Photo by Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh
Trinity football secured a 20–10 victory against Birmingham-Southern College in the Tigers’ final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game was the team’s sixth win in a row with each victory coming against Southern Athletic Association (SAA) foes.
Despite Birmingham-Southern scoring first, the Tigers were ahead 13–3 by halftime.
“Getting an early lead in any game is huge. It allows us as a team to relax a little and play our game, not try to force anything. It was especially important in this game because they liked to run the ball and that took a lot of extra time off the clock,” said first-year linebacker Caleb Harmel.
The final touchdown of the game came from junior quarterback Wyatt Messex to sophomore wide receiver Austin Bertness. The play resulted in a 20–10 advantage for the home team, which the Trinity defense maintained until the clock ran out. The victory improved the Tigers’ record to 7–2 for the year and 6–1 in SAA conference play.
Additionally, the Tigers celebrated the final regular season home game for the team’s class of 2020. After four years of playing for the team, senior and captain Tommy Lavine still remembers exactly why he chose to join the Trinity football program.
“I visited Trinity during the second semester of my senior year after a high school coach told me about how good Coach [Jerheme] Urban was at being a mentor in the game and in life. I felt a close connection with the coaches and players when I came and was also impressed by the academic standings of the university. Once I got here, I met some great friends on the team that have become brothers to me,” Lavine said.
Senior and captain Nic Hover explains that his role on the team has changed both strategically and socially over the last four years.
“During my first year, I got playing time on special teams and played a little bit on defense, and after that season I really strived to work my hardest to earn more playing time as a sophomore. During my second year, I earned a starting spot on the defense, but I missed the second half of the season due to thumb surgery. I was in a supportive and motivating role that year, and it really changed my perspective on what being a good teammate truly means,” Hover said. “My junior year I started the whole season and was awarded 1st team all-conference, and it really helped me grow into more of a leadership role. As a senior, I was voted as a team captain by my teammates. It has been a great honor leading these men during my last season of college football.”
For Lavine, one last home game allowed him to look back at past seasons while also looking forward to the future of Tiger football.
“There is nothing better than a win at home in front of our families and supporters. I look forward to the success we have had this season continuing in the future,” Lavine said.
Hover expressed pride in closing out his last game at Trinity with a big conference win.
“It felt absolutely incredible to end my home career with a win. [Birmingham-Southern] was a really good opponent, but our team did an outstanding job of overcoming all kinds of adversity and getting the job done one last time on our home field,” Hover said.
Next weekend, the team will travel to Memphis to take on Rhodes College in the regular-season finale. The game’s result will heavily influence the team’s chance at playing in the postseason.
“This last game in Memphis is a huge game for all of us. If we win, we will have accomplished our main goal of the season, of being conference champions. There are no guarantees of a playoff spot, but that is out of our control. We just need to continue playing at a high level and get a win, and we will see what happens from there. Our only goal for this last regular-season game is to come away with a big win,” Hover said.