WATERVILLE — The first half saw promise; the second left Jack Cosgrove in disbelief.

Shortly following Saturday’s home opener, the Colby College football team’s fifth-year head coach looked visibly distraught as he sat alone in the Mules’ team tent outside Harold Alfond Stadium. After a terrific start to the game, the Mules surrendered 48 straight points to reigning NESCAC champ Trinity in a 48-7 defeat.

“They turned 9-7 at halftime to 48-7, and it seemed like it happened in a heartbeat,” Cosgrove said. “It’s concerning. … They bullied us in the second half, quite frankly. We basically got humiliated here in our home opener, and we’ve got to go back and fix the things that got broke.”

Yes, a Trinity team that’s now won 19 of its last 20 games dating back to 2021 can bury you in a hurry, as Colby found out Saturday afternoon. The Bantams used a 30-point third quarter to turn a tight game into a dismantling after the Mules hung with the visitors early.

The game couldn’t have started off much better for Colby. Trinity (2-0) got the ball to start the game, and the Mules forced a turnover on downs just shy of midfield. Colby then mounted a 10-play, 55-yard drive that culminated with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Miles Drake to Jack Sawyer with 8:04 left in the first quarter.

Trinity, though, would dominate time of possession the rest of the half, making three drives inside the red zone. Yet for all of their success moving the ball, the Bantams took just a 9-7 lead into halftime as Colby (0-2) limited the visitors to a trio of Matthew Jumes field goals.


“I thought Colby did a good job on both sides of the ball in the first half,” said Trinity head coach Jeff Devanney. “I think they do a great job of coaching that defense; they make you execute, and we weren’t executing in the first half. We had to go in at halftime and make some adjustments.”

Colby’s quarterback Miles Drake throws a pass against Trinity on Saturday afternoon in Waterville. Annie Chadwick photo

Those adjustments turned a close game into a dismantling. After a 1-yard touchdown run by Tyler DiNapoli early in the quarter, Spencer Fetter hit DiNapoli and Sean Clapp for touchdown passes of 59 and 49 yards, respectively. Colby then took a safety on a punt out the back of the end zone, and Fetter hit Clapp for a 30-yard score to make it 39-7.

“Physically, they just kind of turned it up a notch,” Cosgrove said of Trinity. “It seemed like they were just crisper at everything they did. We turned it over and gave them a short field a couple times, and their playmakers just took over. They’re a great team, and you have to give credit to them.”

Fetter completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns for Trinity. Clapp had six catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and DiNapoli had 16 rushes for 83 yards and a touchdown as well as three catches for 64 and a score.

Trinity shellacked Colby in total yardage, outgaining the Mules 499-123. Drake went 15 of 29 for 114 yards and two interceptions, both to the Bantams’ Tyler Jameson. Colby finished with just 9 rushing yards on 28 carries, as sacks and a 17-yard loss on a botched snap for a safety ate into the rushing total.

Defensively, most of Colby’s breakdowns came in the secondary. Fetter completed multiple passes to seven different receivers with Clapp, DiNapoli and Nick Zalanskas each averaging more than 20 yards a reception. His three touchdown passes gave him 53 in his college career, setting Trinity’s all-time record.

“We’re a team of seniors, and it just seems like the past two times we’ve played Colby, they know they can play with us and play us tough,” Fetter said. “They came out and threw haymakers because in the first half, but we stayed cool, calm and collected, and our poise and leadership helped us carry out the game plan.”

Colby, Devanney said, was able to “outphysical” Trinity in the first half, something he added can’t usually be said about a Bantams program that prides itself on physicality. Once the visitors established some momentum, though, the result was a deluge that Cosgrove’s team simply couldn’t stop.

“They took it to us, plain and simple,” said Cosgrove, whose team will look to get back on track in a rivalry game against Bates next Saturday. “You’ve just got to learn from and get back to work. That’s all you can do in this game.”

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