STEWART WILLIAMS ’18
Another “W” was added to the win column this Saturday with Trinity’s 36-28 victory over the Tufts University Jumbos. Quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 led the Bantams with 332 yards of total offense and two touchdowns through the air. Complimenting Puzzo’s performance were five field goals that were sent through the uprights by Eric Sachse ’19, setting a new school record, both for field goals in a single game and in a season. The Bantams remain perfect atop the NESCAC at 4-0 along with Middlebury by handing Tufts its first loss of the season, dropping them to 3-1.
The Jumbos were the first to strike with an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Chance Brady, after a short Bantam punt started their drive at the Trinity 35-yard line. On the point after touchdown (PAT), a holding penalty was committed by Tufts, which resulted in a missed kick by Willie Holmquist on the longer attempt. The Bantams quickly retaliated with 16 unanswered points. Their first scoring drive ended with a 28-yard field goal delivered by Sachse with 3:15 left in the first quarter. Puzzo and wide receiver Brian Vieira ’18 led the next Trinity drive and combined for 39 yards, 17 of which came from a Puzzo-Vieira touchdown pass. Sachse then contributed two more field goals from 34 and 20 yards out to put the Bantams up 16-6 with 6:13 left in the third quarter.
On the following Tufts possession, cornerback Archi Jerome ’17 picked off Jumbo quarterback Ryan McDonald. On the ensuing drive, Puzzo found Max Chipouras ’19 on a swing route out of the backfield for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The Jumbos finally answered back on their very next play from scrimmage with a 67-yard pass from McDonald to junior receiver Mike Miller to pull them within 10 points of the lead. After a failed onside kick by the Jumbos, Trinity found themselves with favorable field position and took advantage of it before heading to the locker room at halftime.
Puzzo heaved a 32-yard strike to receiver John Spears ’18 to the seven-yard line on a 3rd and 10, which was shortly followed by a trot into the end zone by Chipouras. After a scoreless and uneventful third quarter, Sachse tied the school record for most field goals in a game on a 25-yard kick with 13:02 left in the fourth. It was sparked by a nifty fake punt that resulted in a 33-yard pass from Ian McDonald ’20 to Paul McCarthy ’16.
Trinity’s defense held the Jumbos scoreless for most of the fourth quarter until Tufts put in senior QB Alex Snyder following Sachse’s field goal with 2:32 left to play in the fourth. Tufts senior tight end Nik Dean and Snyder led the charge for the Jumbos, scoring 15 points in 14 seconds in the final two minutes and bringing them within eight points. The two seniors combined for 89 yards and a touchdown on two passes. The first was a 27-yard strike to the Trinity 2-yard line that set up a quick rushing touchdown, and a 62-yard pass following a successful onside kick by the Jumbos with 1:25 left to play. The visitors were within one score at 36-28 but Trinity was finally able to stop hemorrhaging points by recovering the next onside kick and keeping possession until time expired.
Trinity put on an offensive clinic against the Jumbos’ defense, accruing 492 yards of total offense, 332 of which were provided by Trinity’s own Sonny Puzzo. The defense was led by Sean Smerczynski ’19 with 11 tackles, which earned him NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. His roommate Sachse also earned NESCAC honors for his record-breaking performance.
The Bantams will look to remain red hot on the road next week against a winless Bowdoin team, a game that will assuredly be a warm up for a pivotal game against Middlebury (4-0) at home the following week.
STEWART WILLIAMS ’18