The Tigers’ trip to Seguin last weekend included a 45-minute bus ride, a reasonable number of fans and a 31-7 win over the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs. Trinity is now 2-0 for the season with a combined score of 87-14 for the two opening games.
“The game went as expected,” said defensive cordinator Jim Dawson. “We expected to win; they didn’t surprise us with anything—nothing we weren’t ready for. I thought our kicking game did pretty well. The fake punt put a little bit of energy into the offensive series.”
Trinity got on the board first with senior kicker Garrett Biel, the SCAC Special Teams Player of the Week, kicking a field goal from the 27-yard line. Junior wide receiver Hagen Kattner then caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nyk McKissic after a fake punt in the second quarter. On the next drive, senior tight end Mason Lytal was open to score another TD and the Tigers went into halftime leading 17-0.
“The first quarter got off to a real slow start,” said sophomore wide receiver Matt Kennemer. “Defense was doing good; they did a real good job of getting us the ball back, and we luckily got around to it. We got a fourth-down situation that really helped spark the game and kind of got us going, and then found rhythm and got it going by halftime.”
After the half, the Bulldogs raced out of the locker room and were able to score quickly into the third quarter. Trinity responded with another McKissic touchdown pass to Kennemer. McKissic then scored a TD of his own after reaching into the end zone from a yard out in the final quarter to finalize the score.
“I think the team had a pretty good pace,” said sophomore defensive lineman Tomy Boboy. “Offense took a little while to get going and had a few mistakes, but once we were able to fix that, things went pretty smoothly. I think it was a great learning experience. If everyone does what they are supposed to do, we’re going to make big plays.”
Despite recording five fumbles, the offense put up the numbers to ensure the win over TLU with the three scoring drives in the first half that gave a comfortable lead.
“In the first quarter we had to figure out little bit of tempo,” Dawson said. “After the second series we were pretty much up to speed, so for the rest of the night we played our game, our stuff. Once the offense got rolling it made it pretty sweet, cause we had some long drives, so [defense] got to sit on the bench.”
McKissic, who was named the SCAC Offensive Player of the Week, connected on 15-25 passes, resulting in 263 yards and three touchdowns. Along with their touchdowns, Kennemer had three receptions for 89 yards while Lytal had three catches for 55 yards. First-year running back Travis Williams went for 78 yards on 13 carries while senior running back Patrick Granchelli had 73 yards.
“I think it was a pretty solid performance overall,” Kennemer said. “Obviously we scored 31 points – we could’ve had more scores with less turnovers, but overall it was good. It’s good to see everybody doing their job the way it needs to be done, and we could always rely on our defense to keep us in the game, no matter what. Holding them to only seven points, that’s great.”
The Trinity defensive performance was outstanding yet again, only allowing 167 yards of offense from TLU.
“I’m really proud of those guys,” Dawson said. “They played hard. They did what they were coached to do and settled in.”
Senior linebacker Thomas Puskarich had 10 tackles (1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss) for the Tigers while sophomore defensive lineman Tomy Boboy had five tackles that included 3.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss. Boboy was named the SCAC Defensive Player of the Week along with earning Beyond Sports Network’s Division III Athlete of the Week honors.
“The guys did what they were prepared to do, what they prepped on all week,” Dawson said. “The scout guys probably executed TLU’s offense better than TLU does. That and we had some young kids step up for us who are going to be great players for us. It’s guys like that, when they get their chance and they excel. Combine that with some of the returning guys, and that’s good.”
After two successful games to open up the season, the Tigers prepare for and look forward to their tough schedule down the road, which includes fourth-ranked University of Mary Hardin Baylor in two weeks.
“It’s going to be a great season; we can see that already,” Boboy said. “We’re starting off this season better than we did last year. It’s really starting to show. Even with the freshmen who are coming in already and playing very well, it’s looking pretty good.”
The Tigers will be on the road again this weekend, kicking off at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Sul Ross State in Alpine, Texas.