MEDFORD - After capping his Tufts University football career with an historic performance at Middlebury College on Saturday (Nov. 12), senior running back Chance Brady was selected as the recipient of this week’s New England Football Writers' Association (NEFWA) Gold Helmet, sponsored by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The honor is presented to the Division I (FBS and FCS) and II/III football players who established himself for outstanding contributions to his team on the given week. Brady received the honor for the second time this year and third time overall. Harold Cooper of Rhode Island was the Division I winner.
Brady scored a school-record five touchdowns and gained 258 total yards as Tufts won 48-35 at Middlebury. The Jumbos' first win at Middlebury since 1998 gave them a 7-1 record that is the program's best also since 1998. Head coach Jay Civetti's team earned sole-possession of second place in NESCAC with the win.
While rushing for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, Brady also caught two passes for 73 yards and two more touchdowns. The touchdown receptions were the first two receiving scores of his career. The five touchdowns erased the previous record of four established by five players including himself earlier this season against Williams.
In addition to the record-setting five TD's, he also became Tufts' all-time leading rusher (2,692) and single-season rushing (1,099) record-holder during the game. He surpassed the career mark of 2,654 yards previously held by Tim Fanikos (1985-88), and the single-season record of 1,079 set by Keven Kelley in 2001.
At Middlebury, Brady scored twice as the Jumbos were putting 27 points on the board in the second quarter with touchdown receptions of 24 and 49 yards. His seven-yard touchdown run to start the second half scoring gave the Jumbos a 41-7 lead. After Middlebury pulled within 41-21, Brady's 18-yard run put the Jumbos up 48-21 late in the third. He had opened the scoring with the only first-quarter points on a one-yard run.
Brady became Tufts' first 1,000-yard back since 2001 and just the fifth ever, and finished the season with 19 touchdowns. He led NESCAC in both categories, finishing the season with 137.4 yards rushing per game and 14.3 points per game (114 total points). His 17 rushing touchdowns and 114 points scored are new NESCAC records. He broke the previous marks of 16 rushing touchdowns and 98 points scored by Williams College's Fred Storz from the 1998 season.
As the Gold Helmet winner, Brady received a plaque at the NEFWA’s weekly luncheon held at Harvard University on Wednesday. He was also named as NESCAC’s Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday.
Brady received the Helmet earlier this season on October 26 following a 165-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 35-16 win over Williams. He was also the recipient last November for his efforts in the Jumbos' 28-10 win over Colby. He rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 49 yards on two receptions.