WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Three unanswered Mammoth touchdowns in the final 20 minutes of regulation were enough to push the archrivals into overtime for the first time since 2001, however the Amherst College football team was unable to counter an Bobby Maimaron 11 yard touchdown run in OT as Williams College clinched a 31-24 victory.
With the loss, Amherst closes out the 2017 season with a 7-2 overall record, while Williams finishes 6-3 on the year.
Three passing plays of over 10 yards from Ollie Eberth '20 highlighted the Mammoths scoring drive on their opening possession of the matchup, with Amherst marching 68 yards down field in 16 plays to set up a field goal attempt. Tasked with the 29 yard attempt, John Rak '19 drilled the ball through the uprights at the 5:08 mark to give the visitors a 3-0 edge.
Williams responded on their next drive, with a big 14 yard connection on a second-and-two from Maimaron to Adam Regensburg moving the Ephs into the Amherst red zone. Maimaron finished off the scoring drive four plays later, barreling over the goal line for a four yard TD rush to put Williams on top, 7-3 with 1:35 remaining in the first quarter.
The Ephs struck twice in the second stanza to take a 17-3 led into halftime. Williams drove 57 yards downfield in eight plays at the 12:37 mark, however the Mammoth defense stood strong on a third-and-one opportunity at their own seven yard line, forcing an incomplete pass and a Eph field goal. Min Kyu Park converted on the 24 yard attempt 2:23 into the quarter to make it 10-3.
Following an Amherst three-and-out, Williams notched their second TD of the first half, as Maimaron registered an 18 yard rush and a 23 yard completion to Rashad Morrison to move the Eph offense within a yard of the end zone. Maimaron extended Williams' lead to 17-3 with 8:37 on the clock, rushing up the middle for a one yard touchdown.
Maimaron notched his third rushing touchdown of the contest 6:27 into the third quarter following a successful fake punt and 20 yard gain by Adam Regensburg. Making the most of a roughing the passer penalty that gave Williams a first down inside the Amherst five, Maimaron found the end zone on a four yard rush to give the Ephs a 24-3 cushion.
Senior captain Reece Foy began directing Amherst's comeback on the Mammoths' next possession, finding Craig Carmilani '18 at the goal line in the left corner of the field for a 33 yard TD reception with 5:38 to play in the third to make it 24-10. The score was the first of three unanswered Amherst touchdowns to close out regulation.
Following nine three-and-out possessions, Amherst once again found their groove with less than 10 minutes to play in regulation. Needing just four plays to move 69 yards downfield, Foy connected with Carmilani for a 30 yard gain on a clutch third-and-seven pass to move Amherst to the Eph 13 yard line. Foy capped off the drive on the next play from scrimmage, connecting with Bo Berluti '19 in the back left corner of the end zone on a 13 yard pass. Amherst failed to convert on the extra point however, as Williams maintained a 24-16 lead.
Deadlocking the score at 24-24 on Williams next drive, John Ballard '20 came up with a athletic interception at the Ephs 28 yard line and returned the ball into the end zone to record the pick-six and bring Amherst within two points. Going for the two-point conversion, Foy found Berluti on the right side to even the sides with 7:17 on the clock.
Neither team was able to put points on the board to secure the win in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter, as Amherst and Williams football went into overtime for the first time since 2001 to decide the victor.
Winning the coin toss, Amherst opted to play defense first, while in accordance with NESCAC rules, Williams began their drive at the 25 yard line. Maimaron recorded his fourth rushing touchdown and what stood as the game winning score six plays later as he powered 11 yards into the end zone on a third-and-nine play.
Given the chance to respond and force a second round of possessions, Amherst came up just short, despite a 12 yard rush by Hasani Figueroa '18 to open the drive. Faced with a fourth-and-one at the four yard line, Foy's pass intended for Beau Santero '18 was just out of reach as Williams claimed the 31-23 victory.
- The Ephs owned a 385-270 edge in total offense in the contest, while Amherst finished 4 for 17 on third down tries and registered a sack, two pass breakups and an interception.
- Behind center, Foy went 13-for-26 for 148 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Eberth finished 4-for-11 for 34 yards.
- Eberth led the Mammoths' rushing game, gaining 35 yards on 10 attempts, while Figueroa tallied 34 yards on nine rushes.
- Carmilani led all receivers with six catches for 101 yards, while Berluti notched 37 yards on four receptions.
- John Callahan '19 registered a contest-high 14 tackles, including 12 solo, while Andrew Yamin '19 logged nine tackles and a sack. Avery Saffold '20 and Ballard chipped in seven tackles each.
- Maimaron finished 23-for-41 through the air for 183 yards, and led the Ephs' rushing game with 133 yards and four touchdowns on 33 attempts, while Regensburg led Williams' receivers with 78 yards on nine receptions.
- On defense, Luke Apuzzi led the Ephs with seven solo tackles and a pass breakup, while Amyhr Barber added six stops.