Football Holds Down Cardinals, Moves to 6-0

Football Holds Down Cardinals, Moves to 6-0

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Amherst held Little Three rivals Wesleyan University to negative yards on the ground, and improved to 6-0 with a 33-3 victory over the Cardinals in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action on Saturday afternoon at Corwin Stadium.

James O'Regan '20 caught seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown and Biafra Okoronkwo '20 ran for 119 yards and two scores as Amherst racked up 421 yards of total offense.

Amherst got on the board early through a defensive score. On the Cardinals second play of the game, Andrew Sommer '19 broke through the line and sacked Wesleyan quarterback Mark Piccirillo in the end zone for a safety.

The Mammoths got the ball back and took advantage of their opportunity. Starting the drive at the Wesleyan-48 following a 23-yard punt return, Okoronkwo rushed to the left 15 yards untouched for the first touchdown of the day to cap off an 8-play drive. Amherst held a 9-0 lead with 8:00 to play in the first quarter.

The Cardinals took over at their own-28 and went 48 yards before Patrick Wolff made a 41-yard field goal to cut the deficit to six.

Amherst responded with a 41-yard field goal of their own from Andrew Ferrero '19 just five minutes later following an 11-play, 49-yard drive to increase the lead to nine with 13:03 to play in the first half.

Following a Wesleyan punt, the Mammoths took over at their own-25 and went 75 yards on only eight plays. Okoronkwo found the end zone once again as he went seven yards through the left side to increase the lead to 19-3.

In the third quarter, Nate Tyrell '19 recorded the only interception of the game with 11:30 on the clock.

With 8:33 left in the third, Amherst went for it on 4th and 8 at the Cardinals' 30-yard line and Ollie Eberth '20 found O'Regan wide open near the right hash mark for a touchdown that increased the lead to 26-3.

With 8:08 on the clock, the Mammoths took over from the 50-yard line and Eric Jung '21 capped off a 5-play drive with a 5-yard TD run up the middle for the final score of the game.

Amherst outgained Wesleyan 421-to-101 as the Mammoths totaled 25 first downs to the Cardinals' 13. The Mammoths also recorded six sacks for a loss of 35 yards, and held the Cardinals to -3 yards rushing.

Okoronkwo led Amherst's offense with 119 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Eberth was 14-of-24 for 203 yards passing and a score. He also rushed 12 times for 59 yards.

Piccirillo was 16-of-29 for 104 yards. Defensively, Brandon Morris had a huge day for Wesleyan and led all players with 11 tackles including a sack, forced fumble and pass break-up. Grant Williams recorded a sack as well.

Wesleyan is back in action next Saturday, Oct. 27 and will remain at home as the Cardinals face Bowdoin at 1 p.m.

Amherst returns home to face Tufts at 1:00 PM next Saturday. The Jumbos are 5-1 and will be coming off of a big win against Williams today (28-21).