The Tiger football team enjoyed a successful weekend, defeating Sewanee 28–14 at Alamo Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Wyatt Messex recalls that the atmosphere of the off-campus stadium was different from a typical home game, but not because of the game location.
“Since it was Alumni Weekend, [head] coach [Jerheme] Urban brought in some alumni to talk to us about the importance this school and team has [had in] their lives, so it really sparked a fire to compete for something bigger than myself,” Messex said.
Messex certainly demonstrated this spark during the game. Within the first drive, Trinity gained a 7–0 lead on a six-play, 54-yard opening drive in which Messex found junior wide receiver Tommy Lavine for a 15-yard touchdown catch.
“It’s always exciting to start the game off strong and cap the opening drive off with a big statement. It really set the tone for the rest of the game and kept the adrenaline going,” Messex said.
Early in the second quarter, another connection between Messex and Lavine led to a 32-yard touchdown that resulted in a 14–0 Trinity lead. The Tigers were able to hold that impressive score until halftime with a notable interception by first-year defensive lineman Cameron Beaver. Later, Trinity’s offensive possession of the third quarter ended in a third touchdown pass from Messex to Lavine.
“Our offensive line did a great job of protecting Wyatt, our running back was picking up big blocks and the other receivers were running great routes. I knew we had to keep our foot on the gas pedal in order to win the game,” Lavine said.
Just before the conclusion of the third quarter, Sewanee had a twenty-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass. In the fourth quarter, with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Blake Johnson to Chris Stewart, the Tigers moved to a 28–7 lead. Sewanee cut the deficit back to 14 points with a 35-yard touchdown catch, but an interception by Nic Hover, junior defensive back, closed the game out.
During this game, Lavine had a team season-high eight catches for 132 yards and tied his career-best with three touchdown receptions. Lavine moved up to eighth in school history with 1800 career receiving yards. He is also the eighth player ever at Trinity to catch 20 or more touchdown passes.
“Tommy is an incredible player and leads the most talented group of receivers I have ever played with. I believe that this past game was his career high in terms of touchdowns in a single game, and I was more than happy to contribute to his success. It’s easy to give someone the ball when you can trust them on every play,” Messex said.
Lavine attributes a great deal of his success to those that support him.
“First and foremost, I want to give the glory to God. My grandfather is someone I have always looked up to, and I want to continue to make him proud on and off the field. My parents have been with me every step of the way, and have done so much for me. I want to give a big shoutout to my grandmother and all my siblings and family, The Medellin and lastly I want to express my appreciation for coach Urban and coach Gezella, who are constantly working with us to be better players and men,” Lavine said.
Additionally, Lavine complimented the performance of Messex both on and off the field.
“Wyatt has worked really hard since he has been here. He is young and brings a lot of energy for the offense and the team. I am excited to see him continue to grow as a quarterback and leader,” Lavine said.
Overall, Urban believes that the win against Sewanee was a great indication of the progress the team has made over the course of the season.
“Wyatt is really starting to come into his own as our starting quarterback this year. Tommy had previously played with Austin Grauer for two seasons, so it takes a little time for quarterbacks and receivers to develop chemistry. We are doing a lot of different things on offense this year, but the growing chemistry with our team is coming at a point that hopefully will help us finish our season strong,” Urban said.
With the win against Sewanee, the Trinity football team improved its record to 4–3 overall and 3–2 in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) play.
“I’d like to see us improve our record and finish out the close games in our favor, but there are things that can be taken away from every game — even the losses. There has been a definite impact by the upperclassmen that has instilled a desire for greatness within us, and I think we all expect more from ourselves,” Messex said.
Following the game, senior defensive back Jordan Williams was nominated as the SAA Defensive Player of the Week.
“Jordan earned this title because he played very well. It was also nice seeing Nic Hover make the big interception at the end of the game,” Urban said.
Next week, the Tigers will travel to take on Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
“We are taking each game one at a time. Right now it’s Hendrix week, and that’s the only thing on our mind,” Lavine said.