ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16
The Trinity College Football Team fell to Amherst this past Saturday in a low scoring 7-16 game. This is the first loss of the season for the Bantams, who are now 6-1, while the Lord Jeffs continue their undefeated streak at 7-0 and lead the rankings.
The Bantam offense started off strong in the first quarter with a nine minute drive, but a holding penalty pushed them out of field goal range and left them scoreless. Luckily, the Bantam defense was able to force the Jeffs to punt on a three-and-out possession. After a botched punt, Amherst punter Jackson McGonagle attempted to run for the first down but was tackled a yard shy by Johnny Medina ’18. After help from a pass interference call, Bantam running back Max Chipouras ’19 scored the first points in the game with a one-yard touchdown run. This would be Trinity’s only score of the game.
Amherst started its next possession on the 50-yard line after a short kickoff and Bantam penalty. While the Jeffs made their way to first and goal, captain linebacker Frank Leyva ’16 broke up a third down pass. This lead to a 24-yard field goal by Amherst kicker Charlie Wall, putting them on the board with 3 points. Two plays into the Bantam’s following offensive drive, quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’18 was intercepted by safety Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn, setting up an 11-yard touchdown for Amherst quarterback Reece Foy to McGonagle. While Wall missed the point after attempt, Amherst took a permanent lead at 9-7.
The Bantams finished the half with an impressive 60-yard, 15 play drive. Puzzo and Chipouras made first down runs of over 15 yards while wide receiver Darrien Myers ’17 was able to convert a key fourth and one play. However, the attempted field goal by kicker Kyle Pulek ’16 was blocked by Fairfield-Sonn. Despite leading Amherst in possession and yards, Trinity was down at the half.
The first score of the second half came from Amherst on a three-yard touchdown run by Amherst running back Ken Adrinka. Amherst left 54 seconds on the clock in the third quarter following a successful extra point by Wall. Trinity’s offense was pinned within its own end zone for most of the quarter.
Picks were abundant in the fourth quarter. Bantam defensive back Paul McCarthy ’16 picked off Foy in the Trinity end zone to shrink Trinity’s deficit, but Devin Boehhm managed to pick off McCarthy on a fake-punt reverse pass in turn. While Bantam defensive end Lyle Baker ’16 made an important stop to force a punt on third and two, the Trinity offense could not score. Puzzo passed for 53 yards and ran for 23 more, to Amherst’s 13-yard line, but the Bantams were pushed back 10 yards on their 12th penalty of the afternoon. Amherst sealed their fate when Fairfield-Sonn picked off Puzzo on the next play to end the game.
Offensively, Puzzo completed 22 of 37 passes for 174 yards while Chipouras rushed for a game-high 67 yards. Myers also made 10 catches for 65 yards. Defensively, Trinity linebacker Liam Kenneally ’18 led the defense with 10 tackles. Linebacker Shane ’19 Libby had seven.
Despite leading in possession and yards and having some key defensive stops, Trinity was outscored in a game crucial in determining the NESCAC Champions. In order to win the championship, Trinity will need to win its last game and Amherst will need to lose to Williams. The Bantams play their last game at home against Wesleyan this Saturday, Nov. 14.