AMHERST, Mass. – A late fourth quarter touchdown by Amherst's Hasani Figueroa with 1:27 remaining on the clock gave the Mammoths a 21-17 win over the Wesleyan University football team Saturday afternoon on Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium. With the loss, the Cardinals drop to 4-2 overall on the season. Amherst is now 5-1 following the win.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Saturday's Little Three showdown featured a defensive battle early on.
- Following three consecutive punts, the Cardinals took over at their own 17-yard line and marched 81 yards down the field on 13 plays. The drive, which was capped off by a 19-yard field goal from Corey Phillips '17E, took 6:27 off the clock.
- On Amherst's very next play, quarterback Ollie Eberth was intercepted by senior linebacker Shayne Kaminski who brought it back 31 yards for a touchdown. Following the extra-point, Wesleyan led 10-0 with 1:51 remaining in the first.
- The Mammoths retaliated, however, and on the first play of the second quarter Eberth rushed 12 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to three (10-7).
- After a Wesleyan punt, the Cardinals forced and recorded a fumble at their own 40-yard line, but were unable to capitalize on the Amherst mistake and punted six plays later.
- In the closing seconds of the first half, John Rak's field goal attempt from 46 yards was blocked by the Cardinals as they held a three-point lead at the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- After back-to-back punts to start the third quarter, Wesleyan took over at its own-33 with 11:56 on the clock. Six plays later, junior quarterback Mark Piccirillo crossed the goal line for a two-yard touchdown to put the visitors ahead by double digits, 17-7.
- The Mammoths put together a 13-play, 67-yard drive on their ensuing possession. However, they came away scoreless as Rak's field goal was blocked once again by the Cardinals.
- Amherst's defense forced a three-and-out and early in the fourth quarter, the Mammoths cute the deficit to three as Jack Hickey rushed six yards for a touchdown (17-14) with 13:09 remaining in regulation.
- The next three possessions ended in punts as Amherst took over at its own 17-yard line with 4:10 to play. Seven plays later, Figueroa broke open a 51-yard game-winning touchdown right up the middle untouched.
- The Cardinals took over at their own 35-yard line with 1:27 remaining. On a 4th-and-1, Piccirillo connected with Evan Hull '19 for an eight-yard gain to extend the drive. However, a sack by Amherst put the visitors in a difficult 3rd-and-17 position and back-to-back incompletions would inevitably end the game as the Mammoths prevailed, 21-17.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Amherst held a 339-to-197 edge in total offense and a 33:42-to-26:18 advantage in time of possession.
- Piccirillo went 12-25 for 129 yards, while also rushing for 25 yards and a score. Mike Breuler '18 was held under 100 yards receiving for just the second time this season as he finished with a team-high 57 yards on three catches.
- Defensively, Brandon Morris '19 led the Cardinals with 10 tackles, while also recovering a fumble. Cole Harris '18 added eight and Elias Camacho '18 finished with seven.
- Eberth went 10-16 for 161 yards and an interception. He also rushed 13 times for 56 yards and a score. Figueroa, despite rushing for a 51-yard touchdown, finished with just 44 yards on 10 carries. Bo Berluti was the leading receiver with a game-high 147 yards on nine catches.
- Andrew Yamin led all players with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks, including 5.5 tackles for a loss.
- The Cardinals remain on the road next weekend and will play at Bowdoin (0-6) at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28.