Brunswick, Maine - Freshman running back Evan Bunker
(Topsfield, Mass.) rushed for 223 yards and a touchdown to
lead the visiting Trinity College Bantams to a 31-14 win over
the Bowdoin College Polar Bears in New England Small College
Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at
Whittier Field. Trinity, ranked No. 6 in the latest
New England Division III poll, improves to 4-1 with its third
straight win and its 12th consecutive victory over Bowdoin,
while the Polar Bears fall to 1-4 with their second defeat in a
After a 31-yard field goal by junior Tim Costello (Solano Beach, Calif.) gave the Bantams the early advantage, Bowdoin responded with a College-record-breaking touchdown strike. Polar Bear kick returner Pat Noone slipped on the ensuing kickoff and spotted the ball at the Polar Bear 5, but freshman quarterback Grant White lobbed a pass over the shoulder of receiver Sean O'Malley on first down, who broke loose from his defender and scampered 95 yards to paydirt. The catch became the longest play in Bowdoin football history, surpassing a 90-yard pass from Hayes MacArthur to Steve Lafond against Tufts in 1997. Bowdoin increased its lead early in the second quarter after a Dan Evans interception. White faked a hand-off and ran 22 yards up the middle to cap a three-play drive and give the hosts a 14-3 lead with 10:42 left before halftime.
Trinity rallied to score 28 unanswered points from there, however, totaling a 340 yards on the ground and wearing down the Bowdoin defense with several long drives. A pair of touchdown receptions by senior TE Chris Hunt (Westford, Mass.) from classmate Craig Drusbosky (Orange, Conn.) gave the Bantams the lead before halftime, 17-14. Trinity sophomore Nick Campbell (New Albany, Ohio) set up the first Trinity score with a 59-yard kickoff return after Bowdoin's second touchdown, and Bantam senior CB Harry Melendez (Holyoke, Mass.) picked off his league-leading, seventh pass this season to spoil a Bowdoin drive and give the ball back to Trinity to begin its second touchdown drive of the half. Trinity closed the second quarter with a goalline stand, stopping the Polar Bears on 1st-and-goal from the Bantam 10-yard line including a 4th-and-goal chance from the two-yard line. Trinity rolled off a pair of lengthy drives to seal the win, as rookie QB Hedley Jennings (Charlotte, N.C.) ran 12 yards to end an 11-play, 57-yard drive that clocked over six minutes to push the Bantam lead to 24-14 with 13:35 remaining, and Bunker dove into the endzone to wrap up a 10-play, 80-yard possession that covered 5:32 to clinch the 31-14 decision.
Of their 70 offensive plays, the Bantams called 58 rushes. In addition to Bunker's 223 yards, which was Trinity's first 200-plus rushing effort since Drew Finkeldey had 204 yards against Williams in 2004, fellow freshman RB Delonte Wellington (Bowie, Md.) racked up 73 yards on 12 attempts. Drusbosky completed six passes in 11 attempts for 79 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, while Hunt caught three for 63 yards and two scores. Melendez ended up with two picks for the third game this fall, while junior DL's Tom Finnucan (Orange, Conn.) and Matt Walker (Middlebury, Conn.) had a pair of sacks each. Trinity junior ILB Walter Fallas (Everett, Mass.) added a team-high 10 tackles and one tackle for loss, and Campbell totaled 119 yards three kickoff returns to highlight the Trinity special teams efforts. White went 11-22 with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Polar Bears. Brendan Garner caught a team-high six passes while O'Malley ended with four balls for 113 yards and the record-breaking score. First-year Joey Clearly had a pair of interceptions for Bowdoin inside the red zone. Reed Harasimowicz led Bowdoin with 13 total tackles and a