Courtesy of Mark Jaffee
Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American
As Waterbury native and former Holy Cross High standout wide receiver Trai Weaver sees his final weeks as a college football player in clear view, he'll cherish forever the memories he made Saturday, the day he did the unimaginable.
Weaver scored two touchdowns, the first went for 99 yards, and a game-sealing 72-yarder off a screen pass to lift Anna Maria College to a 36-34 win over Alfred State on Homecoming at the Paxton , Mass., campus, giving first-year head coach and Prospect native Dan Mulrooney his first victory after six straight losses to open the season.
Weaver finished with 220 receiving yards and teammate Jude Sampson, a freshman defensive end from Kennedy High in Waterbury, recorded 11 tackles and a sack, to share in the joy of the day.
Weaver's first one was a thing of beauty as the Amcats were backed up to their own 1-yard line.
"I was positioned on the right side and we're in a double tight end formation and our quarterback was in the shot gun," noted Weaver. "Our offensive coordinator (Steve Croce, former Holy Cross, Pomperaug and Cheshire High assistant coach) called the play. Our quarterback (Emmanuel Leake) was in the middle of the end zone when he got the snap. Emmanuel threw the ball to about the 20 or 25-yard line along the right sideline and I leapt over the defender and caught the ball right above his helmet. Once I knew I had the ball, no one catching me."
While at Holy Cross, Weaver recalled a 90-plus yard TD reception against St. Paul of Bristol, but certainly not as dramatic as last Saturday.
But Weaver wasn't done with the dramatics.
Later in the game, Weaver caught a screen pass with his right hand and sprinted down the field for a 72-yard score.
"Earlier this season, teams were double-teaming me with one guy in front of me and another over the top," noted Weaver. "But Alfred State didn't do anything differently."
Maybe it should have. In 37 career games, Weaver has 107 receptions, 1,893 yards and 16 TDs, which includes 39 catches for 771 yards and eight TDs this season.
"After I scored the second touchdown, I felt the stadium shaking," said Weaver. "It was amazing."
With three games remaining on his college resume, Weaver is already thinking about his future beyond graduation in May with law school on the horizon. He wants to return to his Waterbury roots and become a criminal defense attorney.
"I study hard and feel like I'm very organized and responsible and am always asking questions of my professors and coaches," said Weaver.
"The job is all about communicating with your clients and other lawyers and judges. I'll always be prepared."
Just like last Saturday.
"I'm not a big stat guy," said Weaver. "I just go out there every day and continue to have fun and that's the way it should be for everyone."
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