Trinity Football Heads To Tufts This Weekend

Casey Tanner '16 had seven tackles and returned an interception for a TD against Hamilton
Casey Tanner '16 had seven tackles and returned an interception for a TD against Hamilton

Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College football team, which won, 48-13, against Hamilton last weekend to remain unbeaten and tied with Amherst and Wesleyan for first place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) at 3-0, will visit the Tufts University Jumbos on Saturday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m.  Head Coach Jeff Devanney (8th season) and the Bantams are looking to extend their winning streak to 13 games against a Jumbo squad that is searching for its first win since the 2010 season opener. Trinity leads the all-time series against Tufts, 37-18-1, and has won the last five meetings. Trinity senior captain RB Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) has rushed for 378 combined yards the last two years against Tufts, including 171 last season in a 40-7 triumph in Hartford.  Trinity is currently ranked No. 1 in the New England Division III Poll. This week's New England Division III Poll: 1. Trinity (Conn.) (3-0), 2. Framingham State (4-1), 3. Amherst (3-0), 4. Salve Regina (3-1), 5. Wesleyan (3-0), 6. Western Connecticut (3-1), 8. Springfield (3-2), 9. Worcester State (3-1), 10. Westfield State (3-1).

Trinity routed Hamilton for its 19th straight win against the Continentals, winning their 49th consecutive game at home, last weekend.  The Bantams totaled 478 yards in total offense, including 271 on the ground, as Bunker had 106 yards on 14 carries, junior Chudi Iregbelum (Torrance, Calif.) added 67 yards on six carries, and junior RB Jacob Rivers (Brooklyn, N.Y.) contributed 62 yards on five rushes.  Under center, sophomore Henry Foye (Madison, Conn.) and freshman Sonny Puzzo (West Caldwell, N.J.) finished a combined 12-for-16 passing for 195 yards and four scores, junior RB Michael Budness (Belchertown, Mass.) led all pass catchers with five grabs for 78 yards and a touchdown.  Junior S Casey Tanner (Wellesley, Mass.) had seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown for the Bantam defense, and sophomore P Kyle Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.) averaged 45.5 yards on four attempts.

Trinity ranks second in the NESCAC in scoring offense and pass efficiency with 32 ppg game and a 150.6 efficiency rating, respectively, and is tied with Amherst with a +7 turnover margin (5th in nation). Foye is second in the league in pass efficiency with a 153.4 rating, having completed 31 of 53 attempts for 411 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bunker and classmate Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.) are third and ninth, respectively, in the conference in rushing with 284 and 176 rushing yards, while senior WR A.J. Jones (Upper Darby, Pa.) is eighth in the NESCAC with 155 receiving yards on 11 grabs including three for touchdowns.  Senior OLB Michael Weatherby (Atlantic City, N.J) ranks No. 23 nationally in tackles for loss with 2.2 per game (6.56), while Pulek is the top punter in the NESCAC with a 41.4 average per attempt (14th in nation).  Junior CB Brian Dones (Philadelphia, Pa.) is tied with several other defenders for second in the NESCAC in interceptions with two, while junior DE Nathan Cyr (Kingston, N.H.) is tied with two others for second in the league with two sacks, and senior LB Tom Haverty (Marion, Mass.) is tied for sixth in tackles with 28 (13 solo). 

The Tufts football squad, under the direction of Head Coach Jay Civetti (3rd season), a 2001 graduate of Trinity and a former Bantam offensive lineman, is 0-3 after a 13-10 setback against Bowdoin last weekend and has a 26-game losing streak. Senior QB Jack Doll averages 274.3 yards per game through the air to rank second in the NESCAC and adds a 104.3 efficiency rating, while junior Greg Lanzillo and sophomore Jack Cooleen are one of the league's most productive wide receiver tandems with 27 catches for 275 yards between them but no Tufts wide receiver has caught a touchdown pass yet this fall. Sophomore LB Matt McCormack leads the Jumbo defense with 31 tackles to put him third in the NESCAC, and freshman Willie Holmquist is second in the conference punting with a 37.8 average per attempt.

"Tufts is much-improved and has come very close to winning the last two weeks," said Devanney.  "We are focused on what we have to do as a team to win, and not on our opponent's won-loss record.  In recent history, we have not played great games in Medford, only scoring more than 13 points once in the last nine years.  Their new defense has been very disruptive.  Offensively, Tufts spreads the field and we will have to make open-field tackles."

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