Hartford, Conn. – Sophomore RB Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 21-13 victory over the visiting Williams College Ephs in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity, ranked No. 5 in New England, wins its eighth straight game to improve to 2-0 and its 40th consecutive triumph at home, tying Mount Union for the longest home winning streak in the nation. Williams, ranked No. 3 in New England, drops to 1-1 with its first loss in 10 games dating back to 2009. Trinity's last lost at home in 2001 to Williams, 31-10, and has never lost a home game on turf.
After three series that ended in punts, Trinity put together a 79-yard touchdown drive that was highlighted by a 37-yard pass from sophomore QB Hedley Jennings (Charlotte, N.C.) to junior WR Drew Grombala (Cincinnati, Ohio) and a 15-yard run by Bunker, and culminating in a 21-yard pass to the right corner of the end zone from Jennings to sophomore WR A.J. Jones (Freetown, Sierra Leone) with 6:18 left in the first quarter. Six more punts followed before Williams used a 34-yard pass from sophomore Adam Marske (LaGrange, Ill.) to senior WR Tomas Kearney (Foxboro, Mass.) to spark a 64-yard drive to the Bantam 16-yard line, but a 33-yard field goal try by sophomore Luke Faust (Wellesley, Mass.) sailed wide right.
Leading, 7-0, at the half, Trinity took a 14-0 lead early in the third frame when Jennings and Grombala connected for 45 yards from the Williams 48-yard line to the three-yard marker. Bunker rushed off-tackle right to paydirt on the next play to finish the four-play drive with a score. Williams persevered, as senior LB Noah Goldberg (Newton, Mass.) knocked the ball loose from Bunker and recovered it at the Bantam 49-yard line, and got on the board four plays later on a 31-yard scoring pass down the right sideline from Marske to Kearney. Sophomore Joe Mallock (West Orange, N.J.) hit the right upright with the PAT, making the score, 14-6, in Trinity's favor with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
Williams advanced to the Trinity 26-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but senior co-captain Walter Fallas (Everett, Mass.) and freshman LB Rob Gau (Westport, Conn.) stopped Eph junior RB Tom Wohlwender (Tarrytown, N.Y.) for no gain on a 4th-and-2 to stop the drive. Gau picked off Marske later in the period just inside midfield and ran the ball back to the Eph 11-yard line. One play after a sack of Jennings by Williams senior captain LB Dylan Schultz (Lanesboro, Mass.) pushed Trinity back to the 21-yard line, Jennings found sophomore RB Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.) wide open down the left sideline for a third Bantam touchdown and a 15-point lead for the home team at 21-6. Williams kept battling, pulling to within a score on its ensuing drive on a four-yard toss from Marske to junior WR Darren Hartwell (North Reading, Mass.) with under a minute left. The Ephs recovered its first attempt at an onsides kick, but committed a false start penalty, and Trinity junior Rae Haynes (Hartford, Conn.) won the fight for the ball on the second attempt.
Trinity ran for 154 yards and held possession for 34:37 of the game, while holding the Ephs to 24 rushing yards on 27 carries. Jennings finished with 161 yards passing on six completions and 14 attempts, while Grombala's two snares netted him a game-high 82 receiving yards. Jennings also punted the ball 10 times for a 36.6 yard net average. Marske passed for 237 yards, completing 20 of 33 attempts, and Hartwell finished with eight grabs for 55 yards. Fallas paced the Bantam defense with 10 tackles and added a sack, while senior co-captain DE Herman Brito (Wayland, Mass.) had seven hits and two sacks. Schultz led all tacklers with 12 to go with 2.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. Junior Ladd Hamrick (Charlotte, N.C.) contributed 11 tackles, and senior Dan Canina (Carlisle, Mass.) added eight tackles and one sack for the Ephs.