HARTFORD, Conn. – Amherst College sophomore defensive back Zach Allen picked off two Sunny Puzzo passes, but Trinity College scored 21 unanswered points while trailing 14-3 to complete a 24-14 comeback victory over the Purple & White Saturday afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field in Hartford, Conn.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 3-4 on the season, while Trinity improves to 7-0 overall. The Purple & White host archrival Williams College at 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 on Homecoming Weekend at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium in the "Biggest Little Game in America."
After a scoreless first quarter of play, Trinity opened the scoring when Eric Sachse capped an 8-play, 41-yard drive with a 39-yard field goal at the 11:43 mark. Amherst responded with a 9-play, 71 yard drive of its own that was sparked by a Nick Kelly '17 rush for 45 yards and capped by a Nick Morales '19 touchdown pass to Devin Boehm '17 to give the Purple & White a 7-3 lead.
On the Bantams' ensuing possession, Puzzo connected with Matt Hirshman for 19 yards before Allen stepped in front of Puzzo's next pass attempt and picked it off giving the visitors the ball at their own 49-yardline. Amherst couldn't produce any points on the turnover and were forced to punt. Allen then intercepted another Puzzo pass on Trinity's next drive, returning it 11 yards to the Bantams' 21-yardline. The Purple & White were only able to gain three yards and were forced to try a 35-yard field goal, but Andrew Ferrero's '19 attempt went wide left keeping Amherst's lead at 7-3 at halftime.
Amherst extended its lead to 14-3 on its second possession of the third quarter as Morales found Boehm for 16 yards, while Jack Hickey '19 added a 16-yard rush to set up a three-yard touchdown pass from Morales to Bo Berluti '19 with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Trinity began its next drive on its own 32-yardline and marched 68 yards on nine plays as Puzzo hit Nick Gaynor and Darrien Myers for 20-yard completions on the drive. Myers finished the drive off with a four-yard touchdown catch to pull the Bantams to within four (14-10) with 14 seconds on the clock.
Facing a second and seven from its own 26 as the fourth quarter began, Trinity's Spencer Donahue strip-sacked Morales following a loss of 15-yards, picked up the fumble and returned the ball eight yards for a touchdown giving the Bantams a 17-14 edge.
Late in the fourth quarter, and still trailing by three points, Amherst began its comeback attempt at its own 20-yardline. Morales connected with Boehm for six yards, and then found Berluti on a seven-yard pass play. On second and 10 from the Amherst 33-yardline, Morales then threw an errant pass that was pulled in by the Bantams' Paul McCarthy and returned 52 yards for a touchdown as the hosts took a 24-14 lead with just 59 seconds remaining. McCarthy then closed out the contest with his second interception on the next drive.
- Morales was 12-for-29 for 72 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Alex Berluti '17 was 4-of-5 for 32 yards in the losing effort. Kelly gained 59 yards on seven carries, while Hickey picked up 57 yards on 19 rushes.
- Boehm hauled in six pass for 47 yards and a score, while Bo Berluti notched five catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Ferrero amassed 284 yards on eight punts with three downed inside the 20-yardline.
- Kelly picked up 41 yards on three kickoff returns, including a long run of 21 yards, while Myles Gaines '17 added a kickoff return of 20 yards. Boehm returned two Trinity punts for 17 yards.
- Defensively, Parker Chapman '17 led the Purple & White with nine tackles (six solo) and broke up a pass, while Andrew Yamin '19 had eight tackles, including three for a loss of 10 yards. He and Isaiah Holloway '17 each registered a sack, while Nate Tyrell '19 added a fumble recovery that was forced by Derek Ward '17 on the Bantams' very first drive of the game.
- The Amherst defense is the first to hold Trinity to fewer than 36 points this season.
- Puzzo was 22-of-33 through the air for 194 yards with a TD and two interceptions. Max Chipouras gained 102 yards on the ground on 19 carries, while Puzzo rushed 12 times for 39 yards.
- Myers led the receivers with 15 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
- Donahue led all players with 11 tackles (nine solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, while McCarthy came away with two picks for 62 yards.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst now leads the all-time series between the two teams, 59-44-9 dating back to 1886. Prior to Saturday's win, Trinity's last victoyr over the Purple & White came during the 2012 season when the Bantams earn a 32-20 triumph at Jessee/Miller Field.
- Amherst has now lost three games in a row for the first time since 2007, and has now also suffered four losses in a campaign for the first time since that season.