Football Shares NESCAC Title with Amherst & Middlebury Behind 7-1 Record, Best Since 1997
Sebastian Aguirre '14 (#94, right side photo) connected on a 39-yard field goal in the first half and his Wesleyan career-record 87th extra point in the fourth quarter while Jay Fabien '15 (#80, left side photo) caught a TD pass midway through the fourth quarter, accounting for Wesleyan's scoring during a 40-10 setback at Trinity to end a banner 2013 season. With a 7-1 record, Wesleyan shared the NESCAC title with Amherst, which Wesleyan defeated 20-14 on Oct. 19, and Middlebury, which Wesleyan did not play, all with 7-1 marks. When Wesleyan last went 7-1 back in 1997, all three Little Three squads had identical 7-1 marks and shared the crown. Wesleyan's triumph at Amherst in 2013, combined with its 16-14 win at home over Williams Nov. 2, gave the Cardinals the outright Little Three title.
The Cardinals, who never trailed an opponent by more than seven points throughout the opening seven contests, found themselves in a 13-0 hole before the end of the first quarter as Trinity used a 44-yard pass play to set up its first TD at 10:11 of the first quarter, a three-yard spiral, but missed the PAT. The second Bantam TD came on a 13-yard run at 6:48 of the period. Aguirre then put home his ninth field goal of the season at 7:09 of the second quarter, setting a program record for three-pointers in a year, as he went 9-for-11 on the season. But the Bantams tacked on 10 more points before the end of the second period, using a 52-yard kickoff return to the Wesleyan 33 to set up a 38-yard field goal, and a halfback option pass of 22 yards to the QB for a TD after an interception gave Trinity the ball at the Wesleyan 30.
The lead grew to 33-3 as Trinty added a 24-yard fied goal in the third period and a 31-yard scoring pass at 9:26 of the final stanza. Wesleyan got its TD just 1:09 later when Jesse Warren '15 found Fabien behind the Bantam defense and a great over-the-shoulder catch resulted in a 45-yard TD reception. When Aguirre added the PAT, it was his 29th of the year, also a Wesleyan seasonal program record. The final points of the game came on a 60-yard interception return to the endzone by the Bantams in the final minute after Wesleyan had driven into Trinity territory.
Wesleyan came into the contest allowing a mere 9.1 points per game and just 240 yards a game on average to its opponents. Trinity racked up 376 yards while limiting Wesleyan to 270 yards. Wesleyan averaged 33 points and 398 yards of offense entering the contest. Warren, who had been the cream of the conference in passing efficiency with a 178.1 mark, was victimized by a tremendous Trinity pass defense as the Bantams picked off three passes (Warren had none on the year coming into the game) while breaking up 13 other attempts, holding Warren to 15-of-36 passing for 171 yards. He was completing 71 percent prior to the contest. Fabien led the Cardinals on the day with five receptions for 98 yards.
With the victory, Trinity extended its home winning streak to 51 games and ended the year with a 6-2 record.