Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain RB Max Chipouras (Longmeadow, Mass.) ran for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 27-16 victory over the previously-undefeated Amherst College Mammoths in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action on a windy afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity improves to 7-1 with its fifth win in a row and its 17th-consecutive home triumph, and will win the NESCAC title for a third year in a row with a win next Saturday in the season finale at Wesleyan or a loss by Amherst against Williams the same day. Amherst drops to 7-1.
The first half was played evenly with both teams scoring two touchdowns and both blocking multiple kicks including an extra point on each side. Trinity junior Matt Patry (Medfield, Mass.) blocked a 34-yard field goal try by Amherst senior Andrew Ferrero (San Francisco, Calif.) on the first Mammoth possession, and sophomore Matt McCarthy (North Reading, Mass.) burst through the Amherst line to smother a punt by junior Henry Atkeson (Raleigh, N.C.) a few minutes later to set up the first score of the game. A recovery and short return by Trinity sophomore Xavier Francis (Bowie, Md.) gave the Bantams the ball on the Mammoth 45-yard line, and rookie QB Seamus Lambert (Andover, Mass.) found junior WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.) for a 16-yard touchdown with 2:42 left in the first quarter.
Amherst answered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that was aided by a Trinity face mask penalty and finished with a five-yard scoring strike from junior QB Ollie Eberth (Andover, Mass.) to senior WR Bo Berluti (Westwood, Mass.) with 12:27 on the clock in the second quarter. The Mammoths took the lead with an 83-yard drive, as Eberth threw a 41-yard pass to Berluti into the Bantam red zone and senior RB Jack Hickey (Melrose, Mass.) ran the ball into the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the three-yard line with 5:38 left before halftime. Trinity first-year Jalen Weathers (Chicago, Ill.) blocked the PAT to make the score, 13-7.
Trinity marched 75 yards in 10 plays on the ensuing possession to the game at 13-13 inside the three-minute mark of the second quarter. Lambert highlighted the drive with a pair of first-down completions to Schofer and a 33-yard strike to sophomore WR Jonathan Girard (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) to the Amherst three-yard line, before Chipouras finished it off with a three-yard run. Amherst sophomore Matt Albino (Cheshire, Conn.) blocked the PAT. Trinity nearly took a lead into intermission after an interception and 28-yard return into Mammoth territory by senior LB Dago Picon-Roura (Roslindale, Mass.), but junior Avery Saffold (Chicago, Ill.) executed the fifth blocked kick of the half on a 28-yard field goal attempt by Trinity senior Eric Sachse (Jefferson, Mass.) in the final minute.
Trinity outscored Amherst, 14-3, in the second half, beginning with the second touchdown pass of the day from Lambert to Schofer with 6:33 left in the third quarter. The Bantam defense stopped Amherst on 4th-and-4 from the Trinity 30-yard line thanks to a strong pass rush, and Lambert found Schofer down the middle from 33 yards away for the go-ahead score. Amherst thwarted another Trinity opportunity on an interception by Saffold at his own five-yard line later in the third quarter, and the visitors capitalized with a 33-yard Ferrero field goal at the 7:51 mark of the fourth frame to make the score, 20-16. Chipouras put the game away with a 70-yard touchdown around the right end on 3rd-and-3 with just under three minutes left in the game. A sack-and-strip by Trinity sophomore DE James Christiano (Middlebury, Conn.) ended the final Amherst chances.
Chipouras finished with 24 carries for 203 yards, while Lambert was 10-for-19 for 127 yards through the air, and Schofer led all Trinity pass catchers with 106 yards on seven grabs. Eberth was 17-for-35 passing for 217 yards, including nine to Berluti for a game-high 142 yards. Hickey paced Amherst on the ground with 54 rushing yards. Christano was a force up front with six tackles, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble, while junior Ian McDonald (Avon, Conn.) made a team-high eight tackles and punted the ball four times for an average of 39 yards per attempt. Senior Andrew Sommer (Larchmont, N.Y.) collected a game-high nine tackles, and classmate Andrew Yamin (Cheshire, Conn.) added eight hits and two sacks for the Mammoth defense.