The Mules hosted the second week of NESCAC competition, facing off against a challenging Trinity side who have yet to lose a matchup since October of 2021. The Bantams arrived in Waterville with momentum on their side after beating one of the top NESCAC offenses–Tufts– during Week 1, while Colby were looking to rebound after a tough one-score loss to Williams.
Colby won the toss and elected to defend first, and the defense certainly delivered. Julian Young `24 made two critical consecutive stops for no gain to force a Trinity four and out on the first drive of the game.
Colby managed to keep the momentum rolling on attack as they took the field for their first offensive drive of the game. A pass interference call canceled out an early sack from Trinity as the Mules were able to progress down the field to Trinity’s five yard line. Miles Drake `26 completed a pass to Jack Sawyer `25 for the first score of the game, followed up by the made extra point. Colby successfully climbed on top early against the reigning NESCAC champs; however, there was still plenty of time left in the ball game.
After receiving the kickoff, the Bantams were able to make their way down to Colby’s 35, setting up a 25-yard completion that put the Mules defense on the hot seat on their own 10. Colby managed to hold Trinity’s offense to a 3-yard rushing gain and two interceptions to set up the successful field goal attempt from the seven yard line.
The Mules were still up 7 – 3; however, Trinity quickly shut down any hopes of expanding that lead by forcing a punt from the Mules on the next drive.
Trinity’s offense relied heavily on their run-game to get down to Colby’s 40 yard line before Trinity quarterback Spencer Fetter completed a 23-yard pass to set the Bantams up on the Mules’ doorstep. Colby’s defense stepped up once again in the red zone with a critical QB-hurry from Payton Reid `24, a team sack, and a tackle for loss from Matt Goodman `25; however, the Bantams were able to slot a kick through the posts on fourth down to make it 7 – 6.
Trinity’s defense ramped it up a notch on the next drive, sacking Drake before forcing the punt on fourth down. On their next offensive drive, Trinity managed again to march their way into the endzone and set themselves up on Colby’s 2. Young, Wellington Pereira `24, and Jackson Murray `24 combined for key stops for no gain or a loss, before an incomplete pass on third down set up Trinity’s third field goal of the game to take a slight lead at 9 – 7.
Colby relied on running back Locksley Burke `25 to secure the first down on the next drive, but an interception put the ball back in Trinity’s hands with 4:40 to go in the half right on Colby’s 20. Sebastian Romain `26 came up with a big sack right out of the gate to force a fumble recovered by Andrew Hart `23, ensuring Trinity were not able to score off Colby’s turnover.
Colby was not able to capitalize off the forced fumble recovery, but Eli Soehren `27 did manage to pin Trinity at their 1 with a well-placed punt. Trinity ran out the clock to finish the half up by 2 on the trailing Mules.
Colby’s defense was certainly looking to apply the pressure right out of the gate after not letting up a touchdown to the reigning conference champs in the first half; however, the second half saw a completely fresh Trinity offense emerge from the locker room. First, their defense forced a punt from the Mules before the Bantams’ quarterback efficiently completed passes as they worked their way down to the Colby 4. This time around, Trinity was able to punch it in for their first touchdown of the game to bring their lead to 16 – 7.
On the next drive, the Mules were not able to answer; Trinity managed to return the punt to their 41 yard line, setting themselves up well to launch another attack. The Bantams only needed one play to secure their three-score lead with a 58-yard completion from Fetter. Trinity finally had control of the game, despite the Mules’ strong start. Their offense and defense would finish off the half by taking turns either hammering it in for the touchdown or forcing a punt from the Mules. The final score was 48 – 7.
As the Mules head into their Week 3 matchup away at Bates, they will certainly be looking to channel their first half performance against the Bantams. Both the Bobcats and the Mules head into the matchup hungry for their first win of the season in a critical CBB Trophy contest.
~ Rohan Sinha `24