Football Is Solid In Impressive Opener
Trinity 21 : Colby 7
By Colin Ruane: Sports Writer
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of students and parents, the Bantam
football squad started off the 1998 NESCAC season on the right foot.
Even with last year's leading rusher, Sherman Francis '99,
on the sidelines due to a pulled hamstring, Trinity dominated the
Colby White Mules throughout all four quarters of play. This
domination fueled by outstanding play by the defense and a noticeably
improved performance by the offense gave the Bantams their first
regular season victory with a final score of 21-7.
At the end of the first quarter, Trinity already had a 14-7 lead on
Colby due to the impressive play of first time starter quarterback
Liam McNeilly '00, who connected with halfback and captain Marc
Maccarini '99 for a 22-yard touchdown pass early in the game.
The offense seemed to break out of their 6-play base offense,
deciding to let McNeilly throw the ball, resulting in the first
Trinity touchdown of the 1998 season, putting the Bantams up 7-0.
However, the White Mules battled right back and met Trinity at 7 when
they recovered a fumble at the Trinity 25 yard-line, running it in to
tie the score. To break the tie, runningback Mike Ladd '00 took
the ball for a 18-yard run into the end zone, solidifying a lead
which Trinity would not relinquish.
The overpowering play of the Bantams' defense was evident
throughout the first two quarters of the game, but it became obvious
early in the third quarter when linebackers Jeff Iudice '00,
Dale Phelps '00 and Brian Lahaie '00 personally introduced
the Colby quarterback to the fresh grass of Jessee Field by violently
slamming him to the ground. Ultimately, the Colby quarterback left
the game with an ankle injury, feeling the wrath of the Trinity
defense. This play would be the one that put Trinity up 21-7. When
Colby's quarterback was taken down, he released the ball, which
was picked off by free saftey Sean Cooney '99, who ran it in for
73 yards, giving Trinity a cushioned lead and eventually the win.
The real highlight of this game was the dominating and reliable play
of the Bantams' defense. Linemen Blue Eaves '00 and Nate
Barad '00 put up an outstanding performance, stopping any
attempt from Colby to move up field. All in all, the Bantam defense
was responsible for holding Colby to just four first downs and 87
yards throughout the second half of Saturday's game. The above
average performance of the defensive line is what allowed Trinity to
clinch the win over Colby in the season opener.
As for the offense, it was apparent that they were having a few problems completing plays in the air, but on the ground there seemed to be no problem at all.
Although McNeilly's first appearance as starting quarterback
wasn't perfect, finishing 6 for 12 with a total of 83 yards, he
came through on the ground attack, assisting running back Maccarini
with quite a few successful hand-offs. The Bantams' ground team
ended up rushing for 173 yards against Colby and Maccarini
highlighted the offensive play by gaining 82 of those 173 yards
himself. The Trinity offense came through on some big plays to give
Trinity the 21-7 win, but it seemed as though they were supported by
a Bantam defense who gave them preferred field positions.
At the end of the season opener, Trinity fans, coaches and players alike were pleased with the outcome. It may be back to the drawing board for the offense, who struggled a bit during this game against Colby. The defense, however, which now seems to be fueling Trinity toward a NESCAC championship, played an outstanding game and should continue their terror next week when the Bantams battle the Williams Ephs.
NOTE: This document belongs to the Trinity College Tripod. I am storing it here because the Tripod doesn't keep an archive of past articles.