Football preview: Bates (0-4) hosts three-time defending NESCAC champion Trinity (2-2)

The return of junior quarterback Brendan Costa sparked the Bobcat offense against Tufts last Saturday. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates football team showed significant improvement in week four against Tufts and this Saturday the Bobcats welcome three-time defending NESCAC champion Trinity to town for a 1pm showdown at Garcelon Field.

Bates (0-4) is looking for its first win over Trinity (2-2) in football since 1979; the Bantams have won the last 23 meetings on the gridiron. 

Despite a 2-2 record, the Bantams sport a high-powered offense, averaging 31.8 points per game, tops in the NESCAC. After a 14-8 season-opening loss at Tufts, Trinity exploded for 61 points in a 61-7 win over Bowdoin. The Bantams followed that up by losing 32-27 at undefeated Middlebury and edging Hamilton 31-24. Trinity sophomore quarterback Seamus Lambert is the reigning NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week and leads the conference in passing yards per game (270). 

The Bobcats showed a much-improved offense against the Jumbos last week with the return of junior quarterback Brendan Costa (Westport, Mass.), scoring more points in the 33-28 loss than they scored in their previous three games combined.


Bates College vs. Trinity College
When: Saturday, Oct. 12, 1 p.m.
Where: Garcelon Field | Lewiston, Maine
Live Coverage: Video | Stats
All-Time Series: Trinity leads 37-7
Last Meeting: Trinity 59, Bates 16 (Hartford, Conn. | Sept. 22, 2018)


TRINITY LAST WEEK:

Sophomore QB Seamus Lambert threw his third touchdown of the game, a 10-yarder to junior WR Jonathan Girard to break a 24-24 tie with 8:24 left in the fourth quarter, and led the Trinity College Bantams to a 31-24 victory over the visiting Hamilton College Continentals in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football action at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity improved to 2-2 and extended its winning streak over Hamilton to 25 games and its home winning streak to 19 games. The Continentals dropped to 2-2.

Trinity marched 62 yards on five plays during the game-winning drive that included a 22-yard Lambert pass to senior tri-captain WR Koby Schofer that pushed the ball ahead to the Hamilton 10-yard line.  Lambert hit Girard to his back shoulder in the left corner of the end zone one play later for the clinching score. Hamilton drove into Trinity territory twice in the last eight minutes, but a sack by Bantam junior DL Jimmy Christiano on the first drive and a bad snap on the Continentals' last drive did in the visiting team.  

BATES LAST WEEK:

Junior Christian Sanfilippo (Gloucester, Mass.) scored a career-high three rushing touchdowns and junior Parker Smith (Claremont, N.H.) caught the first touchdown pass of his career but the Bates football team fell just short in a 33-28 loss to the visiting Tufts University Jumbos Saturday on "Back to Bates" weekend at Garcelon Field. 

The Bobcats (0-4) held multiple leads, including a 14-10 advantage midway through the third quarter before Tufts (2-2) responded with 23 unanswered points to go up by three scores. Bates refused to back down, tallying the final two touchdowns of the game and cutting the deficit to five. The Bobcats even got the ball back with 1:07 remaining but were unable to drive the field for a go-ahead score.

Although he didn't start the game, junior quarterback Brendan Costa (Westport, Mass.) returned to action after missing the Wesleyan game with an injury. He completed 19-28 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. Costa did not turn the ball over in a strong performance, rushing eight times for a team-high 62 yards as well. 

Bates outgained the Jumbos, tallying 373 yards of total offense to Tufts' 366. 

But a few big plays in the second half hurt the Bobcats' chances.

Trailing 10-8, the Bobcats got the ball to start the third quarter. On 3rd and 10 from their own 25, Costa connected with first-year Mohamed Diawara (Philadelphia, Pa.) for a gain of 19 yards. Later in the drive, Costa ran the ball 37 yards all the way down to the Tufts' four-yard line. It took two tries, but Sanfilippo punched it in to put Bates up 14-10.

The extra point got blocked and the Jumbos pulled off their first big play of the half on their next possession. Facing a 3rd and 10 on their own 30, Jumbos quarterback Jacob Carroll connected with Frank Roche streaking down the near sideline for a 70-yard touchdown pass, giving Tufts the lead for good at 17-14 after the extra point. 

BATES' AND TRINITY'S LAST MEETING:

Bates' Anthony Costa returned an interception for a touchdown but Trinity College quarterback Jordan Vazzano threw for 353 yards and five touchdowns and ran for a sixth score to lead the Bantams to a 59-16 victory over the visiting Bates football team on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Trinity held Bates to 102 yards and just five first downs in the game, while the Bantams finished with 563 total yards and 29 first downs.

Trinity racked up 332 yards of total offense in the first half, but led just 14-9 with 4:30 remaining after a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown by Costa (West Springfield, Mass.). Trinity's Sameir Madden blocked the extra point and the Bantam offense erupted for two touchdowns in the final 1:37 before the break. Vazzano found Koby Schofer for a 33-yard score and Jonathan Girard for a 20-yard touchdown catch in the opening three minutes of the game, and connected with Schofer for a 27-yarder and Girard with a 30-yard scoring strike to close the second quarter with Trinity ahead, 28-9.

Bates' Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) accounted for the remaining three points of the first half with a 36-yard field goal with 6:40 remaining before the break. Vazzano finished the first half with 257 passing yards and four touchdown tosses. 

Trinity's Colin Beaulieu returned the opening kickoff of the second half 36 yards to the Bantam 46-yard line, and the home team needed just four plays from there to score its fifth touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Vazzano to Schofer. Trinity kicker Eric Sachse drilled the longest field goal in school history from 50 yards out to tie the Bantam record for career field goals with 23. Trinity's Nick Rose recovered a Bobcat fumble at the Bates 19-yard line on the next play after the long field goal, and Trinity capitalized with a seven-yard touchdown run from Vazzano that gave Trinity a 45-9 lead after three quarters. 

Trinity's Spencer Lockwood scored twice on short runs, and Bates' Caleb Bolden (Dover, N.H.) scored on a four-yard run after a bad Bantam punt snap gave the visitors the ball at the three-yard line to account for the fourth-quarter scoring. 

BATES' PROBABLE STARTERS:

MULTIPLE OFFENSE

LT 70 Matt Flanagan Sr. 6-6 313
LG 65 Josh Gendron Jr. 6-1 265
C  64 Jack O'Brien Sr. 6-1 249
RG 71 Nick Florio So. 5-11 270
RT 75 Julien Nicolas Jr. 6-3 288
TE 85 Isaiah Saunders Jr. 6-4 218
WR 1 Jackson Hayes So. 5-9 147
WR 88 Parker Smith Jr. 6-2 206
QB 3 Brendan Costa Jr. 5-10 188
FB 15 Matt Golden Sr. 5-11 219
RB 5 Liam Spillane Jr. 6-1 217

3-4 DEFENSE

DE 49 Nolan Potter So. 6-2 227
NT 99 Ramon Ruiz Jr. 5-9 262
DE 52 Jack Ryan So. 6-0 246
OLB 36 Mike Bulman So. 5-11 195
ILB 37 Peter Daley Sr. 6-0 211
ILB 53 Spencer Adams So. 5-11 216
OLB 55 Tony Hooks Fy. 6-0 206
CB 21 Owen Straley So. 5-6 158
SS 6 Jon Lindgren Sr. 5-10 182
FS 18 Connor Hunt Jr. 5-11 178
CB 14 Jose Calleja So. 5-9 176

SPECIALISTS

K 86 Simon Redfern So. 6-1 194
P 17 Thomas Formus So. 5-11 187

TRINITY'S PROBABLE STARTERS:

OFFENSE

QB 8 Seamus Lambert So. 5-11 185
RB 30 Draquan Jones  So. 5-8 190
TE 29 Joe Samuelman Sr. 6-1 230
T 72 Austin Baiardi Sr. 6-3 265
G 77 Matt Evans Sr. 6-2 240
C 73 Kyle Woodring So. 6-1 280
G 64 Alex Wukowitz Sr. 6-0 270
T 63 Kalvin Guillermo So. 6-1 260
WR 12 Koby Schofer Sr. 5-11 185
WR 1 DeVante Reid So. 5-11 185
WR 2 Jonathan Girard Jr. 6-4 210

DEFENSE

CB 4 Ian McDonald Sr. 6-3 205
CB 21 Jalen Weathers So. 5-10 180
S 26 Matt Patry Sr. 6-0 185
S 32 Matt McCarthy Jr. 5-11 200
OLB 57 R.J. Guardia Sr. 5-11 215
OLB 35 Robert Levine So. 5-9 183
ILB 33 Daniel Negron Sr. 6-0 220
ILB 42 Brian Casagrande So. 6-1 225
DE 67 Jimmy Christiano Jr. 6-2 245
NT 93 Hassan Azeem So. 6-1 270
DE 50 Devyn Perkins Sr. 6-3 240

SPECIALISTS

K 91 Kimball Winans Sr. 6-0 190
P 4 Ian McDonald Sr. 6-3 205