College Football: Trinity Eases Past Middlebury 27-5

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY — Trinity ran its winning streak to 16 games, as the Bantams (7-0) picked up a 27-5 win over Middlebury (5-2) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers are home again next weekend, facing Hamilton at 12:30 p.m., while the Bantams visit Amherst.

Trinity scored on its opening drive, going 79 yards on 11 plays. Max Chipouras gained 43 yards on the ground before quarterback Sonny Puzzo scored on a keeper from six yards out.

Middlebury cut the lead to 7-3 on a 28-yard field goal from Carter Massengill with 1:05 remaining in the quarter. Diego Meritus gained 34 yards on the ground during the 79-yard drive.

Trinity added to its lead early in the second quarter on another six-yard rush from Puzzo into the end zone, as he outstretched his arms for the score. Puzzo helped himself out on the drive with 44 yards on the ground.

Middlebury’s Matthew Daniel blocked a punt at the Trinity 18 midway through the quarter, as teammateIan Blow returned the ball to the Trinity five-yard line. Four plays later, the Panthers turned the ball over on downs. The Bantams fumbled on their first play from scrimmage at their own four, as Robert Woodtackled Puzzo in the end zone for the safety, making it a 14-5 game.

Trinity took advantage of a pair of Panther turnovers to start the second half. Bantam Matt Patry caused and recovered a fumble at the Middlebury 46, resulting in a 27-yard field goal from Eric Sachse.

Trinity’s Dago Picon-Roura picked off a pass on Middlebury’s next drive, returning it to the Middlebury nine. Three plays later, eligible offensive lineman Austin Bairdi scored on a two-yard lateral pass, making it a 24-5 game with 8:01 remaining in the third quarter.

Middlebury drove to the Trinity 14 on its next drive, only to see it end on an interception in the Bantam end zone.

Sachse added another field goal at the 12:01 mark of the fourth quarter, this one from 33 yards out, making it a 27-5 final.

Middlebury’s Jack Meservy made his first-career start, replacing injured quarterback Jared Lebowitz. He finished the day 18-42 for 243 yards with a pair of interceptions. Meritus gained 42 yards on the ground, while Drew Jacobs earned 39. Maxim Bochman paced the receivers with four catches for 51 yards, whileMike Maldonado finished with three receptions for 37 yards. Wesley Becton led the Middlebury defense with nine tackles, Kevin Maxwell added eight, as each player had two stops for lost yardage. John Jacksonpicked up a sack in the game, giving him 11.5 in his career, tying him for fifth on the school’s all-time list.

Puzzo went 9-20 for 112 yards for the Bantams, also gaining 76 yards on a dozen carries. Chipouras finished the day with 182 yards on the ground on 33 carries, while Koby Schofer led the recievers with seven catches for 85 yards. Picon-Roura led all tacklers with 11 stops, including a pair of pass break-ups and an interception.