Amherst football has hit bumps in the road early in 2022, as they have started their season 0-5 with heartbreaking losses to both Bates and Colby in recent weeks. However, Amherst stayed locked in, and a field goal from Conor Kennelly ’23 propelled the Mammoths to a 20-17 win against Tufts in Medford, Massachusetts, on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Tufts threw the first punch, with a 56-yard run giving the Jumbos a 7-0 lead. But Amherst immediately responded: quarterback Mike Piazza ’24E ran 50 yards to the endzone and tied the score at 7-7. However, Tufts took back the momentum and expanded their lead to 10 with a field goal and a 75-yard touchdown drive. But despite the adversity, the Mammoths clawed their way back into the game once again. A 23-yard touchdown throw from Piazza to Austin Pieck ’25 made the game 17-14 late in the third. And Amherst’s defense stepped up, forcing a fumble and giving the offense the ball in Jumbos’ territory, leading to a game-tying field goal from Kennelly.
The game got more frantic in the fourth quarter, but Amherst stayed tough and fought through the chaos. Piazza took charge and led Amherst on a 12-play, 58-yard drive in the final minutes, setting up a potential game-winning field goal. Kennelly answered the call, sending the ball through the uprights as time expired. Amherst players promptly rushed the field in celebration of their 20-17 victory, their first of the year.
Football will be back in Amherst this weekend for their annual homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 29, taking on Little Three rival Wesleyan. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Pratt Field.