Amherst football pulls away from Mules

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: October 17, 2009
Athletics Preview Photos

Matt Hellinger

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College football team had an 18-13 advantage in first downs and led early in the game, but Amherst College used a big special teams play and got some key defensive plays in a 23-13 win over the Mules in New England Small College Athletic Conference football Saturday at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium.

Eric Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and Amherst scored nine unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away for the victory.

With the score tied 7-7 in the third quarter, Bunker made a huge special teams play with the blocked punt and return of 4 yards for the touchdown to give Amherst (4-0) the lead for good at 14-7.

Colby (1-3) did fight back and scored on its next drive when sophomore quarterback Nick Kmetz (Laurel, Del.) hit tight end Spencer Merwin (Falls Village, Conn.) on a 13-yard scoring pass with 6:08 to play. Kmetz made a 27-yard pass play to Roger Bel to get the ball to the Amherst 13-yard line. The Mules, however, missed the extra point attempt and trailed 14-13.

Amherst outside linebacker Jeff Katz (Cheshire, Conn.) gave his team two points when he sacked Kmetz in the end zone for a safety with 12:31 to play in the fourth quarter to put the Lord Jeffs up by a field goal at 16-13. Kmetz was looking left on the play and missed Katz coming right at him.

The Lord Jeffs drove down the field to the Colby 5-yard line after the safety. However, the Mules' defense held Amherst on a fourth down play and took over on downs.

Amherst got another big defensive play when Fred Argir (Lakeville, Minn.) made an interception at the Lord Jeff 44-yard line and returned it 25 yards to the Colby 31. The Mules had two personal fouls on the play and that brought the ball to the 8-yard line. Two plays later, Femi Oyalowo (Bowie, Md.) scampered in from 6 yards out for the final points of the game.

The teams traded touchdowns in the opening half. Colby scored first on its opening drive when Kmetz hit Matt Hellinger (Wilbraham, Mass.) on a 3-yard scoring pass with 6:48 to play. Colby used 18 plays and took 8:12 off the clock.

Amherst answered in the second quarter when quarterback Alex Vetras (Clyde Hill, Wash.) hit Brian Murphy (Evanston, Ill.) on a 61-yard pass play with 6:35 to halftime. Murphy started out on the left side and caught the ball wide open in the center of the field on his way to the score.

Katz had 3.5 sacks among his 4.5 tackles for loss to lead an Amherst defense which had eight sacks in the game. Fran Florio (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Mike Taylor (Evanston, Ill.) each had 10 tackles for the Lord Jeffs.

Chris Copeland (Rexford, N.Y.) led Colby's defense with nine tackles and teammate Tom Duffy (Plymouth, Mass.) chipped in with eight stops.

Vetras had 166 yards of passing and the one touchdown, while Kmetz had the two scores and 208 yards of passing. Brandon Bullock (West Orange, N.J.) caught seven balls for 42 yards and Murphy had 79 yards receiving for Amherst. Hellinger caught seven passes for 65 yards and Merwin had five grabs for 49 yards.

Amherst 23, Colby 13

Amherst.............  0  7  7  9  - 23     

Colby...............  7  0  6  0  - 13      

Scoring Summary:

  1st 06:48 COLFB09 - Matt Hellinger 3 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (Ryan Murphy kick), 18-65 8:12

  2nd 06:35 AMH - Brian Murphy 61 yd pass from Alex Vetras (Matt Rawson kick), 2-64 0:33

  3rd 09:57 AMH - Eric Bunker 4 yd blocked punt return (Matt Rawson kick)

      06:08 COLFB09 - Spencer Merwin 13 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (Alex Olsen kick failed), 7-60 3:49

  4th 12:31 AMH - Jeff Katz safety

      02:03 AMH - Femi Oyalowo 6 yd run (Matt Rawson kick), 2-8 0:31

                                                       AMH  COLFB09

  FIRST DOWNS...................       13       18

  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    20-52    38-15

  PASSING YDS (NET).............      207      208

  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  44-25-1  44-23-2

  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   64-259   82-223

  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0

  Punt Returns-Yards............     4-33      0-0

  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     3-49     3-60

  Interception Returns-Yards....     2-25      1-0

  Punts (Number-Avg)............   6-32.2   8-22.2

  Fumbles-Lost..................      1-1      0-0

  Penalties-Yards...............     3-34     7-72

  Possession Time...............    22:13    37:47

  Third-Down Conversions........  6 of 16  6 of 19

  Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 2   4 of 4

  Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-4      2-2

  Sacks By: Number-Yards........     8-51      0-0

  RUSHING: Amherst-Aaron Rauh 8-29; Femi Oyalowo 5-15; Brian McMahon 1-5; Eric

  Bunker 3-4; Brandon Bullock 1-0; Alex Vetras 2-minus 1. Colby-Michael Cuqua

  8-19; Connor Walsh 6-12; Dan Prunier 4-9; Conor Tidgwell 2-6; Nick Kmetz

  18-minus 31.

  PASSING: Amherst-Alex Vetras 19-36-1-166; Brian McMahon 6-8-0-41. Colby-Nick

  Kmetz 23-44-2-208.

  RECEIVING: Amherst-Brandon Bullock 7-42; Will Reed 4-27; Brian Murphy 3-79; Sean

  Legister 2-18; Aaron Rauh 2-17; Kevin Heller 2-10; Femi Oyalowo 2-0; Dan Savage

  1-5; Eric Bunker 1-5; James Durham 1-4. Colby-Matt Hellinger 7-65; Spencer

  Merwin 5-49; Connor Walsh 4-30; Conor Tidgwell 2-15; Dan Prunier 2-5; Roger Bel

  1-27; Patrick Burns 1-10; Nate Carson 1-7.

  INTERCEPTIONS: Amherst-Fred Argir 2-25. Colby-Derrick Beasley 1-0.

  FUMBLES: Amherst-Brian Murphy 1-1. Colby-None.




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