FOOTBALL: Amidon Breaks Free Against Army
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 00:10
While Andre Williams ran the Boston College football team to a 21-point victory over Army, the senior running back wasn’t the only Eagle contributing on the gridiron Saturday afternoon. The ground attack was bolstered by aerial prowess, sound special teams, and a second-half defensive adjustment—all of which can be credited for the winning record BC will take to Clemson next week.
Over the season’s first two weeks, wide out Alex Amidon appeared poised to replicate the record-setting season. The senior terrorized Villanova and Wake Forest with a combined 18 receptions, two touchdowns, and an average of nearly 120 yards per game. After such a strong start, there was reason for concern when Amidon’s production stalled over the next two weeks against USC and FSU, as both defenses held him to an anemic total of 65 yards.
Yet the Biletnikoff watch-list candidate broke out with vengeance against Army’s defensive attack, tallying 122 yards on five catches. Amidon immediately put the last two weeks behind him when he turned a short pass in the flat into a 68-yard reception, using his speed to evade several Black Knight defenders while keeping his balance along the sideline.
Deep in their opponent’s red zone, the Eagles had an opportunity to set the afternoon’s tone.
“That’s a good way to get us rolling,” Amidon said, acknowledging the coaching staff’s smart call to exploit a backup defensive back in the Black Knight secondary.
The catch marked the longest of the receiver’s career.
Amidon continued to be a factor all day long, following his 68-yard dash with a highlight reel catch in the third quarter. Sprinting his way between a pair of Army defenders, the senior hauled in a spiral from quarterback Chase Rettig and maintained possession after a hit. The 39-yard completion catalyzed another successful BC drive.
Although Williams stole the ground game, Amidon’s performance proved that execution from the air is an important component in a balanced offensive arsenal.
“With our run-oriented offense, it’s a good way to stretch the field,” Amidon said.
Despite the Eagles’ strong start on offense, their defensive attack appeared vulnerable to the big play early on. Trailing 7-3 in the first quarter, Army pulled off a flea-flicker that resulted in a 75-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Angel Santiago to Xavier Moss.
The Black Knights struck again early in the third with an 80-yard touchdown run up the middle from Larry Dixon that befuddled BC’s defense.
Army’s option-heavy strategy initially had the aggressive, blitzing Eagles off balance.
“It took us right out of who we are, so to speak,” said head coach Steve Addazio.
Thanks to a set of key second-half adjustments, however, Dixon’s run was the only score Army would tally in the final 30 minutes of play.
BC’s line and secondary settled down, realizing that the key to shut down the Black Knights’ unorthodox approach was outlasting them.
“It was good to beat them at their game,” said senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, “which is playing all four quarters.”
Arguably BC’s most consistent offensive weapon, senior kicker Nate Freese added another highlight to his storied career on the Heights.
As a one-possession game headed into the half, Freese drilled a clutch 49-yard field goal as time expired to give the Eagles an 11-point advantage.
“That was important for us at that point,” said head coach Steve Addazio, “because we had to stay up ahead of [Army].”
The converted field goal was Freese’s longest of the season and fifth in five chances. Regardless of the changes BC’s offensive attack has undergone over the past few seasons, its effective kicking game continues to be a constant. Addazio acknowledged that Freese’s dependability removes an important variable from game management.
“He’s a great weapon,” Addazio said. “We’re thrilled to death that we have him.”
Freese’s 259 career points has pushed him into the top five for the special teams category in BC’s record book.