Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain QB Sonny Puzzo (West Caldwell, N.J.) threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns, including 10 passes for 202 yards and a score to sophomore WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.), leading the Trinity College Bantams to a 41-13 victory over the visiting Hamilton College Continentals in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity keeps pace with Middlebury at the top of the league at 4-0, while the Continentals fall to 0-4. Trinity, the 2016 NESCAC Champions with an 8-0 record last fall, wins its 13th game in a row and downs Hamilton for the 23rd time in a row, and will visit Tufts (3-1) next weekend.
Trinity found itself in a hole early, turning the ball over on its first two possessions and trailing, 13-0, with 1:52 remaining in the opening quarter. Hamilton sophomore DB Justin Leigh (Spencer, N.Y.) intercepted Puzzo just over midfield, and returned the ball to the Bantam 32-yard line to set up the first score for the visitors. Continental sophomore QB Kenny Gray (Montgomery, N.Y.) completed a 13-yard pass to senior WR Alex Waugh (Charlotte, N.C.) and ran for another 13 yards, before freshman RB Mitch Berman (Newton, Ill.) punched it in from two yards out. Trinity senior DE Brandon Blaise (Morristown, N.J.) spoiled the celebration by blocking the PAT, and the score was 6-0 with 8:54 left in the first quarter.
Trinity drove 55 yards on the ensuing possession to the Continental 23-yard line, but junior RB Max Chipouras (Longmeadow, Mass.) was hit during an inside run by Hamilton junior LB Sean Tolton (Fort Washington, Md.) and fumbled the ball. Continental junior LB Tyler Hudson (Whitesboro, N.Y.) recovered the ball, and Gray found sophomore WR Joe Schmidt (Staten Island, N.Y.) down the middle for a 51-yard scoring strike a few plays later to give Hamilton a 13-0 lead. Trinity answered before the opening stanza was done, however, when Chipouras broke free around the right end and outsprinted the Continental secondary to the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds on the clock.
Hamilton picked off Puzzo again early in the second quarter, stopping a Trinity drive at the Continental two-yard line on an interception by junior DB Colby Jones (Hazlet, N.J.), but the Bantam defense held Hamilton to three yards and forced a punt. The Bantam took their first lead at 14-13 with 6:43 remaining in the first half, taking advantage of a short punt and a personal foul by the Continentals and scoring on a seven-yard scamper by Chipouras. Puzzo completed all four of his passes for 50 yards and ran for 12 more to highlight the final scoring drive of the first half. He hit sophomore TE Ted Allmendinger (Avon, Conn.) for his first career touchdown pass on a one-yard roll-out to the left to give the Bantams a 21-13 lead at the break.
Trinity erupted for 20 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Junior K/P Eric Sachse (Jefferson, Mass.) connected on field goals of 21 and 30 yards, with the second coming after junior DT Corey Jean-Jacques (Haverhill, Mass.) had forced a fumble by Gray during an attempted pooch punt that was recovered by Bantam sophomore DE Nick Rose (Arlington, Mass.) at the Trinity 44-yard line, before Puzzo found Schofer down the left sideline for a 90-yard touchdown pass and the second-longest scoring throw in Trinity history to make the score, 34-13. The Bantams went 95 yards in eight plays for the game's final touchdown. A 28-yard pass from Puzzo to first-year WR Dakota Foster (Hyattsville, Md.) for a 28-yard pass, a 33-yard run by rookie RB Colin Beaulieu (Bethany, Conn.), and a 25-yard touchdown toss to sophomore Joe Samuelman (North Andover, Mass.) were the highlights of the drive.
Trinity piled up 594 yards of offense to offset its three turnovers and over 100 yards of penalties. Puzzo completed 26 of his 38 passes for his first 300-yard game of the season and added 44 yards on the ground, and Chipouras finished with a game-high 97 rushing yards on 16 carries. Foster was Trinity's second-leading receiver with four grabs for 74 yards and Beaulieu added 53 rushing yards. Gray was 15-for-30 for 147 yards passing, while Bierman had 59 rushing yards, and Schmidt caught a team-high six passes for 83 yards. On defense, Trinity junior OLB Shane Libby (Scituate, Mass.) made eight tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss, while rookie ILB Will Dencker (Newburgh, N.Y.) added seven tackles, and junior OLB Dago Picon-Roura (Roslindale, Mass.) contributed four tackles and a pair of pass breakups. Tolton finished with a game-high 10 tackles (nine solo), while Jones had nine tackles in addition to his interception, and Hudson notched eight tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup for the Continentals.