LEWISTON, Maine -- Trinity demonstrated why it is the three-time defending NESCAC football champion, dominating every phase of the game in handing the Bates football team a 51-0 loss for the second year in a row on Saturday at Garcelon Field.
The Bantams (3-2) led 30-0 at the halftime with a 17-0 advantage in first downs. They scored three more touchdowns in the third quarter before finishing out the game with a scoreless fourth quarter.
The Bobcats (0-5) were outgained by a 416-105 margin in total offense, as a balanced Trinity attack gained 194 yards on the ground and 222 through the air.
Seamus Lambert completed 14-21 passes for 222 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He handed off to Tijani Harris 27 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Koby Schofer caught five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Matt Patry returned an interception 68 yards for the first touchdown of the third quarter to make it 37-0 in the visitors' favor.
Bates was forced into its first of eight three-and-out possessions to start the game. A short punt allowed the Bantams to start their first drive at Bates' 35-yard line, and they drove as far as the 19 before settling for a 36-yard field goal by J.P. Dallazem for the 3-0 lead.
After a Bates three-and-out, Trinity took over at its own 40. Lambert tossed a screen pass over blitzing senior safety Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) to DeVante Reid, set up with two blockers ahead of him. Lambert raced up the left sideline until he was knocked out of bounds at the 1 by Bates junior Devin Clyburn (New York, N.Y.), but Harris followed with a 1-yard plunge for a 10-0 Trinity lead.
Bates went three-and-out again on its next drive and Trinity took over at the Bobcats' 42. But after rushing for a first down at the Bates 20, Harris had the ball speared away by Bates junior Anthony Costa (West Springfield, Mass.), and Bates first-year Matthew Connelly (Wellesley, Mass.) recovered the ball for the Bobcats at the 30. Unfortunately for the home team, the ball was fumbled away back to the Bantams two plays later, as Lucas Folan wrenched the ball out of junior Christian Sanfilippo's (Gloucester, Mass.) grasp.
One possession later, the Bantams drove 61 yards on 10 plays, and Reid's four-yard rush made it 17-0 in Trinity's favor.
Trinity continued to build its lead in the second quarter, trading three-and-out possessions for Bates with touchdown-scoring drives of 57 yard on nine plays and 55 yards on seven plays. Lambert connected with Schofer on a 24-yard touchdown, lofting a pass into the back corner of the end zone where Schofer pulled it down over outstanding coverage by Lindgren. With 1:06 to go, after taking over from their own 45, the Bantams made it 30-0 as Lambert passed to a wide-open Harris against broken coverage by the Bobcats.
Trinity took a 37-0 lead after Patry's pick-six. Bates earned its first first down of the game on its next possession, on sophomore Jackson Hayes' (San Marino, Calif.) 7-yard catch from Brendan Costa. The drive stalled, however, and a short punt gave Trinity the ball back at the 50. The Bantams marched to the end zone on 11 plays, capped by Lambert's 13-yard play-action connection with Joe Samuelman.
A 46-yard run by Harris helped set up the Bantams' final touchdown. Then Lambert found Schofer open in the end zone for a second time, and their 13-yard connection made it 51-0 as time expired on the third quarter.
The Bobcats were able to pick up two more first downs in the fourth quarter -- junior quarterback Brendan Costa (Westport, Mass.) connected on a 28-yard fade pass to sophomore Christian Olivieri (Hull, Mass.) for one, and a 4-yard screen pass to sophomore Garrett Evans (Sauquoit, N.Y.) for the other.
Bates will play at Williams next Saturday at 1pm; Trinity will host Colby at the same time.