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Trinity Football Takes Downs Tufts After Early Deficit

Steve O'Reilly '19 and Matt Evans '20 helped Trinity rush for 250 yards
Steve O'Reilly '19 and Matt Evans '20 helped Trinity rush for 250 yards

Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain RB Max Chipouras (Longmeadow, Mass.) ran for 164 yards and a touchdown, as the Trinity College Bantams scored 30 unanswered points to overcome a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter and hand the visiting Tufts University Jumbos their first loss, 38-24, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field.  Two-time defending NESCAC Champion Trinity, playing in from of its homecoming crowd, improves to 4-1 with its 11th win in a row over Tufts.  The Jumbos fall to 4-1, putting Trinity, Tufts, and Williams in a three-way tie for second place in the conference behind 5-0 Amherst. The Bantams will visit Bowdoin next Saturday and the Jumbos host the Williams Ephs the same day.

Trailing, 14-0, after two Jumbo touchdowns in the game's first 10:35, Trinity scored three times in the second quarter and added 10 points in the third to go ahead, 30-14, after 45 minutes of play.  Tufts marched down the field 61 yards on 12 plays, ending with a one-yard touchdown plunge on fourth down by senior QB Ryan McDonald, to go ahead, 7-0, after the game's first drive.  Senior DB Alex LaPiana (Charlotte, N.C.) picked off Bantam junior QB Jordan Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) to end Trinity's first drive, and returned the ball 64 yards to the home team's 29-yard line to set up McDonald for a 10-yard scoring pass to senior WR Jack Dolan (Wellesley, Mass.) with 4:25 left in the opening quarter. 

The tables turned in the second quarter, when Trinity got on the board thanks to a three-yard sweep by rookie WR Devante Reid (White Plains, N.Y.) with 11:20 on the clock and tied the score at 14-all 3:59 later on a 19-yard pass from Vazzano to junior WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.).  The teams traded punts and the Bantam defense turned Tufts over on downs near midfield to give Trinity great field position in the final two minutes of the second quarter.  Vazzano threw a 37-yard pass to sophomore WR Jonathan Girard (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) on 3rd-and-11 to push the ball deep into the Tufts territory, and Chipouras finished the drive with an 11-yard run to paydirt that gave the Bantams a 20-14 lead.  Jumbo senior DB Tim Preston (Nashua, N.H.) snuck in to block the extra point and keep the Tufts deficit at six entering halftime.

Trinity struck quickly after the break, scoring on a six-yard scamper by Vazzano after a 59-yard reception by Girard had put the ball at the Tufts seven-yard line.  The Jumbos answered, going 59 yards on nine plays to the Bantam nine-yard line, but a McDonald pass was batted at the line of scrimmage and Trinity sophomore DL James Christiano (Middlebury, Conn.) intercepted it and ran it back 52 yards to the Tufts 39-yard line.  Senior Eric Sachse (Jefferson, Mass.) made a 25-yard field goal to make the score, 30-14, after three quarters.  Tufts sophomore Matt Alswanger (Stamford, Conn.) booted a 23-yard field goal early in the fourth stanza, and the teams traded touchdowns on a one-yard Vazzano run and a two-yard toss from McDonald to Dolan, respectively.  Trinity made good on a two-point after its score on a pass from Vazzano to Chipouras to keep the Bantam lead at 14 points, and Girard handled the Tufts onsides kick after its touchdown to help preserve the lead.

Trinity outgained Tufts on the ground, 250-68, as Vazzano complemented Chipouras with 71 rushing yards in addition to his 220 passing yards.  The Trinity signal caller completed 10 of his 19 attempts including four to Girard for a game-high 127 yards and five to Schofer for 88 yards.  Chipouras went over the 3,000-yard mark for his career, becoming the second NESCAC player to do so after Trinity's Eric Bunker '14.  McDonald finished 25-for-40 for 293 yards through the air, while Dolan caught eight passes for 104 yards and senior WR Frank Roche (Arlington, Mass.) had seven grabs for a team-high 116 yards.  Defensively, Trinity senior ILB Jacob Martilotti ((Wayne, Pa.) led all tacklers with eight, while junior ILB Danie Negron (Hartsdale, N.Y.) made seven tackles and one tackle for loss, and junior DB Matt Patry (Medfield, Mass.) notched six hits and a pair of pass breakups.  Preston and junior DB Robert Jones (Wayland, Mass.) paced Tufts with six tackles apiece, and senior DL Jared Ahsler (Chatham, N.J.) added two tackles for loss.