Trinity American Football got off to a poor start to this season with a 16-11 loss to UCD on Sunday afternoon.
The offense started poorly, with UCD bringing intense pressure and forcing a fumble which they returned for a defensive touchdown. Trinity’s defense struggled throughout the game to bring UCD’s quarterback and running back to the ground, but solid pass rush nullified any aerial threat – Erick Lomas and Jordan Mulvaney putting in some hard hits.
Throughout the first quarter Trinity struggled, but held UCD to only one additional field goal. Trinity’s immense pressure payed off with Omar Fayez sacking UCD’s quarterback multiple times, including the last play of the first quarter in which he managed to punch the ball out, resulting in a safety.
The offense improved in the second quarter and began building momentum. Quarterback Ben Dowling had time in the pocket to throw deep to Wide Receiver Conor O’Dwyer for the first time in the game – resulting in a 75 yard touchdown. A missed 2-point conversion left the score at 8-10. However UCD came in with a clutch punt block that set them up on Trinity’s goal line which resulted in another touchdown. With a minute left in the half, Trinity drove with purpose down the field – a deep completion to Conor O’Dwyer and a quick one out to Running Back Rory O’Dwyer left Trinity just shy of the halfway with 3 seconds to play. Dowling completed another deep pass to O’Dwyer who was sadly brought down at the 5 yard line as time expired – the score finishing 16-8 at the half.
Trinity’s defense got to work fast in the second half – a diving fingertip interception by Raphi Stärk killed UCD’s first drive and gave the momentum to Trinity. The offense drove down the field well with Dowling spreading the ball well, Stärk, O’Dwyer, Len Van Dalsen and Jordan Mulvaney all getting hands on the ball. Unfortunately the drive was left short on the UCD 10 yard line – Trinity settling for a field goal.
Trinity’s defense held their own for the fourth quarter – Solid line work by Blaise Connor, Barry Lysaght and Kels Eze stopped UCD’s running game forcing them to pass, with Stärk grabbing a second interception. The offense couldn’t capitalize though, the final drive ending on turnover on downs, and Trinity coming out second best on the day.
Trinity play Louth in two weeks and will hope to bounce back with a strong result.