Football to play Amherst on Saturday in 2017 home opener

Football to play Amherst on Saturday in 2017 home opener

The Hamilton College football team plays on Steuben Field for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, Sept. 23 when Amherst College travels to Clinton. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

The Continentals dropped their season opener last week at Tufts, 35-28 in overtime, but several huge individual performances by Hamilton players emerged from that heartbreaking loss. Tyler Hudson '19 was selected a NESCAC co-Defensive Player of the Week and was placed on the Team of the Week, and wide receiver Joe Schmidt '20 was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Hudson was playing middle linebacker after he was part of the defensive line his first two years at Hamilton. He responded with a career-high 19 tackles (14 solo) with half a sack and a fumble recovery. His tackle total was the most by any Continental since 2011. Cole Burchill '19 was credited with a career-best 13 tackles and added a sack, and Colby Jones '19 came up with a Hamilton-best 11 stops. Alex Ganter '20 recorded half a sack and blocked a punt in his first game with the Continentals, and Justin Leigh '20 broke up three passes.

Schmidt grabbed eight passes for a career-high 214 yards and tied a program record with four touchdown catches. Christian Donahoe '20 caught three more balls for 102 yards -- an average of 34 yards per reception. Kenny Gray '20 stepped into the starting quarterback role midway through his freshman year and had an impressive start to his sophomore campaign with 22 of 44 passing for a career-best 365 yards along with the four TD tosses to Schmidt. Marcus Gutierrez '18, who was last year's leading rusher, gained 38 yards on just nine carries.

Zach Altneu '18 made both of his extra-point attempts and Billy Wagner '20 averaged 39 yards per punt. Two of Wagner's nine punts landed inside the opponent's 20-yard line and three went for a fair catch. Schmidt added 73 yards in kick returns and finished with 293 all-purpose yards.

The Mammoths dominated Bates 41-17 at home last week in an opener that wasn't even that close. Amherst jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter and held a commanding 41-3 advantage midway through the third. The Bobcats mustered two touchdowns in the final 16 minutes. The Mammoths outgained Bates 389-234 and racked up 6.6 yards per play.

Ollie Eberth was 9 of 16 passing for 210 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in his first start at quarterback. Ten players carried the ball at least once and Jack Hickey emerged with a team-high 47 yards rushing with one touchdown. Hasani Figueroa added 41 yards on a team-high 12 rushes. Craig Carmilani led Amherst with 96 yards receiving, including a 75-yard touchdown, and James O'Regan added a 49-yard scoring catch. Bo Berluti actually led the Mammoths with three receptions.

Andrew Sommer paced the Amherst defense with 10 tackles and returned an interception 11 yards. Andrew Yamin chipped in 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.

John Rak went 5-for-6 on PATs and missed his lone field goal attempt. Rak, Henry Atkeson and Andrew Ferrero all punted at least once. Avery Saffold returned a punt 45 yards and Trey Jarmon and Nate Tyrell handled kickoff returns.