Football Tops Amherst - Moves To 3-0

October 7, 2006

The Middlebury College football team moved to 3-0 for the first time since the '92 team opened 5-0, as they defeated Amherst (2-1) 7-3 on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. Middlebury's Kevin Ryan picked up two more sacks in the game, setting a new school record with 9.5 sacks in a season after just three games. The Panther defense has not allowed a touchdown in its last two games, allowing just 3.33 points/game this season. Middlebury will travel to Williams next week, while Amherst hosts Colby.

After a scoreless first quarter, Amherst took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal from Matt Eberhart with 7:47 left in the first half. Eric NeSmith rushed four times for 38 yards on the nine-play, 34 yard scoring drive. Neither team would threaten for the remainder of the quarter, leaving the Jeffs with a 3-0 advantage at the halftime break.

Amherst drove to the Middlebury 27 early in the third quarter, before a fumble forced by Alex Buggy was picked up by Brian Young at the Middlebury 21. On the ensuing drive, Tiger Lyon completed passes to four different receivers as the Panthers drove 79 yards on 13 plays for the game's only touchdown. Lyon hit Evan Beilin for 13 yards and Derek Polsinello for 12 early in the drive, before finding Stefan Hrdina for 10 yards, bringing the ball to the Amherst 18. Following a 10-yard sack by Amherst's Mike Flanagan, Lyon found tight end Jamie Staples for a 26 yard gain on a 2nd and 22 play. Two plays later, Hrdina found the end zone with a one-yard scamper to give the Panthers a 7-3 lead.

Middlebury's defense hung tough, as Mac Conn ended an Amherst drive with an interception on the Middlebury 37 on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Jeffs made a nice effort on their final drive of the game, but could not find the end zone. Middlebury's David Ellis appeared to seal the win with a big sack late in the game, leaving Amherst with a 4th and 24 from their own six-yard line. Nick Kehoe found Justin Macione for 38 yards on the next play and then hooked up with Jim Eckenrode for 20 yards to bring the ball to the Middlebury 36, but that's as close as they'd get.

Lyon ended the game 18 of 25 for 167 yards on the afternoon, hitting Tim Dillon and Evan Beilin four times apiece in the game. Kehoe was 10 of 27 for 137 yards with an interception for Amherst, while NeSmith ended the day with 105 yards rushing on 21 carries.

Brian Marcks had nine tackles on the day for the Middlebury defense, while Erik Woodring and Scott Secor had eight apiece. Ryan ended the day with five tackles, three for lost yardage and a pair of sacks. Nick Boehm had nine stops for Amherst, while Brendan McKee and Dakota Jones had eight apiece.