Wesleyan produced its first win on Trinity’s home field since 1997 and finished the season with eight wins for only the third time with Saturday’s 28-20 victory over the Bantams.

The Cardinals (8-1) were the Little Three champs again this season and wind up second in the NESCAC behind unbeaten Middlebury after the Panthers (9-0) held off Tufts 31-24. Wesleyan lost to Middlebury 45-21 on Oct. 19.

Saturday’s win was Wesleyan’s first over Trinity in five seasons. The Cardinals’ record is their best since 2014 and the first time they have won eight in a season since the 1969 team went undefeated.

Wesleyan’s Ashton Scott threw for 306 yards (as a team, the Cardinals a season-high 350 yards against the NESCAC’s top pass defense), receiver Matthew Simco caught seven passes for 133 yards and Sean Penney (two), Glenn Smith and David Estevez (one each) had rushing touchdowns.

In his final college game, receiver Dario Highsmith of Middletown caught two balls for 26 yards.

The Cardinals held a 14-0 halftime lead and stretched it to 21-0 on Estevez’s 11-yard run midway through the third quarter.

Trinity (5-4) pulled within 21-13 on Jonathan Girard’s 71-yard catch from Jordan Vazzano early in the fourth quarter. Smith’s 47-yard touchdown run with 8:20 remaining put the game out of reach.

Vazzano threw for 195 yards and three scores.

Game Notes

  • Wesleyan’s 18-member senior class concludes its career with a 25-10 record (.714), including two Little Three titles outright and one three-way share of the crown.
  • Wesleyan outgained Trinity 476-312. The Cardinals threw for 350 yards and rushed for 126, while Trinity totaled 244 yards through the air and 68 on the ground. Wesleyan also held a commanding 36:16 to 20:44 advantage in time of possession.
  • Defensive lineman Nick Helbig recorded a team-high seven tackles and a season-high 3.5 sacks to conclude his freshman season with 7.5 sacks. Defensive back Ben Thaw finished with five tackles, two interceptions, two pass breakups and one blocked kick. Wesleyan, as a team, had six sacks.

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