Week Nine Preview: Amherst (7-1) vs. Williams (5-3) "The Biggest Little Game in America"

Week Nine Preview: Amherst (7-1) vs. Williams (5-3) "The Biggest Little Game in America"

Amherst College (7-1) vs. Williams College (5-3)
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
Westion Field
Williamstown, Mass. * 12 p.m.

Williams holds a 71-55-5 edge in 131 meetings dating back to 1884. Amherst recorded its first win in 1886, but would not get another until 1892, as the Ephs piled up an 8-1-1 mark through the first 10 games. The rivals were relatively even against each other until Amherst strung together a six-game win streak from 1981-86. Williams responded by putting together the rivalry's longest unbeaten stretch, going 12-0-1 from 1987-99. The Ephs enjoyed another four-game streak from 2005-08, but Amherst has since regrouped, taking seven of the last eight showdowns en route to undefeated seasons in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015. The Mammoths have won the last six meetings over their Little Three rival, and have won the last four games in Williamstown.

LAST MEETING: Amherst def. Williams, 28-3 ... RECAP / BOX SCORE

  • The Amherst College football team scored 28 unanswered points, including 21 in the third quarter, to secure a 28-3 victory over archrival Williams College at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium in the "Biggest Little Game in America."
  • Striking first, Williams put together an eight-play, 38-yard drive, highlighted by an 11-yard Jansen Durham completion to Noah Sorrento that helped set up a 22-yard field goal attempt. Adam Regensburg delivered to give the Ephs a 3-0 lead at the 8:26 mark of the first quarter. 
  • Devin Boehm '17 returned the ensuing kickoff nine yards to the Amherst 31-yardline and on the first play from scrimmage, Jack Hickey '19 broke free for a 30-yard run down the left sideline to the Williams 30-yard line. Two plays later, Nick Morales '19 found Boehm for a 25-yard scoring play as the Mammoths took a 7-3 lead with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter.
  • On Amherst's first drive of the second half, Morales hit James O'Regan '20 for an 11-yard completion, and then picked up four yards on the ground setting up a second-and-six from the Mammoths' 45-yardline. Morales then launched a 55-yard pass to Boehm who slipped a defender and scampered into the end zone giving Amherst a 14-3 advantage.
  • With the ball at the Ephs' 14 yard line, Alex Berluti completed a 14-yard pass to his brother Bo Berluti '19 at the 8:07 mark of the third quarter as Amherst took a commanding, 21-3 lead.
  • The defense once again came through for Amherst on Williams' next drive as Evan Boynton '17 intercepted Peter Cahill at the Ephs' 45-yardline on a third-and-13 play to give Amherst good field position. Three plays later, Alex Berluti connected with his brother Bo for the second time in the quarter, this one for a 31-yard TD as the Mammoths pushed their advantage to 28-3 with 5:53 to play in the third quarter.
  • Amherst held a 293-188 advantage in yards of total offense on the strength of 256 passing yards. Williams picked up 111 of its yards on the ground, and the Ephs held a 34:10-25:50 lead in time of possession.
  • Defensively, Amherst was led by Parker Chapman '17 who registered a collegiate career-high 15 tackles (8 solo, 7 assists), while Andrew Yamin '19 collected nine tackles. Callahan, Paul Johnson '17, Odewade and Isaiah Holloway '17 each added seven tackles, while Nick Ulanoff '18 and Markel Thomas '18 registered sacks for a loss of 12 and 10 yards respectively.

AMHERST LAST TIME OUT: Amherst 28, Trinity 20 ... RECAP / BOX SCORE

  • The Mammoths held the Bantams scoreless in the first and third stanza and registered a touchdown in all four quarters, as Amherst tallied 337 yards of total offense to deal Trinity College their first loss of 2017, 28-20 at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
  •  Ollie Eberth '20 finished off the first scoring drive for the home team, faking out most of the Bantams and the camera operator with a perceived handoff, before keeping the ball and rolling to his right for a five yard touchdown run to give Amherst a 7-0 lead.
  • Responding with 3:15 to play in the first half, Trinity evened the score at 7-7 on a controversial drive after a miscommunication on downs gave the Bantams a first-and-10 at the Amherst four yard line instead of a fourth-and-two. Making the most of the opportunity, Sonny Puzzo tossed a four yard TD pass to Koby Schofer on the ensuing play.
  • The Mammoths recorded the next three scores of the contest to go ahead 28-7, with James O'Regan '20 bring in a 55 yard TD pass from Reece Foy '18 to close the first half and Jack Hickey '20 notching two touchdown runs. 
  • A 16 yard pass from Sonny Puzzoto Koby Schofer with 4:08 remaining moved the score to 28-13 before Max Chipouras  made it 28-20 with 24 seconds remaining with a three yard run, however Amherst was able to recover the onside kick and secure the victory. 

WILLIAMS LAST TIME OUT: Wesleyan 35, Williams 0... RECAP / BOX SCORE

  • Wesleyan blanked the Ephs on Nov. 5 in Middletown, Conn., striking once in the first quarter, twice in the last 1:15 of the second stanza, and twice in the fourth quarter. 
  • Back-to-back Mark Piccirillo 2 yd runs gave the Cardinals a 14-0 lead, with the quarterback finding the end zone with 6:32 on the clock in the first and with 1:15 remaining before halftime. 
  • A 5 yd pass from Mark Piccirillo to Lundevall with two seconds remaining before intermission moved the score to 21-0, however neither side was able to put points on the board in a scoreless third quarter.
  • Piccirillo found AJ Girard for a 20 yard TD five seconds into the fourth, before a six yard Glenn Smith TD run at the 10:58 mark capped off the dominant 35-0 win for Wesleyan.