Hartford, Conn. – Sophomore QB Henry Foye (Madison, Conn.) threw for 225 yards and three touchdown passes, including the second of two scoring connections with senior WR A.J. Jones (Upper Darby, Conn.) from 12 yards away and 18 seconds left to play for the game-winner, to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 20-13 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. 2 in New England, wins its 11th game in a row and its 48th straight regular-season home game to improve to 2-0. The Ephs fall to 0-2. Trinity last lost at home in 2001 to Williams, 31-10, and has never lost a home game on turf. The 2012 NESCAC Champion Bantams keep pace with Amherst, Middlebury, and Wesleyan for first place in the league at 2-0.
Inside the final minute of the fourth quarter, Trinity junior CB Brian Dones (Philadelphia, Pa.) picked off Williams junior QB Tom Murphy (Whitinsville, Mass.) just over midfield on a 3rd-and-10 play and Dones' 17-yard return plus a 15-yard personal foul on the Ephs gave Trinity the ball at the Williams 28-yard line. Trinity senior RB Ben Crick (Middlebury, Conn.) rushed twice for over 10 yards each time to advance the ball to the Eph 12-yard line, and Foye found Jones in the back right corner of the end zone for the clinching score. Murphy threw a 35-yard pass to senior WR Greg Payton (Williamstown, Mass.) to push the visitors into Bantam territory with 12 seconds on the clock but his next two passes fell incomplete and time expired.
The offenses struggled in the first half, as the teams combined for 10 punts and just six points on a one-yard run by Williams senior captain RB Alex Scyocurka (Longmeadow, Mass.) with 12 seconds remaining before the break. Murphy threw a 53-yard pass to sophomore TE Alex Way (Scituate, Mass.) during the game's opening drive, but Trinity junior S Mike Mancini (Rocky Hill, Conn.) intercepted Murphy at the Bantam five-yard line to end the threat. Neither team made noise offensively until the end of the second quarter when Williams drove 54 yards in nine plays, culminating on the Scyocurka scoring run, but Eph senior K/P Joe Mallock (West Orange, N.J.) missed the PAT to the right. Crick ran for 64 of his game-high 106 yards in the first half, while Scyocurka had 52 first-half yards on the ground, and Way had two catches for 63 yards in the first half.
Trinity marched to the Williams 25-yard line to open the third quarter, but Eph senior LB Sean Hurley (Mahwah, N.J.) intercepted a Foye pass to keep the Bantams off the scoreboard. The Bantams forced a three-and-out, however, and put together a 10-play, 57-yard drive for their first home touchdown of the season on their next possession. Foye found junior RB Michael Budness (Belchertown, Mass.) up the middle for the score on a 2nd-and goal from the Eph 17-yard line, but rookie K Ben Rosenblatt (Newton Center, Mass.) was under pressure on the PAT and hit the left upright for a 6-6 tie after three quarters.
A 21-yard Murphy pass to Way keyed a scoring drive for Williams, as Murphy found sophomore WR Darrias Sime (Renton, Wash.) for a six-yard touchdown pass in the early seconds of the final stanza. Bantam sophomore Kyle Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.), who finished the game with a 41.7-yard average on nine boots, pinned the Ephs on their own five-yard line less than two minutes later, and a solid defensive stand plus a 12-yard return by Crick of a short punt by Mallock gave the Bantams the ball at the Williams 28-yard line with 12:13 on the clock. Foye threw to Jones in the end zone on first down, and Jones snatched the ball just before it hit the ground to tie the game at 13-13. Bantam senior S Brendan Bader (Brookfield, Conn.) thwarted the next Williams drive with a pick of Murphy at the Trinity 23-yard line, while sophomore CB Paul McCarthy (North Attleboro, Mass.) broke up a pass to end another Williams drive, and junior LB Rob Gau (Westport, Conn.) recovered an Eph fumble in Trinity territory with 2:06 remaining in the game. Williams sophomore LB James O'Grady (Carrboro, N.C.) made a key tackle on 4th-and-8 to set up Williams for what appeared to be the final drive of regulation, but Dones' interception gave Trinity the chance to win.
Foye finished 16-for-31 and Murphy was 21-for-43 for 266 yards passing, while Jones totaled five catches for 92 yards, and senior RB Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) added 67 yards rushing and receiving. Way led all receivers with 98 yards on four grabs, while Payton and junior WR Steve Kiesel (Excelsior, Minn.) combined for six catches and 114 yards, and Scyocurka finished with 81 rushing yards on 21 carries. Senior Kristian Lapointe (Abington, Mass.) excelled in the return game with 82 yards on six punt returns. 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 Gau finished with eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery for the Bantams. Junior Adam Datema (St. Louis, Mo.) paced Williams with 10 tackles and a sack.