Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams throttled the visiting Middlebury College Panthers in a 48-0 shutout in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action on a rainy and windy afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. The Bantams held the Panthers to six first downs and 73 yards of total offense, an average of 1.4 yards per play and blocked three punts to improve to 6-1 heading into a showdown with undefeated Amherst next weekend in Hartford. The Panthers fall to 4-3 and will visit Hamilton next Saturday. Trinity extends its overall winning streak and its winning streak against Middlebury to four games, while pushing its home winning streak to 16 games.
Trinity jumped to a 27-0 lead at halftime, allowing just one completed pass and 45 total yards, while senior tri-captain RB Max Chipouras (Longmeadow, Mass.) and first-year Seamus Lambert (Andover, Mass.) combined for 206 rushing yards for the Bantam offense through two quarters. Trinity sophomore DL James Christiano (Middlebury, Conn.) blocked a Panther punt on the first possession of the game to give the Bantams the ball near midfield, but the visitors answered with a goal line stand thanks to a tackle for loss by junior DL Alex Norton (Cohasset, Mass.) on 4th-and-1 at the Panther four-yard line to keep the game scoreless. The Trinity defense forced a three-and-out, and the next punt by Panther junior Maxwell Rye (Longmeadow, Mass.) traveled just 20 yards against a heavy Bantam rush and a strong wind. Trinity took advantage this time with a 17-yard scoring pass from Lambert to sophomore WR Jonathan Girard (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) with 5:20 left in the first quarter, and the home team rolled from there.
Lambert completed touchdown tosses of 41 and 16 yards to junior WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.) over the next 12 minutes of play, and Chipouras completed the first-half scoring with a one-yard scamper around the right end with just under three minutes left before the break. The extra point was wide after a five-yard false start penalty on the Bantams to make the score, 27-0. The second half was more of the same, beginning with the second blocked punt in as many weeks by Trinity sophomore Dakota Foster that led to a 17-yard scoring strike from Lambert to Girard with 8:33 remaining in the third quarter. Trinity rookie RB Spencer Lockwood (Killingly, Conn.) added a pair of scoring runs in the fourth frame for a 48-0 final tally.
Trinity finished with 337 rushing yards and 179 through the air on just nine completions, while Middlebury ran 34 times for only 27 yards and three Panther quarterbacks finished 4-for-17 for 36 yards and an interception. The Bantams possesses the ball for almost 37 of the 60 minutes and scored over 40 points for the fourth time this season. Chipouras totaled 153 rushing yards on 28 carries, while Lockwood added 119 yards on 20 attempts. Lambert was 9-for-11 passing and added 56 rushing yards, while Girard caught five passes for 74 yards, and Schofer had three catches for 69 yards.
Defensively, Trinity senior LB Shane Libby (Scituate, Mass.) notched five tackles and a 1.5 sacks and junior Ian McDonald (Avon, Conn.) intercepted a pass. Sophomore DL Josh Brito (Wayland, Mass.) blocked a third Middlebury punt, and McDonald averaged 38.5 yards on four Bantam punts. Middlebury sophomore DB Jonathan Hobart (McKinney, Texas) led all tacklers with 12, while sophomore LB Peter Huggins (Houston, Texas) had 11 tackles, and sophomore DE Charles Roselle (Charlotte, N.C.) recorded three tackles and a sack. Rye averaged 41 yards on the nine punts that were not blocked, including a 71-yarder.