Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College football team, which won, 20-13, against Williams last weekend in its home opener, will welcome the Hamilton College Continentals this Saturday, October 5 at 1 p.m. as part of the College's Family Weekend festivities. The Bantams, coached by Jeff Devanney (8th season, 51-7), are currently tied with Amherst, Middlebury, and Wesleyan for first place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) at 2-0.
Trinity, the 2012 NESCAC Champions, is looking to extend its 11-game overall winning streak and and its 48-game winning streak at home. Ranked No. 1 in New England, the Bantams have not lost a game on Jessee/Miller Field since 2001 or since replacing its grass field with its current FieldTurf surface. Trinity, which leads the all-time series against Hamilton, 33-11-1, used two fourth-quarter touchdowns passes from sophomore QB Henry Foye (Madison, Conn.) to senior WR A.J. Jones (Upper Darby, Pa.) to down the Ephs. Last fall in Clinton, Trinity raced to a 53-14 triumph over the Continentals on the backs of 100-plus rushing yards and two touchdowns apiece by current senior RB's Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) and Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.).
Against Williams, Foye finished 16-for-31 for 225 yards and three touchdown passes, including the game-tying and game-winning tosses. Foye hit Jones from 12 yards away with 18 seconds in the fourth quarter following an interception and 17-yard return by junior CB Brian Dones (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the final minute. Crick paced the Trinity running game with 106 yards while Jones totaled five catches for 92 yards, and Bunker added 67 yards rushing and receiving. Junior RB Michael Budness (Belchertown, Mass.) scored the first Bantam touchdown on a 17-yard catch. Defensively, senior LB Michael Weatherby (Atlantic City, N.J.) notched a game-high 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble, while junior DE Nathan Cyr (Kingston, N.H.) added five tackles and two sacks, and junior ILB Rob Gau (Westport, Conn.) finished with eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery. Senior S Brendan Bader (Brookfield, Conn.) and junior S Mike Mancini (Rocky Hill, Conn.) each came up with interceptions to end Wlliams scoring drives, while sophomore Kyle Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.) averaged 41.7 yards per attempt on nine punts and 59.8 yards on four kickoffs. Weatherby and Pulek were honored as the NESCAC Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, for their fine performances.
Trinity ranks third in the NESCAC in passing defense and pass efficiency defense with 165.0 yards allowed per game and a 121.6 opponent efficiency rating, respectively, and has forced a league-best eight turnovers. Foye is second in the league in pass efficiency with a 131.6 rating, having completed 25 of 44 attempts for 320 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bunker and Crick are fifth and sixth, respectively, in the conference in rushing with 178 and 154 rushing yards, while Jones is seventh in the NESCAC with 10 receptions and fourth in receiving yards with 138. Dones is one three NESCAC defenders with two interceptions this fall, and Cyr is the lone league player with two sacks. Senior LB Tom Haverty (Marion, Mass.), Mancini, and Weatherby have combined for 61 tackles and all three are found among the conference's top-ten tacklers. Pulek is the top punter in the NESCAC with 40.4 average per attempt.
Hamilton, under Head Coach Andrew Cohen (2nd season), is seeking its first victory of the season after losing its first two games against Amherst and at Wesleyan by a combined score of 58-13. Sophomore QB Colin Pastorella has completed 57.1 percent of his passes but thrown just one touchdown against three interceptions. Junior WR Joe Jensen ranks fourth in the NESCAC in receiving yards with 138 and seventh in catches with 10, while senior RB James Stanell is the eighth-leading rusher in the league with 122 yards. Sophomore John Phelan leads the Continental defense with 21 tackles (T5th in NESCAC), while Alex Mitko adds a16 tackles, four sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. Sophomore Patrick Donahoe handles the kicking duties, and averages 34.3 yards per punt.
"We are really looking forward to another opportunity to compete on our home field," said Devanney. "Hamilton does a good job of spreading out the defense and of blitzing the offense, so our guys are going to have to be up to the challenge."