October 29, 2012

In a battle between the NESCAC’s only unbeaten teams, Trinity emerged with a 45-7 win on Saturday at Jessee/Miller Field. The Panthers (5-1) entered the game ranked third in New England, while the Bantams (6-0) owned the top spot. The win for Trinity improved its nation-best home winning streak to 46 games.

Junior running backs Evan Bunker and Ben Crick combined for 303 rushing yards and five touchdowns to lead the Bantams.

Trinity scored on the game’s opening possession on a 22-yard field goal by senior Tim Costello after Middlebury rookie player Tim Patricia (Los Angeles, Calif.) had a hand in two stops on second and third down from the Panther five and four-yard lines respectively, to force the kick. Bunker rushed nine times for 46 yards during the 14-play, 75-yard drive.  Trinity junior Steve Goniprow picked off Middlebury junior quarterback McCallum Foote (Newton, Mass.), who was averaging nearly 400 passing yards per game entering the weekend, on the third Middlebury play from scrimmage, and Bantam senior quarterback Ryan Burgess found sophomore Chris Ragone for a 59-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field three plays later for a 10-0 Trinity lead with 6:04 left in the opening quarter.

Middlebury marched to the Trinity 19-yard line on its next possession, but Foote was intercepted by Trinity senior Nick Campbell at the one-yard line in the left corner of the field. Crick scored on a 40-yard screen pass from Burgess and a 49-yard run in the second quarter, sandwiched around a six-yard scamper to paydirt by Bunker, as Trinity outscored the Panthers, 21-0, in the second quarter. The Trinity defense forced three punts, and stopped Middlebury on downs from deep in its own territory after a fumbled Trinity fair catch in the second stanza. Trinity senior Julian Brown broke up a pass on 4th-and-7 from the Trinity 10-yard line shortly before halftime. The Bantams added a 66-yard scoring scamper on 3rd-and-26 by Crick and an 11-yard touchdown run by Bunker in the third quarter, while Foote tossed an 18-yard scoring pass to senior Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) in the third frame before both teams emptied their benches.

Crick finished with 158 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards, while Bunker ran for 141 yards on the ground, caught two passes for 24 yards, and threw a seven-yard pass for a first down on a fake punt to sophomore Case Tanner to set up Trinity’s second touchdown. Burgess completed 9-16 passes for 193 yards and two scores, while Ragone led the receiving corps with two grabs for 84 yards.

Foote was 18-38 for 133 yards with two interceptions and was sacked three times. Senior Remi Ashkar (Glen Rock, N.J.) had 39 rushing yards on 12 carries, and Driscoll finished with five catches for 52 yards receiving for the Panthers.

Goniprow had seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, and an interception for the Trinity defense, while Middlebury sophomore Matthew Benedict (Eden, N.Y.) led all tacklers with eight hits.

• Football record: 5-1

• Up next: 11/3 @ Hamilton – 1:00