Football Team Falls To Amherst

October 9, 2004

10/9/04 - Amherst's Fletcher Ladd rushed for 284 yards on 35 carries with a pair of touchdowns to lead Amherst (3-0) past Middlebury (1-2), 34-26. The Jeffs gained 450 yards of offense on the day, including 368 on the ground.

Ladd wasted no time getting started as he burst through a hole in the middle and rushed 80 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening play. After a three and out drive, Middlebury's Scott Secor intercepted a pass by Marsh Moseley at the <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Amherst 26-yardline and returned it for a touchdown to knot the game at seven.

Amherst took a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter after a Middlebury penalty on a punt gave the Jeffs a second chance. Matt Monteith found the end zone from 30 yards out with a pair of great moves to shake his defenders on his way to the end zone.

Trailing 14-7 at the half, Middlebury kicker Steve Hauschka split the uprights with a 39-yarder, to make it a 14-10 game. Amherst answered on its next possession with a seven play, 80-yard drive, highlighted by a 47-yard rush from Ladd. The scoring play came on a connection between Moseley and Ryan Sykes from 15 yards out.

Middlebury would come back on its next possession with a similar drive as Middlebury took advantage of 30 yards in penalties from Amherst on the drive. Tim Sheridan caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mike Keenan as he went up over a pair of defenders in the end zone to make the catch.  The score cut the lead to 21-16 after a failed two-point conversion.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game at the 7:34 mark of the fourth quarter when Keenan found Tom Cleaver over the middle for a 26-yard scoring strike. The short 32-yard drive was set-up by a fumble by Ladd that was forced by Middlebury's Mac Conn.

Amherst had the answer as they quickly drove 79 yards in 2:46 to regain the lead. Ladd capped the seven-play drive with a one-yard plunge on a third and goal play.

Leading 28-24, Amherst elected to take a safety late in the game to avoid punting the ball back to Middlebury. On the final play of the game, Middlebury used several lateral passes after the kickoff, before Will Beeson picked one off and returned it 43 yards for the touchdown.

Moseley was six of 11 on the day for 82 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Amherst. Ladd's 284 yards led the rushing game, with a solid effort from Matt Monteith, who earned 65 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Michael Salvatore broke up a pair of passes and made 10 stops on the afternoon to pace the Amherst defense.

Keenan completed 18 of 38 passes for 189 yards with a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions on the afternoon. Cleaver led the receivers with seven catches for 108 yards, with a 26-yard touchdown catch. Rich Decembrele had a big day on defense for the Panthers, with 15 tackles, four for lost yardage. (box)<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />