Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams dropped a 29-15 decision against the visiting Williams College Ephs in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity drops to 4-3 and sees its 20-game winning streak at home come to an end, while the Ephs improve to 6-1 with their second victory in a row over the Bantams. Trinity falls out of contention for a fourth-straight NESCAC title with two games left, and Williams stays one-game behind undefeated Middlebury. The all-time series between these historic rivals is now even at 38-38-2. Trinity plays its final road game of the year next Saturday at Amherst at 1 p.m. Williams visits Wesleyan the same day at the same time.
Trinity found itself in a 14-0 hole early in the second quarter thanks to a 38-yard punt return for a touchdown by Williams junior Frank Stola (Northport, N.Y.) in the first frame and a 14-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Bob Maimaron (Duxbury, Mass.) to sophomore TE Tyler Spiezio (Morris, Ill.) in the second. The Bantams scored their first touchdown with 10:55 left in the first half, capping off a 75-yard drive with a 25-yard scoring strike from sophomore QB Seamus Lambert (Andover, Mass.) to junior WR Jonathan Girard (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.). First-year J.P. Dallazem (Gainesville, Fla.) missed the PAT, however, and Trinity trailed, 14-6, at the break.
The Bantam offense came alive in the second half and scored on its first two possessions to take a 15-14 lead with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter. Lambert connected with senior WR Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.) on a 34-yard pass to the Eph 11-yardline, and sophomore WR Tijani Harris (Hagerstown, Md.) rushed five times in a row to get the ball over the goal line. A second miss PAT by Dallazem made the score, 14-12, with 9:14 on the clock, but another 34-yard pass from Lambert to Schofer set senior K Kimball Winans (Los Angeles, Calif.) up for his first career field goal from 18 yards out that gave the home team its first and only lead of the game.
Williams took back the lead with 7:59 remaining on a 36-yard touchdown toss down the middle from Maimaron to junior WR Justin Nelson (Brandon, Miss.), and added a two-point conversion on a reverse by rookie Paul Harshbarger (Schuylerville, N.Y.). Trinity advanced into Williams territory on its next possession, but a 20-yard touchdown run into the end zone by Harris was negated on a holding penalty and Eph senior Ben Anthony (Albany, N.Y.) intercepted Lambert in the end zone to end the threat. Williams sophomore Dan Vaughn (Fort Pierce, Fla.) added a 37-yard run and a trick-play, two-yard touchdown pass to Spiezio to give the visitors a two-touchdown (29-15) lead at the 2:22 mark.
The Trinity offense managed just 42 rushing yards, all on Harris' 27 carries, and took six sacks. Lambert finished 9-for-17 passing for 214 yards, including three completions each to Schofer and Girard for 82 and 57 yards, respectively. The Bantam defense shut down Maimaron for much of the contest, forcing incompletions on 14 of his 20 pass attempts and yielding just 85 total yards through the air. Vaughn led all rushers with 123 yards on 20 carries, and Maimaron added 74 yards on 12 carries. Nelson caught three balls for a team-high 58 yards.
Defensively, the Trinity linebacking trio of seniors Daniel Negron (Hartsdale, N.Y.) and Sean Smerczynski (Topsfield, Mass.) and sophomore Brian Casagrande (Madison, Conn.) combined for 34 tackles, while Negron added two tackles for loss. Junior DL Jimmy Christiano (Middlebury, Conn.) also had two tackles for loss, and junior Sean Kennedy (Hartford, Conn.) notched two tackles and two pass breakups. Williams junior LB Jarrett Wesner (Villa Park, Calif.) had 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack, while sophomore LB Coleston Smith (Ridgewood, N.J.) added nine hits, two tackles loss, and a sack.