Despite playing without its starting backfield duo of Josh Mason and Dan Orlando, Amherst took advantage of two scoring opportunities and held Wesleyan scoreless for the first time since 1985 as the Lord Jeffs captured a 13-0 victory to get a leg up in the Little Three title chase.
Losing fullback Josh Mason, its top rusher, to a broken leg on the third play from scrimmage, Amherst had started the game minus starting tailback Dan Orlando, who was out with a concussion. Mason did make two runs, good for 13 yards, before suffering his injury. That was enough for him to become the all-time leading rusher for Amherst with 2,431 career yards. Mason, a junior, entered the game as the no. 2 runner in the NESCAC, averaging nearly 170 yards a game, and had scored 11 TDs. A year ago, he rambled for 271 yards and two TDs in Amherst's 28-14 win at Wesleyan. He needed 11 yards for the career rushing mark.
On the sloppy field, Amherst limited Wesleyan to 204 total yards (Wesleyan was 3-for-15 on third-down conversions) and came up big twice when Wesleyan penetrated the Lord Jeffs' 20-yard line. Wesleyan's best scoring chance came late in the first half when the Cardinals drove 48 yards from their own 41 to the Amherst 11. But QB Scott Hevesy was stopped for no gain on a 3rd-and-5 scramble and Rob Stager's 28-yard field goal try was wide. Wesleyan trailed, 7-0, at that time, the result of a two-yard run by Amherst QB Rich Willard, capping a 47-yard, 11-play march at 6:19 of the second quarter.
Amherst made it 13-0 at 8:14 of the third period when a Hevesy pass from deep in Wesleyan territory was tipped at the line and intercepted by linebacker John Walsh. His 10-yard return gave Amherst the ball at the Wesleyan eight-yard line. Tailback Dan Milazzo went in from there on the next play, but the extra point was blocked by Marvin Moore.
Two series later, Wesleyan advanced for a 1st-and-10 at the Amherst 20, but a fumbled snap by backup QB Mark Schofield, who came in for one play, a sack of Hevesy, and a five-yard penalty pushed Wesleyan back to the 32, forcing a punt.
Wesleyan's defense also did a fine job in holding Amherst to 280 yards on the day, and just one scoring drive, but it wasn't enough to keep Amherst from extending its record this year to 4-1 while dropping Wesleyan to 2-3.
|1st Qtr||2nd Qtr||3rd Qtr||4th Qtr||-||Total|
|First Downs (Run-Pass-Penalty)||17 (11-6-0)||11 (9-2-0)|
|Positive Yards Rushing||199||193|
|Negative Yards Rushing||14||41|
|Net Total Yards Rushing||185||152|
|Net Total Yards Passing||95||52|
|Total Offensive Plays||71||62|
|Total Net Yards||280||204|
|Average Gain Per Play||3.9||3.3|
|Interceptions By: Number-Yards||1-10||1-0|
|Punt Returns: Number-Yards||1-3||1-7|
|Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards||1-35||1-18|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yards||0-0||0-0|
|Time of Possession||31:55||28:05|
|Third-Down Conversions||8 of 16||3 of 15|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||0 of 2||0 of 1|
|Sacks by: Number-Yards||3-18||0-0|
RUSHING: Wesleyan - Tom Themistocles, 10-64; Dave Cottrell, 13-53; John Pascucci, 8-42; Scott Hevesy, 11-0; Mark Schofield, 1-0; Chris Rosaschi, 2-(-7). Amherst - Dan Milazzo, 24-91, 1 TD; Darin Byrne, 12-38; Bob DiSabato, 7-32; Rich Willard, 6-11; Josh Mason, 2-13.
PASSING: Wesleyan - Scott Hevesy, 13-5-1, 39 yards; Chris Rosaschi, 4-1-0, 13 yards. Amherst - Rich Willard, 20-10-1, 95 yards.
RECEIVING: Wesleyan - Dan Fabrizio, 2-18; Ayanda Clarke, 1-17; John Pascucci, 1-13; Seth Spector, 1-2; Tom Themistocles, 1-2. Amherst - Chris Miller, 5-61; Kwame Brathwaite, 1-16; Chris Hays, 1-13; Matt Murray, 1-6; Bob DiSabato, 1-0; Matt Hunt, 1-(-1).
PUNTING: Wesleyan - Rob Stager, 8-249, 31.1 average. Amherst - Colin Barncale, 6-212, 35.3 average.