Waterville, Maine – The visiting Trinity College Bantams took advantage of its scoring opportunities and pull away from the Colby College Mules in the second half for a 28-10 win over in the season opener for both schools in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon on Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium. The win gives Trinity eight consecutive triumphs over the Mules, and extends its streak of season-opening wins to 16 in a row.
Trinity scored the lone touchdown of the first quarter after taking over on a punt that went out of bounds at the Colby 42-yard line. Sophomore RB Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.) reversed direction on a run to the right and scampered 42 yards down the left sideline on the first play of the drive for a 7-0 lead.
Both teams had one interception on the day in a fairly clean played game. Taking advantage of a failed fake punt at midfield by the Mules, Trinity went ahead 14-0 thanks to the rushing of sophomores Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) and Crick to set up its second touchdown. Bunker had two carries for 19 yards and Crick has two rushes for 10 yards, and junior QB Ryan Burgess (Dracut, Mass.) completed a 16-yard pass down the right sideline to sophomore A.J. Jones (Freetown, Sierra Leone) sandwiched in between the runs. On the third play of the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Hedley Jennings (Charlotte, N.C.) completed the drive with a two-yard run scoring rush for a two-touchdown lead.
The Mules fought back on the next drive and received a 22-yard field goal from David Bendit (Emmaus, Pa.) with 12:20 to play to intermission. Colby quarterback Nick Kmetz (Laurel, Del.) hit tight end Spenser Merwin (Falls Village, Conn.) on a 51-yard pass play to the Trinity 13-yard line. After a nine-yard completion from Kmetz to Michael Lahiff (Melrose, Mass.) on first down, Colby's drive stalled and the Mules settled for the field goal. Just before the half, Colby used nine plays and drove 34 yards after Connor Walsh (Westwood, Mass.) had a 15-yard punt return to give the Mules great field position. The Mules used eight plays to drive to the Bantams' three-yard line and then used some trickery to score its first touchdown of the season. Merwin took a pitch from Kmetz and rolled right to find Nick Joseph (Mattapan, Mass.) for a tight end option scoring pass to make it 14-10 at intermission.
Trinity went back to the run for its touchdown to start off the third quarter, with seven rushes on the nine-play drive. However, two big pass plays were the key to the score, as Jennings completed a 17-yard strike to freshman WR Chris Ragone (Sarasota, Fla.) and connected with Jones on a 30-yard scoring pass to put the Bantams up, 21-10. The Mules responded with a 14-play drive and got as far as the Trinity nine-yard line before a rushing loss and then a penalty put the ball back to the Trinity 27-yard line. The Mules turned the ball over on downs at the Trinity 31-yard line. The Bantams added an insurance touchdown with just 1:30 to play in the game. After a 33-yard field goal from Trinity senior kicker Tim Costello (Solana Beach, Calif.) went through the uprights but was taken off the board thanks to a roughing the kicker penalty on the Mules, Bantam sophomore ball carrier Dante Astheimer (Pottstown, Pa.) scored from four yards out on a run for the final points.
Trinity finished the game with a slight edge of 278-274 in total offensive yards and Colby had the advantage in first downs by a 15-13 count. Crick had seven rushes for 84 yards and Bunker finished with 18 carries for 61 yards for Trinity. Jennings completed all four of his passes for 59 yards and the one touchdown, while Jones caught three balls for 56 yards. Jennings also had a good punting day with five boots for a 41.2-yard average. Kmetz completed 24 passes for 196 yards, while Rob Turner caught four balls for 48 yards and Merwin had two catches for 60 yards. Trinity's defense held Colby to just 75 yards rushing, as senior DE Herman Brito (Wayland, Mass.) had seven solo stops with two sacks, and sophomore LB Stephen Goniprow (Barrington, R.I.) added seven tackles. Mike Hyatt (Walpole, Mass.) had eight tackles and Brian Mellett (Walpole, Mass.) had six stops for Colby.