Hamilton College ready for opener

By WKTV Sports/Hamilton College

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Hamilton College football team begins its 2012 season at defending New England Small College Athletic Conference champion Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Amherst posted a perfect 8-0 record in 2011, and is 22-2 the last three years. Meanwhile, Hamilton's 3-5 record from a year ago was a step in the right direction, but the Continentals are still searching for their first winning season since the team finished 5-3 in 1996. The all-time series isn't in Hamilton's favor either, as the Continentals are 1-23 against Amherst.

New head coach Andrew Cohen leads Hamilton into its 120th season of football. Cohen was the defensive coordinator at NESCAC rival Bowdoin College last year, when the Polar Bears ranked second in total defense.
Hamilton has relied on its defense the last few years. Senior middle linebacker Mike MacDonald is a two-time captain and was on the 2011 NESCAC all-conference team along with senior defensive back Dan Peters.

Senior quarterback Jordan Eck emerged as one of the conference's top quarterbacks last year. He ranked second in the NESCAC with 223.4 passing yards per game, completed better than 63 percent of his passes and threw for eight touchdowns. Eck, who has started under center for nearly every game since he arrived on campus, is in fourth place on the program's all-time list with 3,743 passing yards.

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