Hartford, Conn. – Freshman RB Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) rushed for 158 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 27-7 victory over the visiting Tufts University Jumbos in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity, ranked No. 8 in New England, wins its second straight game and its 37th consecutive triumph at home. The Bantams remain flawless in their 37 games played on the artificial turf at Jessee/Miller Field and have won three straight games against the Jumbos.
Trinity rushed for 327 yards and held the ball for 42:23 of the game, while the Bantam defense held Tufts to 203 total yards, 42 rushing yards, 12 pass completions in 42 attempts. Tufts was forced to punt nine times and averaged just 26.2 yards per attempt on a windy day, and the Jumbos were 3-for-16 on third down conversions. Trinity won despite being picked off three times, losing a fumble, and having an extra-point blocked, scoring the game's first touchdown on a blocked punt by sophomore Nick Campbell (New Albany, Ohio) and 23-yard return to paydirt by freshman Brendan Bader (Brookfield, Conn.) with 7:28 left in the first quarter.
After the touchdown and a blocked PAT by Jumbo junior tri-captain DE Donnie Simmons (Houston, Texas), Trinity took a 13-0 lead with 3:27 left in the opening stanza on a seven-play, 70-yard drive that saw Bunker run three times for 39 yards and finished with a 14-yard scoring pass from senior QB Craig Drusbosky (Orange, Conn.) to senior TE Chris Hunt (Westford, Mass.). Tufts got on the board early in the second quarter, taking advantage of a Trinity fumble on a bad snap that was recovered at the Trinity 44-yard line by senior DT Alex Gresham (Milton, Mass.), on a 44-yard pass down the right sideline by senior tri-captain QB Anthony Fucillo (Winthrop, Mass.) to classmate Greg Stewart (Wilmington, Mass.) at the 10:48 mark. The Jumbos kept themselves within a score the rest of the half, foiling a fake field goal try by the Bantams with an interception by sophomore CB Austin Crittenden (Deerfield, Ill.), and stopping another drive on a pick by junior SS Nick Falk (Riverside, Ill.). Trinity controlled the ball in the second half with over 23 minutes of possession and just two completions allowed in 14 pass attempts by the Jumbos. The Bantams took a 20-7 lead on their first possession of the third quarter on a one-yard plunge by Bunker, and closed out the scoring with a one-yard dive into the end zone by fellow rookie RB Delonte Wellington (Bowie, Md.) with 8:05 left in the game.
Junior ILB Walter Fallas (Everett, Mass.) paced the Trinity defense with 12 tackles, one sack, and two pass breakups, while Crittenden led Tufts with 12 tackles. Bantam senior CB Harry Melendez (Holyoke, Mass.) intercepted a pass for the third game in a row, and Simmons added nine tackles and a sack for the Jumbos. Drusbosky completed four passes in 10 attempts for 52 yards, while Fucillo was 12-for-42 for 161 yards. Both quarterbacks were sacked twice. Freshman QB Hedley Jennings (Charlotte, N.C.) added 61 yards on the ground on nine carries, and Wellington had 15 rushes for 50 yards. Tufts senior tri-captain RB Pat Bailey (Beverly, Mass.) rushed 10 times for 32 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards.