Football Suffers First Loss of the Season at Amherst

Gil Araujo finished with 11 tackles and a forced fumble.
Gil Araujo finished with 11 tackles and a forced fumble.

The Panther football team suffered its first loss of the season, falling 24-7 at Amherst Saturday on Pratt Field. The Jeffs held Middlebury to 270 yards on the day, just 21 coming on the ground. The Panthers return to action next Saturday when it hosts Williams on homecoming with a 12:30 p.m. kick-off.

Amherst took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, as Charlie Wall connected on a 29-yard field goal.

Middlebury answered on its ensuing drive, covering 76 yards on seven plays in just 1:58. Quarterback Matt Milano hit Diego Meritus out of the backfield for 13 yards before a 35-yard connect with tight end Trevor Miletich left the Panthers possession at the Amherst 25. Two plays later, Milano found Matthew Minno in the end zone for the 7-3 lead at the 7:15 mark of the first quarter.

The Jeffs took a 10-7 lead with 33 seconds left in the half after a 10-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Reece Foy connected with four different receivers on the drive, before Kenny Adinkra scored on a three-yard rush.

The Jeffs drove to the Middlebury 30 on their first possession of the second half, before Gil Araujo forced a fumble that Carsen Winn recovered. Middlebury worked its way down to the Amherst 28, much-in-part thanks to a 45-yard connection from Milano to Conrado Banky, but the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.

Amherst took advantage of a turnover early in the fourth quarter after the Panthers fumbled a punt on their own three-yard line. Foy found Jackson McGonagle for a quick three-yard strike to put his team on top 17-7 with 12:07 remaining.

Middlebury went three-and-out on its next drive, before Amherst gained some breathing room with a 30-yard touchdown run from Jack Hickey to put the Jeffs up, 24-7, at the 7:10 mark.

Trying to force the ball down the field, Milano was intercepted twice late, once by Evan Boynton and a second time by Chris Gow as Amherst came away with the win.

Milano finished 26-46 on the day for 249 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Minno (76 yards, TD), Banky (70 yards) and Meritus (35) each caught five passes while Miletich (49 yards) and Ryan Rizzo (10 yards) caught four apiece. Meritus finished with 35 yards on the ground. Araujo had a team-high 11 tackles to go along with his forced fumble and two pass break-ups. Tim Patricia, Addison Pierce and Wesley Becton each had nine stops on the afternoon.

Foy went 22-39 for 249 yards with a touchdown for the Jeffs. Adinkra finished with 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Hickey rushed for 53 yards. Devin Boehm (72 yards) and McGonagle (40 yards, TD) each had six receptions. Boynton led all tacklers with 12 tackles, including two sacks and an interception.