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Amherst College football has no trouble with Tufts

AMHERST — The Amherst College football team forced a fumble on the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter Saturday. Third-string quarterback DJ Petropulos slowly walked over to the line of scrimmage and took a knee.

The Jeffs, ahead of Tufts by 41 points, did not need the easy score. The game was already theirs.

Amherst convincingly won 51-7 at Pratt Field. The Jeffs (5-1) are in a three-way tie for second place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference with Middlebury and Wesleyan. Amherst visits conference leader Trinity (6-0) at 12:30 p.m. next Saturday.

Jeffs coach E.J. Mills said his team is focused on next week’s clash with the Bantams.

“We’re where you want to be,” Mills said. “We have an opportunity to do something great. For us, it’s all about one day at a time.”

It was a combined effort that led Amherst to victory on Saturday.

“I thought we were running and throwing kind of balanced, which is what you need to be. It was a great day,” Mills said.

Jeffs quarterbacks Max Lippe, a sophomore, and Jonathan Pieterse, a freshman, combined to go 27-of-33 for a total of 338 yards and one touchdown.

“We just feel like we’re better when we play both guys,” Mills said. “Whatever’s giving us the best production, that’s what we’re going to do. So both guys were able to do a nice job today, so that’s great.”

Lippe and Pieterse also each had a rushing touchdown and ran for a combined 41 yards.

Amherst’s top two receivers were Gene Garay, who caught 10 passes for 91 yards, and Jake O’Malley, who had seven catches for 112 yards and one touchdown.

With starting running back Ryan Silva still out with an injury, a total of eight Jeffs carried the ball for a combined 200 yards. Freshmen Sean Wilson and Kenny Adinkra led the runners with 43 and 41 yards, respectively. Adinkra and junior Steve Jellison both scored touchdowns.

The Amherst defense, meanwhile, shut down the Jumbos.

“I think the guys up front have done a great job,” Mills said of his defense. “For the most part, we were pretty solid and kept everybody in front of us. We didn’t allow them any big plays which is key.”

A big defensive play came with 4 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter, when junior Danny Chun wrestled the ball out of the air and completed a 72-yard interception return to put the Jeffs ahead 48-7.

Even before the opening kickoff there was action on the field as Amherst seniors Michael Aldo, John Ceccio, Sam Clark, Travis Dickenson, James Durham, Robbie Heflin, Tom Holahan, Lou Jacoubs, Landrus Lewis, Jordan Phillips, Matthew Pieterse, Jack Reynolds, Matthew Sponheimer and Chris Toppin were joined by family members at midfield.

The Jeffs will end the season with their homecoming game against Williams College at Pratt Field at noon Nov. 10.

“We’ll deal with that later,” Mills said. “We’re always excited for the last one, but right now our focus is on Trinity.”

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