During his days running over and around defenders at Walt Roberts Field, Topsfield’s Evan Bunker was one of the best running backs in Eastern Mass.
These days, he’s one of the best running backs in New England. Now a junior at Trinity College, Bunker leads the prestigious NESCAC in rushing with 644 yards in four games and his Bantams are 4-0 in the thick of the NESCAC title race.
Trinity is ranked No. 2 in Division 3 football in New England. Bunker is on pace to become the Bantams’ all-time leading rusher and could set a school and conference record for rushing yards in a season as well.
Bunker, a first-team All-NESCAC selection in 2011, entered the season with 1,791 yards rushing over his first two seasons. Through four games, his career total is now 2,435 — placing his fifth on Trinity’s career list. The former Masconomet runner is chasing David Kiarsis’ Trinity record 2,949 yards set in 1970, so Bunker needs just 514 more yards over a season and a half.
The NESCAC single season rushing record is 1,370, a number Bunker could pass this year as well. The Bantams have one of the most formidable rushing duos in the nation for Division 3, as Bunker’s teammate Ben Crick is sixth in the league with 309 yards on the season.
Bunker, who helped Masconomet reach the Division 2A Super Bowl as a senior, has four touchdowns this fall. He has 14 career rushing TDs while the Trinity record is held by former Everett standout Genaro Leo with 26.
Former Pingree quarterback Brendan Oliver, who is from Danvers, shifted to tight end at Trinity and has started all four games for the Bantams.
Speaking of the NESCAC, there are two other North Shore products in the league’s top-10 for rushing. Pingree graduate Pat George, who calls Gloucester home, had 224 yards on the season and ranks ninth. He has three TDs and one of his lead blockers is Peabody’s Larry Guinee, who played his high school football at Malden Catholic.