In front of stands full of cheering alumni who had returned for this past weekend’s Homecoming festivities, the football team could not add another tally to the win column, falling to Wesleyan 13-7 in this year’s Homecoming game. The Mammoths took their Little Three rival all the way to overtime on Saturday; however a Mike Piazza ’24 pass was batted down on fourth-and-goal from the seven-yard line to end the game.
The Cardinals got on the scoreboard first after blocking a punt from the Amherst 25-yard line and returning it for a touchdown late in the first quarter. The scoop-and-score put the Cardinals up 7-0 with 39 seconds left in the frame. However, neither team would score again until the fourth quarter, as both defenses put up stout performances. Leading the way for the Amherst defense was Luke Harmon ’26, who recorded seven tackles and an interception, as well as Matt Monteleone ’26, who contributed five tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass break-up. Charlie Parkinson ’24 also contributed a sack and a pass break-up.
It was early in the fourth quarter when the Amherst offense kicked into gear. Following Harmon’s interception on the Amherst 13-yard line, the Mammoths drove the length of the field, using a mix of long passes and runs to notch multiple big gains. The drive wasn’t completely flawless. The Cardinals picked off Piazza in their own territory, but the interception was fortunately negated by a defensive holding penalty. The Mammoths ultimately marched on, gradually picking up chunks of yardage. They made it all the way to the Wesleyan four-yard line when, on third-and-goal, Piazza found Jack Betts ’24E near the back of the end zone for a four-yard touchdown. The score plus the extra point capped the Mammoths’ 14-play drive and tied the game up at 7-7 with 10:53 left in regulation. Neither team was able to score before the fourth quarter ended, as the Cardinals missed a game-winning field goal as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
In the NESCAC, overtime consists of alternating possessions from the 25-yard line, with both offenses given the opportunity to score. The game ends when one team scores and the other is unable to match.
In Saturday’s overtime period, Wesleyan got the ball first and were able to convert, punching in a one-yard rushing touchdown to go up 13-7. They missed the extra point, however, giving the Mammoths a shot to win if they were able to score both a touchdown and convert the extra point on their next drive. On that next possession, Amherst ended up in a fourth-and-10 at the 25; however, Piazza was able to find Betts for a clutch 15-yard reception to keep the Mammoths’ hopes alive. After a sack, another completion to Betts put the Mammoths at the 7-yard line with two plays to score. Both pass attempts failed, however, and the Cardinals walked off the field victorious.
The loss dropped the Mammoths to 1-6 on the season. They will take to Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium for the final time this season next weekend against Bowdoin (2-5), with the team set to celebrate Senior Day. Kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 5, is scheduled for 1 p.m.