Jumbo Football Plays at Undefeated, #2 in New England Trinity in NESCAC Action on Saturday
Saturday, October 13, 2012
At Jessee/Miller Field (Hartford, CT), 1:30 pm
Live Stats: http://livestats.prestosports.com/trinity
|Sophomore Connor McDavitt
booted his second field goal in as many weeks at
The Jumbos travel to Trinity College on Saturday as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season hits the mid-way point. Tufts (0-3) is looking for the upset, which would give them their first win of the season. The Bantams (3-0), ranked second in New England Division III, want to remain undefeated and atop the conference standings.
Last year, Tufts played a very competitive game against a good Trinity squad with the Bantams winning 9-0. A solid defensive effort by the 'Bos included eight tackles by Tommy Castle (Yarrow Point, WA), eight tackles and a forced fumble by Sam Diss (Ridgewood, NJ), and five stops with an interception from Austin Crittenden (Deerfield, IL). Diss also had a strong day returning kicks with two kickoff returns for 92 yards and four punt returns for 35 yards. His 58-yard return after the Trinity touchdown had given the Jumbos the ball at the Bantam 42.
Tufts went down to the wire at Bowdoin College in their first road game of 2012 last Saturday before losing 17-10. The game was tied 10-10 until the host Polar Bears scored with 2:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Jumbos took over after the kickoff at their own 38 and senior quarterback John Dodds (Mount Pleasant, SC) completed six of eight passes to drive them down to the Bowdoin 32. However, the Jumbos could not convert on a fourth-down play and the Polar Bears took over and ran out the clock.
The Bowdoin game featured the debut of Tufts freshman running back Justin Weaver (Salt Lake City, UT). He carried 18 times for 68 yards and a touchdown, and also caught five passes for 25 yards. With Tufts trailing 10-3 at halftime, Weaver carried five times during the scoring drive and went in from three yards out with 11:46 remaining in the third quarter to even the score at 10-10.
The Jumbo defense had set up the touchdown with one of their two take-aways early in the second half. Junior linebacker Sean Harrington (Chelmsford, MA) recovered a fumble on Bowdoin's first play of the second half. That set up the offense on the Polar Bear 25-yard line, leading to the touchdown. On the next Polar Bear possession, Diss intercepted a pass near midfield and returned it 14 yards to the Bowdoin 34. However, Tufts was unable to turn that into points.
Diss paced the Jumbo defense with 10 tackles and two pass break-ups at Bowdoin. He also returned three kickoffs for 68 yards. His 35-yard return led to Tufts' first score of the day, a 22-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Connor McDavitt (Holden, MA) that tied the game at 3-3 early in the second quarter. Sophomore linebacker Tommy Meade (Wakefield, MA) was also in on 10 tackles for the Jumbos, while senior defensive end Curtis Yancy (St. Louis, MO) finished with nine tackles including a sack for a nine-yard loss.
Behind Dodds, Tufts has the second-ranked passing offense in NESCAC with 231 yards per game. He has completed 80 of 151 passes for 657 yards. Senior tight end Nick Kenyon (Norwich, VT) with 17 receptions for 136 yards, senior receiver Dylan Haas (Yorktown Heights, NY) at 17 catches for 122 yards, and junior receiver Pat Nee (Essex Junction, VT) at 16 receptions for 165 yards are all among the conference's top 10 in receptions per game. Tufts is also ranked second in pass defense, allowing 124.7 hards per game.
Trinity enters Saturday's contest as the league's top team in both total offense (469.7 yards per game) and total defense (211.3 yards per game). They are second only to Middlebury in points scored per game (35.7) and points allowed per game (14.3). The Bantams are the top rushing team in NESCAC with an average of 303.7 yards per game. When they pass, they are the most efficient at it in the league (144 rating), while their pass defense also has the best efficiency mark in the conference at a 75.0 rating.
Trinity junior running back Evan Bunker is tops in NESCAC with 473 yards through three weeks. He exploded for 162 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries in the Bantams' 53-14 triumph at Hamilton last Saturday, earning Offensive Player of the Week honors. He averaged an impressive 10.9 yards per carry, with the majority of his work coming in the first half. After scoring from 32 yards out midway through the first quarter, he found the end zone on a six-yard run to give Trinity a 41-0 halftime advantage.
The Bantams amassed 527 yards of total offense in their convincing win at Hamilton. Junior running back Ben Crick rushed 16 times for 128 yards to back up Bunker. Senior quarterback Ryan Burgess tossed a pair of touchdown passes.
On defense, junior free safety Mike Mancini posted five tackles and an interception to pace the Trinity defense at Hamilton. Sophomore linebacker Tom Szymanski leads the Bantams with 17 tackles, including 2.5 for losses. Senior safety Julian Brown has 13 tackles including a sack, and an intereception.
Tufts returns home to play Williams College on Parents' Weekend
October 20 (1:30 pm). The Bantams will be at Bowdoin that day for a
1 pm start.
TUFTS VS. TRINITY SERIES
Series Record: Trinity 36-18-1
First Game: 1894, Tufts 8-4
Last Tufts Win: 2007, 16-10
Last Trinity Win: 2011, 9-0
Current Streak: Trinity, 4 games
Large Margins: Tufts 42-8 in 1962; Trinity 48-6 in 1950