Football Blanks Hamilton in First Half, Powers to 36-6 Victory

Football Blanks Hamilton in First Half, Powers to 36-6 Victory

CLINTON, N.Y. – Jack Hickey '19 racked up 113 yards on the ground and recorded two touchdowns as the Amherst College football team tallied 22 points in the first half to power to a 36-6 victory against Hamilton College Saturday afternoon at Steuben Field.

With the win, Amherst improves to 2-0 on the season, while Hamilton falls to 0-2 on the year. Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 30 when they host Bowdoin at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium at 1 p.m.

Forcing a fumble on the Continentals first play of the contest, Andrew Sommer '19 gave the Mammoths' offense fantastic field position as Amherst began their opening drive at the Hamilton 26 yard line. Reece Foy '18 found the end zone five plays later on a QB sneak from the one yard line following four consecutive rushing plays and John Rak '19 converted on the PAT to give the Mammoths a 7-0 lead 2:19 into the opening quarter.

Hamilton strung together a promising sequence of plays to start their next drive, but Amherst thwarted a fourth-and-one attempt by the Continentals at the Mammoths' 30 yard line as the defense forced a fumble and Avery Saffold '20 smothered the ball to send the Amherst offense back onto the field.

An intentional grounding penalty on a throw from the Hamilton end zone was ruled a team safety with 4:44 on the clock in the first quarter as Amherst extended its lead to 9-0.

Capitalizing on the Continentals second fumble of the quarter, Amherst found the end zone with 17 seconds to play in the stanza following four straight rushing plays that saw Hickey earn a 14 yard gain and Foy power forward 15 yards to give the Mammoths a first-and-goal at the four yard line. Hickey finished off the five-play, 2:20 drive, pushing through the defense to reach the end zone on a four yard gain.

The second quarter featured two Rak field goals, with the Los Altos, Calif. native sending a 41 yard attempt and a 48 yard attempt through the uprights with 3:21 and 00:05 to play, respectively, to give the Mammoths a 22-0 lead at halftime.

Amherst notched two more touchdowns in a five minute span to open the second half to take a dominative 36-0 lead. Registering his second TD of the matchup, Hickey found the end zone on a 16 yard rush that saw him beat the right tackle and hurdle a defender at the five yard line at the 12:49 mark.

Forcing a Continental punt, Amherst logged a touchdown on the ground for the second time in as many series with 8:28 remaining in the quarter. Getting the handoff in five consecutive plays, Elijah Ngbokoli '20 made the most of the opportunity as he tallied his first TD of the season on a 39 run up the middle. Breaking away from a defender, Ngbokoli added six points to the board after going untouched after the line of scrimmage, while Rak drilled the PAT to set the score at 36-0.

Hamilton scored its only points of the day in the next series, as they strung together an eight-play, 69 yard drive. Kenny Gray finished off the drive for the Continentals, connecting with Christian Donahoe for a 31 yard touchdown pass in the right side of the end zone with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter. The Mammoths blocked the ensuing PAT attempt from Joe Suski to set the score at 36-6 in favor of the visitors.

Neither side was able to put points on the board in the final quarter despite Hamilton putting together two drives of 10 or more plays, as a John Ballard '20 interception in the Amherst end zone countered Hamilton's best chance of the quarter at the 7:57 mark.

 GAME NOTES

  • Ollie Eberth '20 led Amherst in the passing game, going 7-for-9 through the air for 101 yards (40 yard long). Nick Morales '19 finished 3-for-5 with 27 yards, while Foy went 1-for-3 for six yards.
  • Hickey had a dominative performance for the Mammoths in the rush game, averaging 7.5 yards per carry to reach the end zone twice on the ground. Ngbokoli added 78 yards for Amherst and a TD, while Hasani Figueroa '18 picked up 25 yards.
  • James O'Regan '20, Craig Carmilani '18 and Beau Santero '18 led the Mammoths receiving game, recording 48, 46 and 25 yards, respectively.
  • On special teams, Henry Atkeson '20 averaged 39.3 yards per punt (6 punts), while Andrew Ferrero '19 added one, 49 yard punt. Rak was perfect on the day in the kicking game, drilling two field goals and finishing 4-for-4 on extra point attempts.
  • Matt Durborow '21 notched a team-high seven tackles, while Sommer posted six  tackles and a forced fumble.
  • Alex Katchadurian '20 and Brett Bates '21 each recorded a sack in the contest, while Ballard hauled in the game's lone interception.