Despite a strong defensive effort, the men’s football team lost to the Trinity College Bantams 20-3 at Pratt Field this Saturday, dropping to 0-3 on the season. After falling into an early deficit, the Mammoths couldn’t find any offensive momentum and ended the day without scoring a single touchdown, only managing to put a field goal on the scoreboard.
The Amherst defense started strong, coming up with a big stop on a fourth-and-one attempt on the first Trinity possession, then forcing a punt on the next. However, the Bantams were able to pick off Amherst quarterback Mike Piazza ’24 twice in the first quarter, stymying any chance for the Mammoths to build a lead. The first interception was returned 48 yards for a touchdown to put the Bantams up 7-0 with 2:57 left in the first quarter. On the very next possession, Piazza was picked off once again. That interception was converted by the Bantams into a 27-yard touchdown pass on their very next offensive play to extend the lead to 14-0 with 1:10 left in the quarter.
But despite Amherst’s offensive struggles — every Mammoth offensive drive in the first half ended in either a punt or an interception — the Mammoths’ defense didn’t let up the pressure, keeping Trinity off the scoreboard completely in the second quarter. First-year defensive back Luke Harmon ’26 came up with his first career interception in the endzone to put an end to one particularly threatening Trinity drive, and another interception by Ben Taylor ’25 on the final play of the quarter wrapped up the first half, with the Bantams unable to extend their 14-0 lead.
The Amherst defense stayed strong in the second half, forcing punts on the first two Trinity drives. The Mammoths’ offense, having replaced Piazza with Chad Peterson ’23, continued to stall, however. The Mammoths were outgained by the Bantams 395-175 in total offensive yards, and ended the day one-for-15 on third-down. Trinity, on the other hand, added to its lead with a seven-play, 31-yard drive capped off by a 39-yard field goal to go up 17-0 with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, the Amherst offense was finally able to drive into Trinity territory. Thanks to a 37-yard completion from Peterson to Carter Jung ’26, they went from their own 27-yard line to the Trinity-21. The move culminated in a 35-yard field goal by Conor Kennelly ’23, the longest field goal he’s made this season. This cut the deficit to 17-3, but the offense was unable to put together another scoring drive for the rest of the game. Trinity added a final field goal with 8:35 left to go up 20-3, and the score held until time expired.
The Bantams left Amherst undefeated, having emerged victorious in their first three contests, while the Mammoths left Pratt Field still searching for their first win of the season. This 0-3 start is the worst start for Amherst football in the 21st century.
The Mammoths’ defense has played strong this season, and Saturday was no different. Linebacker Andy J. Skirzenski ’24 led the team with a career-high 12 tackles, and lineman Phil Slaughter ’25 notched his first career sack. Offensively, the Mammoths’ run game struggled mightily, rushing for only 24 yards on 20 attempts for an average of 1.2 yards per carry, the lowest total so far this season. Both quarterbacks combined to throw for 151 yards, completing 13-of-31 attempts in total.
Amherst will look to get their first win of the season next Saturday, Oct. 8, on Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium versus Bates (0-3), a team they defeated 28-20 last season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.