Schmidt '20, Bierman '21 score touchdowns in football setback

Joe Schmidt '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)
Joe Schmidt '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)

Hamilton College jumped out to a 13-0 lead but Trinity College scored 41 unanswered points and the Bantams posted a 41-13 NESCAC football win at Trinity's Jessee/Miller Field on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Schmidt '20 caught six passes for 83 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown from Kenny Gray '20. Schmidt also completed a 30-yard pass to Christian Donahoe '20. Schmidt is second in the conference with five receiving touchdowns and third with 98.3 receiving yards per game. He has scored seven touchdowns with the Continentals.

Mitch Bierman '21 carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards and scored his second touchdown in as many weeks. Gray was 15 of 30 passing for 147 yards. Hamilton (0-4 NESCAC) finished with 273 yards of offense. On special teams, Billy Wagner '20 averaged 39.6 yards on nine punts, including one that traveled 56 yards. Sam Robinson '20 racked up 115 yards in kick returns.

Sean Tolton '19 was credited with a career-high 10 tackles (nine solo) and forced a fumble for the Continentals. Colby Jones '19 chipped in nine stops and came up with the sixth interception of his Hamilton career. Tyler Hudson '19, who leads the NESCAC with 12 tackles per game, recorded eight and recovered a fumble. Justin Leigh '20 picked off his second pass this year and returned it 20 yards.

Sonny Puzzo was 26-for-38 for 378 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bantams, who are 4-0 and have won their last 13. Koby Schofer caught 10 passes for 202 yards and a score, and Dakota Foster added four receptions for 74 yards. Max Chipouras ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Trinity racked up 26 first downs and 594 yards of offense, but the Bantams were flagged 13 times for 102 yards in penalties.

Eric Sachse was perfect on five extra-point attempts and a pair of field goal tries for Trinity. Sachse also pinned two of his three punts inside the Continentals' 20-yard line. Colin Beaulieu returned a kickoff 63 yards. Shane Libby led the defense with eight tackles, Will Dencker chipped in seven stops and Brandon Blaise blocked an extra point try.

The Bantams had allowed just nine points in three games entering the weekend, but Hamilton scored 13 points in the first quarter thanks to a pair of Trinity turnovers. On the Bantams' third play from scrimmage, Leigh intercepted a pass and returned it to the Trinity 32-yard line. Four plays later, Bierman scored from the 2, and the Continentals led 6-0 with 8:54 left in the first.

Hamilton forced another turnover on the Bantams' next possession. Trinity drove to the Continentals' 19 but Tolton forced a fumble that Hudson recovered. Hamilton made two first downs and then Gray found Schmidt down the middle for a 51-yard touchdown. Joe Suski '21 added the PAT and the Continentals led 13-0 with 1:52 remaining in the quarter.

It took the Bantams just 94 seconds to respond as Max Chipouras capped a five-play drive with a 44-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds to go in the first.

Trinity committed its third turnover on its next possession as Jones intercepted a pass at the Hamilton 2. The teams combined to punt the ball three straight times and the Bantams took over on the Continentals' side of the field. On just the third play of the drive, Chipouras ran 7 yards to the end zone with 6:43 left in the second quarter. Sachse's extra point put Trinity in the lead for good at 14-13.

Three more drives ended in punts before the Bantams gave themselves some breathing room at the half. Puzzo was 4 of 4 passing for 50 yards and ran for 12 more on the drive that ended with his 1-yard touchdown toss to Ted Allmendinger with just 23 seconds remaining. Trinity took a 21-13 lead into the break.

All four of the Bantams drives in the third quarter ended in points. Meanwhile, Hamilton's third quarter possessions ended with two punts and a lost fumble. Sachse made a 21-yard field goal with 11:51 to go and nailed a 30-yarder with 6:08 left. Puzzo and Schofer hooked up for a 90-yard touchdown with 2:16 left, and Puzzo ended an eight-play, 95-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Joe Samuelman as time ran out in the third.

The Continentals didn't get closer than the Trinity 42 in the fourth quarter. Hamilton travels to winless Bowdoin College for more NESCAC action on Saturday, Oct. 14 at noon.