AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College senior linebacker Parker Chapman forced a fumble, and senior linebacker Evan Boynton pulled in an interception, but Tufts University scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull away to a 27-10 victory over the Purple & White Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium during Family Weekend.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 3-3 on the season, while Tufts improves to 5-1 overall. The Purple & White travel to Trinity College Saturday, Nov. 5 for a 12:30 p.m. showdown with the Bantams in Hartford, Conn.
Midway through the first quarter, Tufts began its third drive of the game from its own 24-yardline and used a 16-yard run by Chance Brady and a 23-yard pass play from Ryan McDonald to Jack Dolan to help the Jumbos advance to the Amherst 21-yardline. On a third and three play, McDonald found Dolan for an 11 yard completion before Chapman knocked the ball out of Dolan's hands. The ball bounced into the end zone and out of bounds giving the Purple & White a touchback.
After forcing Amherst to go three-and-out, Tufts got the ball back on the Amherst 45-yardline and orchestrated a seven-play drive that featured a 22-yard run by Brady. On second and goal from the Amherst four-yardline, McDonald connected with Ben Berey for a touchdown to give the Jumbos a 6-0 lead. The ensuing P-A-T was missed, keeping the advantage at 6-0.
Still down by six midway through the second quarter, Amherst received a punt at its own 43-yardline. Myles Gaines '17 burst up the middle for a nine-yard gain on first down, and Alex Berluti '17 later hit Devin Boehm '17 for a 28-yard gain to the Jumbos' 22-yard line. An 11-yard pass to Bo Berluti '19 put the Purple & White at the Tufts 11-yardline and Amherst got down to the one-yardline following a rush by Alex Berluti. After the Jumbos held on third down, Andrew Ferrero '19 drilled a 19-yard field goal to make it 6-3 with just 26 seconds to play in the first half.
Tufts added to its lead with a 10-play, 70-yard drive on its first possession of the second half as McDonald posted runs of 10 and 11 yards to setup Brady for a one-yard scoring play at the 8:56 mark of the third quarter that gave the visitors a 13-3 advantage.
Amherst was quick to answer as Alex Berluti broke free for an 18-yard dash on the Purple & White's following drive, and then hit Boehm for passes of 12 and 13 yards, and connected with Nick Widen '17 for 10 yards. Another 13-yard rush by the quarterback put Amherst inside the Tufts' five-yardline and Craig Carmilani '19 pounded it in for a two-yard touchdown score to pull Amherst back to within three at 13-10 with 4:35 on the clock in the third quarter.
Still holding its 13-10 advantage, Tufts received the ball at its own 49-yardline, and on third and seven, Alex Snyder through a pass that was picked off by Boynton at the line of scrimmage. Boynton raced 11 yards to the Tufts 38-yardline where he was stripped by Brady, but Chapman was there to fall on the ball at the 23-yardline. The Jumbos' defense held and forced Amherst into a 36-yard field goal attempt that was pushed just right of the goal post keeping the score at 13-10 with 8:11 remaining in the contest.
Tufts turned the missed field goal into seven points as McDonald capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a six-yard TD run to make it 20-10 with 3:11 to play. After an interception by Chuck Calabrese on the next drive gave the visitors the ball back at midfield, Brady exploded for a 49-yard touchdown run that sealed the 27-10 win for Tufts.
- Tufts held the advantage in total offense, posting 415 yards of offense to Amherst's 274. The Jumbos also converted 43% of its third down plays (6-for-14), while Amherst was 7-of-19 (37%). Tufts edged the Purple & White, 19-18 in first downs, while the hosts held a 30:37-29:23 edge in time of possession
- Alex Berluti was 10-of-43 for 193 yards and two interceptions. He added a team-high 27 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Carmilani scored the team's lone touchdown. Boehm led the receiving unit with six catches for 93 yards, while Widen and Bo Berluti followed with seven catches for 49 yards, and five catches for 44 yards respectively.
- Nick Kelly '17 racked up 104 yards on kickoff returns, including a long scamper of 30 yards to go along with 18 yards rushing.
- Defensively, Andrew Yamin '19 led the effort with 11 tackles and almost intercepted a pass, while John Callahan '19 and Chapman posted nine tackles each. Boynton and Paul Johnson '17 added eight tackles apiece with Boynton registering Amherst's only sack in the game in addition to picking off a pass.
- McDonald led Tufts under center and was 8-for-11 for 108 yards and a touchdown, and added 104 yards on the ground including a score to help secure the win. Snyder was 4-for-9 with an interception.
- Brady gained 136 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns, while Dolan pulled in three catches for 49 yards. Berey finished with a team-best four receptions for 32 yards and a TD.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Following Saturday's contest with Tufts, Amherst now leads the all-time series with the Jumbos, 55-27-4. The win for Tufts was its first against the Purple & White since the 2007 season when it posted a 29-10 win.
- Amherst has now lost three games in a season for the first time since 2008, which also marks the last time the Purple & White have lost back-to-back contests.