Hartford, Conn. - Trinity College head football coach Jeff Devanney (12th season) spoke in front of media and alumni on Wednesday afternoon at a luncheon in downtown Hartford ahead of this weekend's 115th matchup between the Bantams and the Wesleyan University Cardinals. The press conference featured both Devanney and Wesleyan head coach Dan DiCenzo, who talked about their respective programs and the significance of Saturday's homecoming game between the in-state rivals at Jesee/Miller Field.
"It's fun to publicize what's going to happen this weekend with this great rivalry. Being a part of this rivalry as a player, I still remember this game much more than any game I have played in," said Devanney. "We know a lot of the players on their team and they know a lot of the players on our team. There are a lot of interesting personal stories going on between the two teams as well. It's going to be a great crowd on Saturday and a great game."
Joining both coaches were the captains from each team. Trinity senior QB Sonny Puzzo (West Caldwell, N.J.) was asked what it meant to play in the final game of his career in such a big game.
"It's definitely going to be an exciting game, playing against a team where there is so much history between the two schools. Both sides know a lot about each other and as a football player, these are the type of games that you can't wait to play in. We are just excited to get out there and leave it all on the field."
"We have been working hard in practice this week and are ready to go. The upperclassmen know the emotion that comes with this game, especially with it being homecoming for us this year," added fellow senior captain OL Chris Simmons (Manchester, Conn.).
"We are always excited with this last game, the two schools being 20 minutes away makes for a great atmosphere," added Coach DiCenzo. "It's a great game every year and we definitey see that as the case for the foreseeable future. It is a great way to end the year with two of the best schools academically and two programs that take a lot of pride in football."
Trinity, the 2016 NESCAC Champions, saw its 16-game winning streak come to an end last Saturday as the Bantams lost to Amherst College, 28-20. Puzzo went 15-of-30 for 172 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while also rushing eight times for 28 yards while Kenneally tied for a team-high nine tackles. Trinity is tied for first place in the conference alongside the Mammoths with a 7-1 record and can clinch the league title for the second consecutive fall with a victory on Saturday, coupled with an Amherst loss.
Saturday's game between the two in-state rivals will mark the 115th-meeting of the 'Battle of the Birds'. Trinity holds a slight advantage in the series with a 61-53-1 lead while claiming the last two matchups, including a 45-21 win a year ago to decide the conference championship.
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