For a moment, it seemed as if nothing could stop the Bowdoin offense. For the opening five minutes of the first quarter, the Mammoth defense didn’t have any answers as quarterback Austin McCrum and running back Nate Richam methodically drove the Polar Bears all the way down to the Amherst 1-yard line.
Everything changed following an impressive goal-line stand by the Mammoths that saw the visitors force a Bowdoin fumble on fourth-and-goal, which was recovered by Matt Durborow ’21 to keep Bowdoin off the board on the first drive of the game.
After exchanging three-and-outs following the turnover, Amherst got on the board first thanks to a 22-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Ollie Eberth ’20 to senior running back Jack Hickey.
Hickey also rushed for 25 yards on the drive, as the Mammoths marched 81 yards in just 2:32 to take a 7-0 lead.
The defense stepped up once again on the next Bowdoin possession as Ricky Goodson ’21, filling in for the injured Nate Tyrell ’19, snagged his first collegiate interception.
“It’s a team game. When Nate went down against Hamilton, I was the next man up,” Goodson said. “The coaches and my teammates believed in me, so I knew I had to step up and play well for the team. The excitement and love from my teammates and coaches was the best part of it all!”
After Amherst added a 41-yard field goal from Andrew Ferrero ’19 to start the second quarter, Bowdoin responded with a touchdown to trim the Mammoths lead to 10-7.
Eberth then engineered 10-play drive, going 4-5 with 64 yards and a 12-yard touchdown pass to Justin Berry ’20 to reclaim the double-digit lead, 17-7, headed into the locker rooms.
The start of the second half was defined by the kicking game with the two teams combining for five punts and a missed 33-yard field goal by Ferrero.
Amherst finally put the game on ice midway through the fourth quarter on a drive that started at its own 4-yard line.
Eberth found Bo Berluti ’19 from 12 yards out to put the Mammoths up by 17, and though Bowdoin managed a late garbage-time score, Amherst left the field with a comfortable 24-14 victory.
Eberth dominated offensively, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 78 yards on the ground.
Berluti similarly shone after pulling down eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps most impressively, the Mammoths out-rushed the Polar Bears 212-6 on the day.
On the defensive side, Andrew Yamin ’19 recorded two tackles for loss, one of which doubles as his second sack on the season, while Goodson recorded the only interception of the game.
With the victory, Amherst improved to 3-0 on the year and remains in a three-way tie with Tufts and Williams for first place in the NESCAC. The Mammoths will travel to Vermont on Saturday to face off against 2-1 Middlebury at 1:30 p.m.