Week 4 Preview - Amherst vs. Colby

Week 4 Preview - Amherst vs. Colby

Amherst College (2-1) vs. Colby College (1-2)
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 * Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium
Amherst, Mass. * 1 p.m.

LIVE COVERAGE
Amherst's home game against Colby will feature live stats and a webcast courtesy of the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).

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

THE SERIES
Amherst and Colby have met 39 times since 1903, with Amherst holding a commanding, 34-4-1 series lead. Defeating the Mules, 23-0 in the inaugural meeting, the Purple & White won 14 of the first 15 meetings, and posted a 6-6 tie during the 1935 season. Amherst and Colby have played continuously since 1992, with the Mules picking up four straight wins over the Purple & White between 1992 and 1995. Amherst has since won 20 straight matchups, outscoring its NESCAC rival, 480-133 during that span with four shutouts.

LAST MEETING (Box Score/Recap)
Amherst and Colby last met Oct. 17, 2015 at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium in Waterville, Maine as the Purple & White used a 17-point second quarter to pull away to a 31-13 victory. After a scoreless first quarter, Amherst marched 45 yards in 11 plays on its first drive of the second quarter, and Charlie Wall '18 converted a 26-yard field goal to give the Purple & White a 3-0 lead. Following a punt by Colby, Reece Foy '18 connected with Jackson McGonagle '16 on a 46 yard pass to the Mules' eight yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the Colby three, Foy found Devin Boehm '17 in the back of the end zone to give Amherst a 10-0 lead with 9:52 to play in the first half. With 2:47 on the clock, the Purple & White extended its advantage to 17-0 when Kenny Adinkra '16 ran it in from two yards out capping a four-play, 39-yard drive.

Colby narrowed the deficit to 17-7 on the first possession of the second half before the Purple & White responded with a seven-play, 60-yard drive of its own resulting in a Foy touchdown pass to McGonagle to give Amherst a 24-7 advantage midway through the third quarter. Late in the fourth quarter, Colby pulled to within two scores as Carl Lipani notched a two-yard touchdown run to complete an 11-play, 66-yard drive that narrowed the Mules' deficit to 24-13 with 3:45 to play in regulation. After forcing a fumble on Amherst's ensuing possession, Colby had the ball deep in its own territory before Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn '16 picked off Gabe Harrington and raced back 20 yards for a touchdown to give the visitors a 31-13 cushion with just 1:59 on the clock. Nate Tyrell '19 then intercepted Christian Sparacio to halt Colby's next possession and seal the victory.   

SCOUTING AMHERST
Amherst returns to Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium after playing its last two games on the road. The Purple & White, who enter today's contest looking to rebound from a 27-26 setback at Middlebury on Oct. 8, stand at 2-1 on the season. Amherst's loss to the Panthers was the team's first since October of 2013 when it fell to Wesleyan, 20-14. Despite the loss to Middlebury, the Purple & White enter Saturday's matchup with one of the nation's stingiest defenses, as the unit is allowing just 182.7 yards of total offense per game, and a staggering 0.7 rushing yards per game. In addition, Amherst has allowed just 12.3 points per game through the first three games of the season. Offensively, Amherst averages 392.3 yards per outing, including 261.3 yards per game through the air, and 30.3 points per contest. 

Amherst is led by sophomore quarterback Nick Morales who is 37-of-51 for 407 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in three games played. Jack Hickey '19 has carried the brunt of the load for Amherst's ground attack as he has amassed 183 yards on 46 rushes (4.0 yards per rush), and leads the league in rushing touchdowns with six. Devin Boehm '17 leads the receiving corps with 293 yards and three touchdowns, and has made 24 receptions.   

Defensively, Parker Chapman '17 leads the team with 21 tackles (10 solo) and has recorded a sack, a tackle for a loss, and forced a fumble. Andrew Yamin '19 follows with 17 tackles (9 solo), and leads the team in sacks (2) and tackles for a loss (7). John Callahan '19, John Rak '19, Derek Ward '17, and Jack Barrett '19 each have an interception this season.

SCOUTING COLBY
Colby comes to the Pioneer Valley with a 1-2 overall record and is looking bounce back from a 37-6 loss to Wesleyan in its last contest on Oct. 8 at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium in Waterville, Maine. The Mules won the first game of the 2016 season, 9-7 over Williams on a last second, 19-yard field goal by John Baron, but have since lost their next two games. Before its loss to the Cardinals, Colby fell to Middlebury, 35-14. The Mules enter Saturday's encounter with Amherst averaging 234.0 yards of offense per game, including 97.7 yards on the ground, and 136.3 yards per game through the air. On defense, Colby has allowed 419.0 total yards per game, 188.7 rushing yards per contest, and 230.3 passing yards per outing. The Mules average just 9.7 points per game, and are giving up 26.3 points per contest. Colby is led by quarterback Christian Sparacio who is 26-of-49 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Jabari Hurdle-Price has been a force for the Mules in both the ground game and in the passing attack as he has amassed 175 yards on 53 carries with a touchdown, while also hauling in 10 passes for 63 yards. Sebastian Ferrell has registered two touchdown catches for the Mules, and leads the team in receiving yards with 119.

The defensive unit is led by Sebastien Philemon who leads the team in tackles with 27 (17 solo), while Ian Dickey and Don Vivian have recorded 19 tackles each. Dickey has also been Colby's most active player in the secondary as he has picked off a pair of passes, while Vivian has broken up two attempts. On special teams, John Baron has converted one of two field goals attempts – a game-winner against Williams in week one. Baron also serves as the team's punter, and he has had seven of his 22 punts land inside the 20-yard line. Baron's punts total 757 yards with a long of 63 and an average of 34.4 yards per kick. Hurdle-Price leads the kick return unit with 202 yards on nine tries with a long return of 46 yards.     

PROBABLE STARTERS

AMHERST OFF.
QB – N. Morales
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 – J. Rak

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

COLBY OFF.
QB – C. Sparacio
RB - J. Hurdle-Price
WR - S. Ferrell
WR – A. Kramer
WR – M. Richman
TE – B. Wilson
LT – S. Normandeau
LG – W. Julich
C – M. Roberts
RG – A. Cappellino
RT – L. Patrizio
K – J. Baron

COLBY DEF.
DE – H. Wallrapp
DT – S. Gomez
DT – B. Hartford
DE – C. Strand
LB – S. Philemon
LB – S. Friedman
LB – J. Lamere
CB – W. Caffey
CB – P. Yale
SS – I. Dickey
FS – D. Vivian
P – J. Baron


2016 STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMHERST
Passing:

Nick Morales (37-of-51/407 yds/2 TD/1 INT)
Rushing:

Jack Hickey (46 att/183 yds/6 TD)
Alex Berluti (13 att/61 yds/0 TD)
Receiving:

Devin Boehm (24 rec/293 yds/3 TD)
Nick Widen (20 rec/174 yds/0 TD)
Defense:

Parker Chapman (21 tackles/10 solo/1 FF)
Andrew Yamin (17 tackles/9 solo/2 SCK)
John Callahan (15 tackles/6 solo/1 INT)

COLBY
Passing:

Christian Sparacio (26-of-49/259 yds/2 TD/3 INT)
Rushing:

Jabari Hurdle-Price (53 att/175 yds/1 TD)
Jake Schwern (16 att/61 yds/0 TD)
Receiving:

Jabari Hurdle-Price (10 rec/63 yds/0 TD)
Ryder Arsenault (8 rec/68 yds/0 TD)
Defense:

Sebastien Philemon (27 tackles/17 solo/1 TFL)
Ian Dickey (19 tackles/13 solo/2 INT)
Don Vivian (19 tackles/11 solo/2 BRUP)


2016 STATISTICAL COMPARISON

RUSHING OFF.
A:
131.0 avg.
C: 97.7 avg.

TOTAL OFF.
A:
392.3 avg.
C: 234.0 avg.

RUSHING DEF.
A:
0.7 avg.
C: 188.7 avg.

TOTAL DEF.
A:
182.7 avg.
C: 419.0 avg.

PASSING OFF.
A:
261.3 avg.
C: 135.3 avg.

SCORING OFF.
A:
30.3 avg.
C: 9.7 avg.

PASSING DEF.
A:
182.0 avg. 
C: 230.3 avg. 

SCORING DEF.
A:
12.3 avg.
C: 26.3 avg.