Trinity Football Bantam Blog by Matt Glasz'04: Entry #8
Still Plenty On The Line For The Bantams
Losing is a part of the game. Fortunately at Trinity the losses have been few and far between, especially over the past decade where the Bantams have a .898 winning percentage. And while this past weekend’s loss to Amherst was uncharacteristic in terms of the number and magnitude of mistakes there are positives to take from defeat.
The Bantams showed tremendous resilience against Amherst. A lesser team may have wilted under the disappointment and sense of futility that comes from falling behind by four touchdowns. Trinity however, refused to surrender and charged back from a 35-7 deficit and had a chance to tie the game in the final minute. In the end, the early miscues proved to be too much to overcome. However, the Bantams can’t afford to wallow in defeat for long. There is still too much to play for.
The Trinity-Wesleyan football rivalry is one of the oldest in American collegiate sport. Historically, it is also one of the most balanced. Trinity leads the series by a slim margin, holding a 57-52-1 advantage. Over the past decade, however, the rivalry has been decidedly less competitive.
The Cardinals have not beaten their NESCAC neighbors to the north since 2000 and the first eight of those games were decided by an average score of 40-8. Over this stretch the Trin-Wes rivalry was akin the rivalry that a hammer has with a nail. However, the past two contests have brought hope to Cardinals fans. In 2009 the Wesleyan threatened to break Trinity’s, then-35-game, home game winning streak but a 42-yard field goal by Tim Costello ’12 gave the Bantams a 26-23 in double overtime victory. Last season Trinity needed a Michael Galligan ’11 touchdown with 1:02 remaining to secure a 27-20 win.
The Cardinals head coach and Wesleyan alum, Mike Whalen, has done a good job putting the program back on track. While Wesleyan, once again, failed to win even a share of the Little Three title (a feat last accomplished in 2002) Saturday’s match-up could salvage their season. A victory would not only secure Wesleyan’s first consecutive non-losing seasons since 2002 and 2003 but would go a long way toward restoring the excitement in one of college football’s oldest rivalries.
As for Trinity, it’s Homecoming in Hartford and the Bantams can still claim a share of the NESCAC title with a win (Trinity would also need an upset victory by Williams over archrival Amherst). A win Saturday would also extend the Bantam winning streak at Jessee/Miller Field to 43 games and allow Trinity’s sixteen seniors to finish their careers with an undefeated record in “The Coop”.
The game will feature two of the top running backs in the NESCAC in Trinity’s Evan Bunker and Wesleyan’s LaDarius Drew as well as two of the league’s top 3 scoring defenses. The Bantam defense allowed 146 yards rushing against Amherst but 75 of those yards came on a single play. If Trinity can keep Drew from breaking off any big runs I don’t foresee the Cardinals scoring many points. On offense I expect Trinity will be able to move the ball on the ground though I’d like to see some early passing to open up the defense and potentially grab a quick lead.
My prediction is a 21-10 victory for Trinity in what should be a beautiful day in Hartford in front of a big Homecoming crowd cheering on the Bantams!
- Your weekly essays were extremely entertaining. Thanks for making the season a little more fun for us Bantams fans. (Lou Valenti)
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