AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst outgained Trinity by nearly 50 yards, had seven more first downs and nearly ten more minutes of possession but were held scoreless for three quarters and suffered a 21-7 defeat to the visiting Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football on Senior Day Saturday at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
The loss, the third in a row for the Mammoths, drops them to 4-4 on the year, while Trinity improves to 5-3. Amherst will look to secure a winning season next Saturday when they travel to Williams for a 12:00 PM kickoff in The Biggest Little Game in America.
Before the game, Amherst honored the 18 members of its senior class, which included Henry Atkeson, John Ballard, Justin Berry, Brendan Coleman, Oliver Eberth, Blaine Fox, Greg Franklin, Trey Jarmon, Peter Jerome, Alex Katchadurian, Luke Mallette, Elijah Ngbokoli, James O'Regan, Dan Papa, Brendan Popovich, Avery Saffold, Nick Tighe and Bijan Zojaji.
O'Regan caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, his seventh of the year, which leads the team and is third in the NESCAC.
His 27-yard catch from Eberth, who has thrown for 14 touchdowns this year, put Amherst on the board with less than a minute to go before halftime, but it was the only points Amherst would manage on the day.
Trinity sophomore Tijani Harris rushed 25 times for 105 yards and two scores, giving the Bantams a lead with 2-yard touchdown runs in each of the first two quarters.
The visitors took the opening kickoff 64 yards on 14 plays, holding possession for 6:30 on their opening drive of the game. A steady diet of rushes by Harris and quarterback Seamus Lambert helped the Bantams move into Amherst territory, and a screen pass to Harris put the ball on the Amherst 1.
The Bantams forced three turnovers in the first half, and the second one turned into points after Matt Patry intercepted Eberth at the Trinity 33-yard line on the first play of the second quarter.
Lambert hit Schofer for a 26-yard pass on the next play, and with 11:38 to play in the half, Harris rushed in from the two-yard line for his second score of the day.
Schofer had three catches for 46 yards on that drive, and finished the game with 8 catches for 102 yards and an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Eberth completed 20 of 37 passes for 202 yards, while Lambert threw for 153 yards on 11-19 passing.
A fumble on a punt late in the third quarter recovered by the Bantams nearly led to more points for Trinity, but J.P. Dallazem saw his 38-yard field goal go wide right and Amherst still trailed by just six points.
After a scoreless third quarter and four straight punts by the two teams, Trinity stopped Amherst on a 4th and 7 at Trinity's 32-yard line and went 68 yards with five rushes for 22 yards by Harris and three passes for 46 yards from Lambert to Schofer. The final play of the drive was a 15-yard touchdown, Schofer's sixth of the season, which put the Bantams up a pair of scores.
The Mammoths got a glimmer of light when Harris had the ball punched out by Katchadarian and recovered by Joe Kelly '21 with 1:26 remaining, but Amherst was not able to move the ball past their own 39-yard line, where Trinity took over on downs and went into victory formation.
Dan Negron and Robert Levine led all players with 10 tackles apiece to lead the Bantams. The pair combined for four tackles for loss, a sack by Levine, and three quarterback hurries. Jalen Weathers had nine tackles and a pass breakup, while Patry had seven stops and two passes defended to go with his interception.
Matt Durborow '21 and Ballard each had eight tackles for Amherst, while Kelly had five tackles and a quarterback hurry along with the fumble recovery.