|Date and Time:||09/27/2008, 1:00PM|
BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Amherst College football team rushed for 278 yards, including 121 by Aaron Rauh, in a 31-24 victory over Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon. The Jeffs improve to 2-0 this season while the Polar Bears fall to 0-2.
Holding a 3-0 lead late in the opening quarter, Amherst looked to expand on their early lead, only to have a pass by sophomore quarterback Alex Vetras picked off by Bowdoin middle linebacker Kevin Zikaras. He took the pick 31 yards before being tackled at the Amherst 31 yard line. Bowdoin needed just over two minutes to get the ball to paydirt, scoring on a fade route to the left corner of the endzone. Bowdoin quarterback Oliver Kell found Ian Merry for the score on a 15-yard toss.
The Jeffs responded with the only other points of the first half, scoring with 6:15 left to play in the second quarter on a 6-yard pass from Vetras to sophomore wideout Ben Kettering. The touchdown capped a 12-play, 71-yard drive for Amherst, and sent the two teams into the locker room with the Jeffs up 10-7. The deficit could have been worse for the Polar Bears, but rookie Michael Blouin intercepted a pass at his own goal line with under a minute left in the half to keep the margin at three points.
Amherst's running attack dominated the third quarter, as the Jeffs held the ball for 9:55 and tallied a pair of rushing touchdowns. Rauh scored on a 10 yard scamper up the middle, before NeSmith fought through traffic to dive in for a six yard effort of his own to give the Jeff what appeared to be a commanding 24-7 lead heading into the final quarter.
But Bowdoin rallied, thanks in great part to first-year Ian Vieira, who returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Amherst 30 and then, just 1:25 later, received a swing pass from Kell for a 10-yard touchdown with 13:39 left. Bowdoin forced a three-and-out from Amherst, and took the ball back near midfield. The Polar Bears marched 51 yards in just over one minute to score once again, this time on a 35-yard connection from Kell to Kevin Raymond on the right sideline. The touchdown closed the gap to 24-21 with over ten minutes remaining.
With the lead down to three points, Amherst put together a decisive ten play, 67 yard drive, capped by a four yard Oyalowo touchdown run up the gut. Bowdoin added a field goal with three minutes to play, and regained possession of the ball with 3:03 left. However, a sack by Amherst's Jake Spadafora and Brandon Quinn helped force a turnover-on-downs to close out the contest.
The Bowdoin defense was led by Zikaras, who finished the day with 14 tackles and a pick. Matt Leotti and Chris Martin both finished in double-digits for tackles with 12 and 11, respectively. In the battle of quarterbacks, Bowdoin's Kell went 20-of-37 for 202 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Amherst's Vetras finished with 181 yards and one touchdown, on 17-of-27 passing with two picks.
In addition to Rauh's rushing total, Amherst's Eric NeSmith just missed the 100-yard mark, with 95 yards on just 15 carries, and one touchdown. Sophomore Femi Oyalowo totalled 53 yards and a score on a dozen touches.
Photos courtesy of Brian Beard and Creative Images Photography. Visit the website for Bowdoin team and action photography.