Trinity scored on two of three Middlebury turnovers on its way to a 26-14 win over the Panthers (4-2) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers controlled the statistical game, outgaining the Bantams (6-0) 449-262 on the day, while holding a 34:36-25:24 edge in time of possession. Middlebury returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Hamilton at 12:30, while Trinity visits unbeaten Amherst.
Middlebury got on the board first with a 10-play, 90-yard drive that took just 3:19. Quarterback Matt Milano hit Tanner Contois for 28 yards before connecting again on a 35-yard scoring strike at the 6:13 mark of the first quarter.
Trinity answered on its ensuing drive, as a 41-yard pass play from Sonny Puzzo to Bryan Vieira set up a 32-yard field goal from Kyle Pulek to make it a 7-3 game with 2:01 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Trinity's Darrien Myers broke away and sprinted down the right sideline to give his team a 10-7 lead with a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Panthers nearly answered, but a 31-yard field goal from Charlie Gordon was blocked by Brandon Blaise.
A sack by Gil Araujo on the Bantams' next series left Middlebury the ball on the Trinity 42 after a short punt. Milano connected with James Burke on passes of 14 and 11 yards before finding tight end Daniel Fulham down the middle for an eight-yard touchdown reception.
Myers struck again for Trinity on the ensuing kickoff, returning the ball from the end zone 46 yards. Trinity quickly marched down the field before Pulek connected from 25 yards out to cut the Panther lead to 14-13 with 39 seconds left in the first half.
Middlebury drove from its own 10 to the Trinity 13 in the third quarter, but was unable to score, as a 30-yard field goal went wide right. Will Becton picked off Puzzo on Trinity's next possession, returning it to the Trinity 42. Ten plays later, the Panthers turned the ball over on downs at the Trinity five.
The 14-13 lead held into the fourth quarter when Trinity took advantage of a Panther fumble. Starting at the Panther 34, Puzzo connected with Ian Dugger on an 18-yard screen pass before Max Chipouras scored from 14 yards out to put his team on top. The two-point conversion failed as the Bantams led 19-14 with 2:52 remaining.
After the kickoff, Middlebury started on its own 25 with two timeouts remaining. Following an 18-yard connection with Fulham, Milano was intercepted by Spencer Donahue at the Trinity 28.
The Middlebury defense held as the Panther were given one more chance, taking over at their own 28 with 1:17 left to play and no timeouts remaining. Milano was picked off on the second play of the series, this one resulting in Archi Jerome returning it 50 yards to pay dirt as the Bantams sealed the 26-14 win with 1:01 remaining.
Milano finished the day 33-51 for 336 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Fulham (71 yards, TD) and Jonathan Hurvitz (61 yards) each caught seven passes, while Contois (95 yards) and Matthew Minno (55 yards) each had six receptions. Hurvitz added to his 61 receiving yards with 55 on the ground. John Jackson finished with a team-high seven tackles and a sack, while Araujo earned 2.5 sacks with six tackles.
Puzzo finished 13-31 for 229 yards with an interception for Trinity. Chipouras gained 45 yards on the ground with a touchdown, while Myers caught four balls for 54 yards, finishing with 215 all-purpose yards. Frank Leyva led all tacklers with 13, Liam Kenneally had 11 with a pair of sacks, while Patrick Dorsey earned 10 stops.
Trinity converted on 3-3 attempts in the red zone, while the Panthers were 1-4.