One for the Record Books

Fueled by the inspiration and leadership of graduating seniors, Tufts football has its best season since 1998

Tufts running back Chance Brady.

The Tufts football team ended its 2016 campaign with its best record in 18 years, capping it off with a road-game victory over Middlebury College and a record-breaking performance by senior running back Chance Brady.

In the 48-35 win over Middlebury on Nov. 12, the last game of the season, the Jumbos earned their best record, 7-1, since 1998. Brady broke Tufts football’s all-time rushing record, the single-season rushing record and the record number of touchdowns in a single game. Including the Jumbos’ 6-2 finish in 2015, the 13 wins in the last two seasons are the most since 1979-80.

“The 2016 season was a great year, and the Class of 2017 did an amazing job leading this team,” said head coach Jay Civetti. “They are scholar-athletes and leaders on campus.

“We are all very proud of what has been accomplished, but from the Class of ’17 down, there is a hunger to not be satisfied and a focus to never forget where we came from and what it took to get here,” Civetti said.

The seniors inherited a program that went 0-8 during their freshman season. “It was important to them that none of the classes below them experienced a losing season,” Civetti said. “They are a pretty special group. I am humbled and honored by their commitment to excellence.”

In his last game as a Jumbo, Brady rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries. He also caught two passes for 73 yards and two scores. He finished his Tufts career with 2,692 rushing yards to pass Tim Fanikos (2,654 from 1985-88) into the top spot in the Jumbo record book. While becoming the first Tufts back to gain 1,000 yards in a season since 2001, Brady’s 1,099 total this fall erases Keven Kelley’s 2001 single-second rushing mark of 1,079. Brady, who totaled 258 yards combined against Middlebury, is just the fifth running back in team history to accomplish the 1,000-yard milestone.

Brady’s five touchdowns against Middlebury broke the single-game record of four that was held by four players. He is Tufts’ all-time touchdowns record holder with 35; he scored 19 this year, including 17 on the ground. His two receiving scores against Middlebury were the first of his career.

The win in the season finale put the Jumbos in second place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Undefeated Trinity College clinched the NESCAC title.

Contact Paul Sweeney, Tufts’ sports information director, at

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