Hartford, Conn., Sept. 28, 2011 - The Trinity College football team, which won, 28-10, at Colby last weekend in its season opener, will host the Williams College Ephs on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. in one of the most highly-anticipated matchups in the New England Small College Athletic Conference and one of the most storied rivalries in all of small college football. The Bantams, coached by Jeff Devanney (6th season, 35-6), and the Ephs are currently tied with Amherst, Hamilton, and Wesleyan for first place in the NESCAC at 1-0.
The Bantams are looking to extend their nation-best 39-game winning streak at home against an Eph team that has not lost a game since 2009. Trinity and Williams have dominated the landscape of NESCAC football since the turn of the century, winning eight titles between them in the last 10 years with a combined overall record of 126-20 since 2002. The teams have lost 11 games to the rest of the league during that time. Trinity's last loss came against Williams last autumn in a 29-21 game in the Purple Valley. Trinity's last home loss was also to the Ephs, as Williams defeated the Bantams, 31-10, in 2001 which was the last year Jessee/Miller Field had a grass surface. Trinity, which trails the all-time series against Williams, 36-31-2, is ranked No. 5 in the New England Division III Poll, while Williams is No. 3 in New England.
In its 16th consecutive season-opening win last Saturday, Trinity took advantage of its scoring opportunities, as sophomore Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.) scored the game's first touchdown on a 42-yard run, and classmate Hedley Jennings (Charlotte, N.C.) gave Trinity a 14-0 lead with a two-yard scoring rush. Jennings later found sophomore A.J. Jones (Freetown, Sierra Leone) for a 30-yard touchdown pass that put the Bantams ahead, 21-10, and sophomore Dante Astheimer (Pottstown, Pa.) added a late four-yard scoring scamper.
Trinity finished the game with a slight edge of 278-274 in total offensive yards, including a 185 -75 edge on the ground. Crick had seven rushes for 84 yards and sophomore Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) finished with 18 carries for 61 yards. Jennings completed all four of his passes for 59 yards, including three to Jones for a team-high 56 yards, and added a 41.2-yard average on five punts. Senior co-captain Herman Brito (Wayland, Mass.) paced the Trinity defense with seven solo stops and two sacks, while sophomore Stephen Goniprow (Barrington, R.I.) added seven tackles, and Matt Paskalides (Scarsdale, N.Y.) made six stops and broke up three passes.
The Williams College football squad, under the direction of Head Coach Aaron Kelton (2nd season), started its defense of last season's NESCAC title with a 24-21 win at Bowdoin thanks to three touchdown runs by Tom Wohlwender and a 30-yard field goal by Joe Mallock. Chris Cleary completed 11 passes in 20 attempts for 175 yards, while Marco Hernandez rushed for 71 yards on nine carries, and Darren Hartwell added five catches for 84 yards and a game-saving interception in the Eph end zone at the end of the game. Dan O'Mara recorded a team-high 10 tackles on Saturday, while Noah Goldberg added eight stops and two tackles for loss.