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Trinity Football Recovers From Early Deficit To Rout Wesleyan And Finish Perfect Season

Bryan Vieira '18 caught two touchdown passes
Bryan Vieira '18 caught two touchdown passes

Middletown, Conn. - Junior WR Bryan Vieira (Hull, Mass.) caught two touchdown passes and classmate Liam Kenneally (Reading, Mass.) had 10 tackles, a sack, and an interception to lead the visiting Trinity College Bantams to a 45-21 victory over the Wesleyan University Cardinals, sole possession of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title, and an undefeated season on Andrus Field this afternoon.  Trinity wins its seventh NESCAC crown since the league began formally recognizing champions in 2000 and does so with an undefeated record for the sixth time.  Wesleyan closes the year at 6-2, having lost its season opener and its season finale.

Trailing, 14-0, less than 10 minutes into the game after Wesleyan touchdown runs of 29 yards by senior RB Lou Stevens (North Wales, Pa.) and four yards by senior Devon Carrillo (Middletown, Conn.), Trinity tied the game up with two scores in 17 seconds.  On the kickoff after Carillo's score, Trinity senior Darrien Myers (North Andover, Mass.) received the ball at his own two-yard line and raced past the Wesleyan kick coverage for a 98-yard return down the right side that cut the Trinity deficit in half with 4:38 left in the first quarter.  Two plays later, Stevens mishandled a hand-off and Trinity sophomore LB Dago Picon-Roura (Roslindale, Mass.) stripped him of the ball, stayed on his feet, and ran 32-yard to paydirt to tie the score at the 4:20 mark.

Trinity broke the game open in the second quarter with three touchdowns, beginning with a two-yard run by junior QB Sonny Puzzo (West Caldwell, N.J.) 58 seconds into the frame on a drive that was set up nicely due to a 39-yard Myers punt return.  Puzzo found Vieira for a 58-yard touchdown pass with 11:51 on the clock, and the Bantam defense came up big later in the first half when senior co-captain Spencer Donahue (Naperville, Ill.) and junior LB Carty Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) stopped Wesleyan sophomore QB Mark Piccirillo (Shelton, Conn.) for no game in Trinity territory on a 4th-and-2 quarterback draw.  Puzzo connected with Myers on a 25-yard pass to highlight the next Trinity scoring drive, and the Bantams advanced to the Cardinal seven-yard line with just over three minutes before the break.  Lining up for a field goal, Trinity sophomore K Eric Sachse (Jefferson, Mass.) was flipped the ball instead and he raced around the right end for his first career touchdown and a 35-14 Trinity lead at halftime.

Wesleyan drove the ball 61 yards to the Bantam one-yard line to start the second half, but Carillo fumbled the ball into the end zone and Trinity senior DE Jameson Law (Brewster, Mass.) pounced on the ball for a touchback.  Trinity scored on a 25-yard strike from Puzzo to Vieira later in the third quarter, and Piccirillo found junior WR Mark Breuler (Hamden, Conn.) for a seven-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter.  Sachse drilled a 27-yard field goal to round out the scoring and complete the greatest kicking season in Trinity history with 13 field goals in as many tries and success on all 37 of his PAT's.

Puzzo finished 8-for-16 passing for 149 yards and two touchdowns and added 40 rushing yarsd, while Vieira accumulated a game-high 94 receiving yards on three catches.  Piccirillo was 23-for-48 through the air with one touchdown and two picks, while Carrillo had seven catches for 75 yards to go with his 56 rushing yards on 11 carries.  Chipouras paced the Trinity running game with 62 yards on 15 attempts, while Stevens totaled a game-high 63 yards on seven rushes.  Defensively, Donahue made nine hits and broke up a pass, while Law had eight tackles (six solo), and senior CB Yosa Nosamiefan (Boston, Mass.) added seven tackles and an interception for Trinity.  Sophomore Brandon Morris (Davie, Fla.) had 10 tacles and a sack for the Cardinals.

Jeff Jacobs Column on the game

Hartford Courant story