Trinity’s football team snagged their third conference win over Rhodes College (TN) last Saturday, Oct. 7, winning a tense game in overtime 40-34.
This win follows the Tiger victory against Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) the previous weekend on Sept. 30, when the team held on to a 26-20 victory.
When facing BSC, the Tigers dominated for the first three quarters, posting seven points in the first quarter, 14 in the second, and three in the third. BSC rallied with a 20-point fourth quarter.
A fumble by BSC allowed first-year defensive lineman Kale Ridge to recover the ball early on in the first quarter, and the Tigers jumped to a quick 7-0 lead. After two scoring drives in the second quarter, Trinity led 21-0 going into halftime. In the third quarter, Trinity’s scoring was held to a 34-yard field goal, but the Tiger defense stood strong and prevented BSC from getting on the board.
BSC began to rally early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass that brought the score to 24-6, but senior defensive lineman Alejandro Anzaldua sacked BSC’s quarterback for Trinity’s first safety since 2015. BSC’s late game rally came to a halt just in time and the Tigers were able to hold on to the 26-20 lead.
Senior running back Evan McDowell led the Tiger offense with 91 yards rushing on 21 carries against BSC. McDowell scored a touchdown in the second quarter.
“Last week, we came out relaxed and physical. We were mentally prepared and that allowed us to go out and play fast,” McDowell said.
The Tigers came ready to play against Rhodes and rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit to win 40-34. This was their fourth consecutive victory, and the Tigers now stand at 3-0 in conference play.
The Tigers struck first on a pass from Austin Grauer for an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Rhodes struck back with 20 unanswered points.The Tigers came out strong in the third quarter and scored 17 straight points to regain a 24-20 lead. Senior kicker Colby Doyal kicked in a field goal to start the third quarter, which was followed by a fake punt pass to sophomore wide receiver Tommy Lavine.
Rhodes regained the momentum with two back-to-back touchdowns to bring the score to 34-24, but Michael Edmonson, a first-year running back, kept the Tigers alive with a 91-yard kickoff return.
Doyal knocked in a 48-yard field goal to bring the score to 34-34. Grauer found Lavine for an 18-yard touchdown that ended the game a few plays later.
Lavine caught three touchdown passes and led all receivers with 144 receiving yards.
“I was just fortunate to be the guy to catch them. Austin threw great balls and our O-line was protecting well,” Lavine said.
The Tigers are excited about their success, but know that they have to stay focused on what they are trying to accomplish.
“The biggest objective to keep this streak alive is to avoid complacency. When a team starts to rack up wins consecutively, they begin to think that wins will come automatically without much effort,” said Kievan Boudreaux-Bostic, sophomore linebacker.
“The biggest thing for us is to keep the intensity and continue to have a competitive fire,” Boudreaux-Bostic said.
The team keeps their end goal in mind all week during practice, and they watch it come to fruition with win after win each week.
“We have a goal of being champions. It’s written throughout our code and part of our standard. It drives our team as we continue to make our impression on this new conference every week,” McDowell said.
The Tigers will play at home again this weekend against Centre College (KY) this Saturday at 1 p.m. The 2017 Trinity Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted at halftime, as it is Trinity’s annual Alumni Weekend.