17 made the most of his opportunities, racking up 40 yards on five attempts (8 ypc).

SCOUTING AMHERST
Amherst enters the 2016 campaign fresh off its second consecutive undefeated, 8-0 season, and has now won a program-record 19 straight games since Oct. 19, 2013 when it suffered a 20-14 setback to Wesleyan University. Since then, the Purple & White have outscored their opponents a staggering, 448-180 en route to three consecutive NESCAC titles.

Amherst, which secured back-to-back unblemished seasons for the first time in its storied, 137-year history, defeated its opponents on average of 17.75 points during the 2015 season, while boasting a balanced attack that saw the team lead the NESCAC in several categories: points per game (27.6), rushing yards per game (201.5), yards per rush (4.6), third-down conversion percentage (48%), field goal percentage (90.0%), PATs (24-28), red zone percentage (87%), red zone touchdowns (18-31), defensive touchdowns (2), and scoring defense (9.9) – which also ranked third in all of Division III. Amherst's historic season also featured 15 All-NESCAC selections – the most ever by the Purple & White – while head coach E.J. Mills claimed his second consecutive NESCAC Coach of the Year honor, and fourth overall in addition to earning his second AFCA Region 1 Coach of the Year award.

Amherst returns a bevy of talent on the offensive and defensive side of the ball in 2016 including tight end Rob Thoma '17 and quad-captain Paul Johnson '17 who each garnered First Team All-NESCAC honors a year ago. Quad-captain Devin Boehm '17 returns to the field after being named Second Team All-NESCAC in 2015, while linebacker Evan Boynton '17, and defensive end Niyi Odewade '17 landed Second Team All-Conference praise on the defensive side of the ball.   

SCOUTING HAMILTON
Hamilton College finished its 2015 season with a 2-6 overall record, but won two of its last three games after starting the season 0-5. The Continentals edged Williams College, 20-17 in Williamstown, Mass. in late October to give the team their first victory over the Ephs since 1996. Hamilton then closed out the season on another strong note with a 14-0 shutout victory against Bates College at Steuben Field in Clinton, N.Y.

Hamilton returns 16 starters from last year's squad including wide receiver Charles Ensley who finished just seven yards short of tying the school record with 665 yards receiving in 2015. He finished second in the NESCAC with 83.1 yards receiving per game, seventh in all-purpose yards per game and tied for eighth in receptions per game. Ensley also shares the team record with 14 receptions in one game back in 2014. He finished last year with six touchdown catches and an average of 18 yards per reception. Tight end Jordan Jenkins, receiver Alex Waugh and Chase Rosenberg will be additional targets for the Continentals' quarterbacks. Rosenberg has switched to wide receiver after playing behind center his first three years with the team.

The defense racked up 19 sacks last year led by linemen Brent Lobien and Nick Sobczyk who tied for fourth in the NESCAC with five apiece. Lobien is the leading returning tackler with 57 and added two fumble recoveries. Defensive end Tyler Hudson enjoyed a fantastic first year with four sacks and a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss. Poppy Green (19 tackles) is back on the line as well.

PROBABLE STARTERS

AMHERST OFF.
QB – A. Berluti
RB – J. Hickey
WR – N. Widen
WR – D. Boehm
WR – B. Berluti
TE – R. Thoma
LT – J. Tyrrell
LG – K. Sheehan
C – A. Park
RG – E. Zabludoff
RT – M. Arthur
K – C. Wall

AMHERST DEF.
DL – I. Holloway
DL – P. Johnson    
DL – N. Odewade
OLB – A. Yamin
ILB – J. Callahan
ILB – E. Boynton
OLB – P. Chapman
DB – J. Rak
DB – N. Tyrell
DB – S. Soucy
DB – D. Ward
P – A. Ferrero

HAMILTON OFF.
QB – C. Freeman
TB – T. Pinkham
FB – M. Nole
WR – E. Saucier
WR – C. Ensley
TE – J. Jenkins
LT – S. Palomaki
LG – R. Nelli
C – R. McClure
RG – M. Cantarella
RT – M. Snider
K – E. Fyrer

HAMILTON DEF.
DE – B. Lobien
DT – N. Sobczyk
DT – P. Green
DE – T. Hudson
OLB – C. Burchill
MLB – M. Keating
OLB – M. Glebus
CB – J. Giattino
CB – C. Powers
SS – J. Taylor
FS – C. Jones
P – B. Wagner


2015 STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMHERST
Passing:

Reece Foy (125-of-213/1,542 yds/10 TD/6 INT)
Rushing:

Kenny Adinkra (122 att/504 yds/6 TD)
Jack Hickey (47 att/319 yds/3 TD)
Receiving:

Devin Boehm (41 rec/555 yds/2 TD)
Jackson McGonagle (33 rec/484 yds/6 TD)
Defense:

Tom Kleyn (58 tackles/30 solo/7 TFL)
Evan Boynton (56 tackles/33 solo/8 TFL)
Jack Drew (52 tackles/33 solo/9 TFL)

HAMILTON
Passing:

Cole Freeman (80-of-180/1,046 yds/7 TD/5 INT)
Rushing:

LaShawn Ware (107 att/349 yds/0 TD)
Jason Nastovski (45 att/157 yds/5 TD)
Receiving:

Charles Ensley (37 rec/665 yds/6 TD)
Patrick Donahoe (34 rec/510 yds/2 TD)
Defense:

Alex Mitko (59 tackles/43 solo/7.5 TFL)
Cade Larabee (58 tackles/30 solo/6.5 TFL)
Brent Lobien (57 tackles/41 solo/9.5 TFL)


2015 STATISTICAL COMPARISON

RUSHING OFF.
A:
201.5 avg.
H: 73.0 avg.

TOTAL OFF.
A:
394.3 avg.
H: 285.1 avg.

RUSHING DEF.
A:
102.4 avg.
H: 123.1 avg.

TOTAL DEF.
A:
293.6 avg.
H: 342.3 avg.

PASSING OFF.
A:
192.8 avg.
H: 212.1 avg.

SCORING OFF.
A:
27.6 avg.
H: 15.5 avg.

PASSING DEF.
A:
191.3 avg. 
H: 219.1 avg. 

SCORING DEF.
A:
9.9 avg.
H: 20.0 avg.