Long-Awaited Gridiron Triumph
Senior Zack Trause caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and the Tufts defense came up big as the Jumbos beat Hamilton 24–17 on Sept. 20 at Ellis Oval. The win ended the Jumbos’ 31-game losing streak that dated back to Sept. 25, 2010. Many of the herd of 3,524 fans rushed the field at the end of the game, the first of the season.
Trause caught an 8-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Jack Doll and also had a 1-yard rush for a touchdown. Sophomore Chance Brady opened the scoring with a 32-yard touchdown scamper, and junior kicker Vince Falk added a 30-yard field goal for Tufts. Sophomore Mike Rando accumulated 199 all-purpose yards, including 126 on two long kickoff returns.
Tufts sophomore cornerback Mike Stearns recorded a game-high 18 tackles, including 16 solos. Junior defensive end Evan Anthony contributed six stops, including three for losses and two sacks. The Jumbos held the Continentals to 6 of 18 on third down and 1 for 8 on fourth-down conversions.
Hamilton quarterback Chase Rosenberg passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns, completing 30 of 50 attempts. He also ran 13 times for 62 yards.
One of Anthony’s sacks led to Tufts’ first score. His 8-yard sack on third down set up a fourth and 14, which Hamilton could not convert. The Jumbo offense took over and went 85 yards in 15 plays to take a 7–0 lead on Brady’s touchdown.
Rosenberg’s 45-yard run on the next Hamilton opportunity set up first and goal on the Jumbo 5. But the Continentals had a touchdown nullified by a holding penalty, and then the Jumbo D stopped them on fourth down.
After Tufts took over at its own 2, the Hamilton defense stepped up and forced the hosts to punt out of their own end zone. After getting the ball on the Jumbo 30, the Continentals needed just two plays to tie the score at 7–7 on a 24-yard pass play at 13:05 of the second.
Rando, who opened the game with a 59-yard kickoff return, brought one back 67 yards to the Hamilton 16, setting up Falk’s field goal. The Jumbos led 10–7 at 11:41 of the second and never trailed again.
An 11-yard sack by Anthony forced a Hamilton punt, and the Jumbos scored for the second straight possession. They went 45 yards in nine plays, including a 15-yard Rando reception from Doll to convert a third down. Trause scored from 8 yards out on third and goal with 7:43 on the clock. The extra point hit the upright and missed, putting Tufts’ halftime lead at 16–7.
The Continentals posed the first scoring threat of the third quarter, moving to the Jumbo 24 with a 48-yard reception by Ensley and an additional 15 yards on a Tufts face-mask penalty. However, Tufts made another fourth-down stop as junior linebacker Matt McCormack tackled Continental senior Jeff Hopsicker for a 3-yard loss.
Hamilton closed the gap to 16–10 after a Jumbo fake punt failed. The Continentals took over at the Jumbo 28 and scored with a 28-yard field goal from freshman Zach Altneu with 2:02 remaining in the third.
Brady returned a short Continental kickoff 24 yards to midfield. After marching up the field and a pass interference call against Hamilton, the Jumbos had a first and goal on the 1. Trause took it in with 13:08 left in the fourth, and Doll connected with junior tight end Xavier Frey on a two-point conversion for a 24–10 Jumbo margin.
Hamilton made it interesting, though. With 2:35 left in the game, the Continentals went 57 yards in eight plays to cut the gap to 24–17, with 25 seconds remaining.
That forced an on-side kick, which Jumbo junior Jack Cooleen recovered to seal the victory.
Brady finished with 69 yards on 17 carries for Tufts, while Doll completed 13 of 19 passes for 107 yards. Rando’s seven catches for 53 yards led the winners. The Jumbos scored on four of their five trips into the red zone, while the defense recorded four sacks for 36 yards in losses.
Hamilton, which earned 23 first downs to 12 by Tufts, possessed the ball for 34:39 compared with 25:21 by the hosts. The Continentals hurt themselves with 12 penalties for 117 yards. Hamilton has lost 13 straight dating back to 2012.
Tufts Sports Information Director Paul Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.