Waterville, Maine - The Colby College Football team took an early lead into late in the second quarter before falling behind and eventually losing to Amherst College 24-10. The win lifts Amherst to 2-0 while Colby drops to 0-2.
In a flashback of last week's game against Wesleyan University, big plays came right off the bat. The Mammoths took the opening drive the length of the field with intentions of owning the first points of the afternoon, but a blocked 34 yard field goal (Harrison Vadrani) was scooped up by CJ Hassan (photo) and taken all the way back to the 42 yard line of Amherst. The Mules rushed eight out of their nine plays on the drive, ending with Chris George bulldozing into the end zone from the three to take an early lead. Moises Celaya (1-1 on extra points, 1-1 on field goal attempts) added the extra point and Colby led 7-0.
It wasn't until the second quarter that Amherst finally put points on the board. Capping a 61 yard drive, quarterback Ollie Eberth found James O'Regan for a 41 yard score. Colby was able to come up with another blocked kick to maintain the lead 7-6. The Mammoths would make good on their next possession as well, this time covering 85 yards on 14 plays, resulting in a 13 yard touchdown run by Kellen Field. The ensuing extra point was good, and Amherst took its first lead of the game with four minutes to play in the second quarter. The Mammoths were able to add three more on a 29 yard field goal just seconds before the half.
Staring at a halftime defecit, the grit and determination that is at the heart of head coach Jack Cosgrove's team was evident in the second half. On the first three possessions in the third quarter, Colby and Amherst traded turnovers and field position, and it was Colby that would strike next. Starting at its own 45 yard line, Colby ran an eight play drive covering 41 yards, capped with a 32 yard field goal by Celaya. The drive was kept alive by a 12 yard run by David Smith and a 25 yard passing strike from Matt Hersch to Rory Glavin. With five minutes left in the third quarter, Colby was within a touchdown.
Amherst would muster another scoring opportunity early in the fourth quarter with yet another field goal attempt. Wanting to make it a trifecta, the Mules blocked this one too, this time with Alex Sands (10 total tackles) getting enough of the ball to keep the game within one score.
This contest was as tight as one can remember bewteen Colby and Amherst. A late touchdown by Amherst put the score out of reach, but by all accounts Colby makes it two weeks in a row playing tough against two great teams (Wesleyan and Amherst have a combined record of 4-0). Marcus Bullard posted his second straight double digit tackle performance. The Hersch-to-Glavin combination is becoming a real threat to move the chains on each possession. George will stay near the top of the NESCAC's leaderboard for rushing, taking his total to 178 yards in the first two weeks. With the blocked kicks and two turnovers this week, the defense and special teams units are making huge plays that impact the game and swing momentum. Ball security is going to remain a focus for the Mules to maintain posession and extend drives, and once the three phases of the game are all working together, this Mules team is poised to make a run.
Up next for Colby, the Mules travel to Hamilton College (1-1), with game time set for 12:00 PM.