Ray Jones set a Trinity team record for rushing yardage in a game by collecting 303 yards on 25 carries and scored a pair of second-half TDs to erase a 20-13 deficit and propel Trinity to a 35-28 victory over Wesleyan. It was the season finale for both teams as Trinity finished its 17th straight winning season with a 7-1 mark while Wesleyan finished 3-5.
Trinity scored three consecutive TDs after Wesleyan's John Pascucci gave the homestanders a 20-13 lead at 11:21 of the third period with his second rushing TD of the game. He set a single-season record for rushing TDs at Wesleyan with 13 this year as he paced Wesleyan with 126 yards on 30 attempts. But Jones, who broke the Trinity single-game record of 269 yards set by Dave Kiarsis against Coast Guard in 1970, helped give Trinity a 35-20 cushion with scoring runs of 90 and 4 yards, the first at 4:18 of the third period and the second at 4:51 of the fourth. Those followed a 46-yard fumble return by Mike Poremba after Wesleyan QB Jake Fay was sacked. On the play, the ball was jarred loose and Poremba picked it up for the score, which led to a 21-20 Trinity edge. The point-after kick was blocked, but holder Craig Borsari scooped up the ball and ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion, giving Trinity the lead for good.
Trinity QB Joe Mullaney rushed for 42 yards to become the Trinity single-season rushing leader at his position with 374 yards this year. Jones, the leading runner in the NESCAC, ended the year with 1,270 yards on 198 carries, an average of 6.4 yards a rush. He, too, scored 13 rushing TDs in 1996.
Trinity gained a 13-12 lead at halftime when Brian Byrne went 80 yards with a kickoff return for a TD. It was the first kickoff return for a TD allowed by Wesleyan since 1979.
The victory was a 10th in a row for Trinity over Wesleyan, dating back to 1986.
|1st Qtr||2nd Qtr||3rd Qtr||4th Qtr||-||Total|
|First Downs (Run-Pass-Penalty)||14 (8-6-0)||11 (8-2-1)|
|Positive Yards Rushing||217||372|
|Negative Yards Rushing||32||9|
|Net Total Yards Rushing||185||363|
|Net Total Yards Passing||157||80|
|Total Offensive Plays||73||56|
|Total Net Yards||342||443|
|Average Gain Per Play||4.6||7.9|
|Interceptions By: Number-Yards||0-0||0-0|
|Punt Returns: Number-Yards||1-10||1-6|
|Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards||7-212||3-94|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yards||0-0||1-46|
|Time of Possession||31:18||28:42|
|Third-Down Conversions||7 of 17||0 of 3|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||5 of 12||1 of 2|
|Sacks by: Number-Yards||1-2||2-17|
RUSHING: Trinity - Ray Jones, 25-303, 2 TDs; Joe Mullaney, 16-42, 1 TD; Greg Gagne, 5-15; Brian Byrne, 1-3. Wesleyan - John Pascucci, 30-126, 2 TDs; Tom Themistocles, 11-37; Jake Fay, 7-22.
PASSING: Trinity - Joe Mullaney, 9-4-0, 80 yards. Wesleyan - Jake Fay, 25-12-0, 157 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Trinity - Ray Jones, 1-27; Scott Andrews, 1-24; Rob Norton, 1-19; Greg Gagne, 1-10.Wesleyan - Nate Moore, 5-74; Tom Themiscotles, 4-64, 1 TD; John Pascucci, 2-15; Matt Perceval, 1-4, 1 TD.
PUNTING: Trinity - Joe Mullaney, 3-102, 34.0 average. Wesleyan - Rob Stager, 7-231, 33.0 average.