Mammoths Utilize Strength on Both Sides of the Ball To Demolish Continentals

After being held scoreless in the first half of its season opener against Bates, the Amherst football team didn’t waste any time putting points on the board in Saturday’s 37-14 victory over the Hamilton Continentals. On the first drive of the game, Amherst converted all four of its third-down attempts, marching 79 yards into the end zone to put the Mammoths up 7-0 just six minutes into the game. The opening drive featured a balanced offensive attack with nine rushing plays and five passing plays. Quarterback Ollie Eberth ’20 displayed his dual-threat abilities, completing three passes for 22 yards and rushing for 40 yards on the ground, including the opening score on a 19-yard rush. The Continentals, on their first possession of the game, managed to mirror Amherst’s opening drive success, putting together a 13-play, 82-yard touchdown drive.

Quarterback Kenny Gray was methodical as he led Hamilton down the field, capping it off by scoring on the ground from a yard out to even the score at seven apiece. Gray finished a perfect 6-for-6 on the possession, but the touchdown would be the only points the Continentals mustered for nearly three quarters. While the next Amherst drive would stall after a few first downs, punter Henry Atkeson ’20 kept up his stellar start to the season by pinning the Continentals’ at their own 1-yardline on his first punt of the day. After a three-and-out by the Continentals, the Mammoths took over with great field position on the Hamilton 37-yardline. Just two plays later, Jack Hickey ’19 helped Amherst reclaim the lead as he took a hand-off 29 yards to the end zone. The teams then proceeded to trade five punts in a field position battle before heading to the locker room with Amherst up 14-7. Hamilton received the ball to start the second half, but the Amherst defense stepped up once again and forced another three-and-out. The Mammoths took over at their own 37-yardline, and 10 plays later, Eberth fired a dart from 26 yards out to Bo Berluti ’19 to double the Amherst lead to 14 points, 21-7.

After yet another three-and-out for the Continentals, Amherst got the ball back with excellent starting field position at the Hamilton 49-yardline. Two plays after Hickey busted out for a 30-yard run, Eberth scampered into the end zone once more from five yards out to put the Mammoths up 27-7. On the very next play from scrimmage, Andrew Sommer ’19 intercepted Gray and put Amherst in field goal position to extend its lead to 30-7 thanks to a field goal from Atkeson. After a few more punts, running back Biafra Okoronkwo ’19 put the icing on the cake with a 25-yard touchdown run, the Mammoths’ fourth rushing score of the game. While the Continentals managed one consolation score, Amherst ran out the clock and cruised to a comfortable 37-14 victory.

The offensive stars of the game were Eberth, who had three total touchdowns, and Hickey, who ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on just 18 carries. On defense, defending NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Andrew Yamin ’19 recorded his first sack of the season — one of three on the day for Amherst, with Joe Kelly ’21 and Jack Barrett ’19 notching the other two. With the win, the Mammoths improved to 2-0 on the season and remained in a tie atop the NESCAC standings with Trinity, Tufts and Williams Up next, Amherst will travel to Brunswick, Maine on Saturday to face the 0-2 Bowdoin Polar Bears at 1 p.m.