Trinity Football Closes Fantastic Season Saturday At Wesleyan With Third-Straight Conference Crown On The Line

Trinity Football Closes Fantastic Season Saturday At Wesleyan With Third-Straight Conference Crown On The Line

Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College football team, which pulled away from previously-undefeated Amherst for a 27-16 victory last weekend, will capture its third-consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship title with a win in the season finale at Wesleyan University Cardinals on Saturday, November 10 at noon.  Trinity, coached by Jeff Devanney (13th Season, 90-15), will win the championship for the ninth time with a victory on Saturday or an Amherst loss the same day at Williams.  Trinity has won at least a share of the NESCAC Football Championship title in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2016, and last fall.  In 2016, Trinity came back from a 14-0 deficit for a 45-21 win against the Cardinals to complete an undefeated season and the Bantams won, 28-3, at home last year against them before watching Amherst lose to Williams to give Trinity back-to-back league crowns. Trinity, which holds a 62-53-1 record in the 116-year history between the teams, is ranked No. 1 in the Noontime Sports New England Poll, No. 2 in the New England Football Writers Division III Poll and received 12 votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III National Poll.

Game Notes

Junior tri-captain RB Max Chipouras (Longmeadow, Mass.) totaled 203 rushing yards on 24 carries and had touchdown runs of three and 70 yards to give Trinity its fifth win in a row and its 17th-consecutive home triumph against Amherst.  Trinity junior Matt Patry (Medfield, Mass.) blocked a field goal, sophomore Matt McCarthy (North Reading, Mass.), blocked a punt, and first-year DB Jalen Weathers (Chicago, Ill.) blocked an extra-point last Saturday, while rookie QB Seamus Lambert (Andover, Mass.) found junior WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.) for scoring strikes of 16 and 33 yards.  Lambert finished 10-for-19 for 127 yards through the air in his third career start, and Schofer led all Trinity pass catchers with 106 yards on seven grabs.  Sophomore DE James Christano (Middlebury, Conn.) was a force up front with six tackles, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble, while senior LB Dago Picon-Roura (Roslindale, Mass.), had seven tackles and an interception, and junior CB/P Ian McDonald (Avon, Conn.) made a team-high eight tackles and punted the ball four times for an average of 39 yards per attempt.  Chipouras was honored as both the New England Football Writers (NEFW) Gold Helmet recipient as the top Division II/III player in the region and NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season for his outstanding performance.  In addition, both Chipouras and Christiano were selected as Noontime Sports Stars of the Week for their fine efforts.

Trinity tops the NESCAC in eight different categories, including scoring offense (39.4 ppg), pass offense (249.4 ypg), pass defense (149.4 ypg), rushing offense (244.8 ypg), rushing defense (73.0 ypg), total offense (494.1 ypg), total defense (222.9 ypg), and pass efficiency (154.3).  Chipouras has a league-best 133 rushing yards per game (1,064) with 11 touchdowns, and first-year RB Spencer Lockwood (Killingly, Conn.) is ninth with 60.7 rushing yards per game (425). Girard (42 for 947) and Schofer (44 for 763) rank 1-2 in the conference in receiving yards and third and fourth in pass receptions, respectively, with 19 combined touchdowns, and Girard, Chipouras, and Schofer are all among the top eight in the NESCAC in all-purpose yards.  Junior Jordan Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.), who has missed the last three games with an injury, and Lambert have combined to pass for 1,960 yards and 21 touchdowns, and run for 349 yards and three scores at quarterback this fall.

On defense, Christiano third in the league with five sacks, and McDonald is tied for third in picks with two. Trinity junior LB Daniel Negron (Hartsdale, N.Y.) tops the Trinity tacklers with 47, and junior DB Matt Patry (Medfield, Mass.) adds a team-high seven pass breakups. Picon-Roura has 39 tackles, while senior ILB Jacob Martilotti (Wayne, Pa.) adds 38 hits, junior DL Devyn Perkins (Brookline, Mass.) adds 33 tackles. Christiano, Perkins, and senior DT Corey Jean-Jacques (Haverhill, Mass.) have combined for 21 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.  Senior K Eric Sachse (Jefferson, Mass.) has six field goals in seven tries, while McDonald leads the NESCAC with 40.2 yards per punt, and sophomore Colin Beaulieu (Bethany, Conn.) averages 26 yards per kickoff return.

The Wesleyan University football squad, under the direction of Head Coach Dan DiCenzo (3rd season, 17-8), is 5-3 this season after holding on for a 21-14 win at Williams last weekend.  Senior QB Mark Piccirillo has almost 1,900 total yards for the Cardinal offense with 13 passing touchdowns and a 131.9 efficiency rating under center. Junior WR Dario Highsmith is Piccirillo's top target with 32 catches for 388 yards, and sophomore RB Glenn Smith has a team-high 459 rushing yards.  On the Wesleyan defensive line, sophomore DL Taj Gooden ranks second in the conference with seven sacks and classmate Jackson Eighmy is the reigning NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week after totaling five tackles and three sacks against the Ephs.