If Amherst’s Wing-T offense wasn’t going to methodically wear down Orange County’s defense, it was going to be the fresh ball carriers the Lancers utilized on nearly every possession.
Eleven different players took their turns toting the rock against the Fighting Hornets. The hosts eventually lost the sting in their defense.
Amherst racked up 430 rushing yards, five different players scored rushing touchdowns, and the Lancers kept their season alive with a rousing 40-14 victory in the Region 4D quarterfinals at Porterfield Park in Orange County.
The Lancers (7-4) advance to the semifinal round and will play top-seeded E.C. Glass on Nov. 17.
Eric West rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries to lead the Amherst attack. John Goins (52 yards), Nic’Khale Fleshman (33 yards), JJ Morris (15 yards) and Tres Liggons (5 yards) each added rushing touchdowns.
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Tyrique Thomas finished with 96 yards on the ground.
Orange (8-3) took a 7-0 lead on Christian Simpson’s 9-yard run in the first quarter.
Amherst responded by scoring 40 straight points to seize control. The Lancers lost four fumbles but made sure the Hornets were unable to capitalize on those miscues by creating five takeaways.
Amherst intercepted Orange quarterback Jeremiah Wharton four times and recovered one fumble.
Wharton completed 14 of 28 passes for 232 yards.
The Lancers enter the E.C. Glass showdown Nov. 17 seeking revenge, too, after losing to the Hilltoppers, 24-7, in early October.
“We felt like we could win the game,” Amherst coach Bob Christmas said at the time. “We were on the short end of it tonight, but I think if we play them again, I’ll feel the same way.”