LAS CRUCES, N.M. — As he inched closer to Boston College’s career receiving yardage record, held by Rich Gunnell (2,459, from 2006-08), senior wideout Alex Amidon never once sidled up to Gunnell, a BC offensive graduate assistant, to remind him how close he was getting.
“No, I was always the one saying to him, ‘Can you break this finally and cut out the drama and just do this?’ ” Gunnell said with a laugh Saturday after Amidon finally supplanted him in BC’s 48-34 victory at New Mexico State.
“But it was good to see.’’
Amidon, who finished with eight catches for 88 yards, eclipsed the record when he scored on a 30-yard pass from Chase Rettig to give the Eagles a 27-17 lead with 12:13 left in the third quarter.
“I mean, it’s big, but it’s just about getting the win,’’ said Amidon, who now has 57 catches for 726 yards and 4 TDs on the season and 171 catches for 2,494 yards and 14 TDs for his career.
“This was about getting five [wins] and now it’s about getting the sixth,’’ he said.
The only thing that put a damper on Amidon’s achievement was the turnover he committed in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 34, when he converted on third and 7 from the BC 45 with a 15-yard catch but was stripped of the ball by the Aggies’ Bryan Bonilla.
“I don’t really know what happened on that, I’m going to have to go back and watch it,’’ Amidon said. “But obviously that can’t happen. That could’ve been a crucial mistake. Luckily, it wasn’t.’’
The Aggies recovered at their 39, but BC’s defense rose up and recorded a crucial three-and-out. Two plays later, Andre Williams ran for an 80-yard touchdown.
Last season, Amidon, a 6-foot, 182-pound senior from Greenfield, Mass., earned All-ACC accolades after he set BC single-season records for receptions (78) and yardage (1,215). He needs 20 more catches in the final three games to leapfrog Pete Mitchell (190, 1991-94) as BC’s leader in receptions.
Day of firsts
BC’s first road win was punctuated by a number of other firsts for the Eagles.
Senior tight end Mike Naples scored the first touchdown of his career when he hauled in a quick play-action pass from Chase Rettig and ran untouched 69 yards, giving BC a 13-3 lead with 2:49 left in the first quarter.
“I mean, it was about time he got a touchdown,’’ Rettig cracked. “We saw something on our first drive that led us to go back to that play and it ended up working out for us.’’
Rettig then connected with sophomore Harrison Jackson for his first career TD catch, a 7-yarder that gave BC a 20-10 lead. Jackson left in third quarter after getting rocked by a vicious head shot. His condition was unknown.
Freshman running back Myles Willls broke a 27-27 tie when he scored on a 98-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, the first time he’s ever run one back for a TD in his football career.
Sophomore linebacker Steven Daniels made the first interception of his career in the fourth quarter.
With his record-setting, 295-yard day, Williams moved into fifth place on BC’s all-time rushing list with 3,033 yards. He passed Mike Esposito (2,759), Andre Callender (2,971), and William Green (2,974). It was Williams’s third 200-yard game of the season, including 263 against Army Oct. 5 that fell 1 yard shy of Montel Harris’s school record, set in 2009 against North Carolina State. Williams needs 255 yards to break BC’s single-season yardage record of 1,726, set by Mike Cloud in 1998.