Trinity football opens season with back-to-back losses to both Howard Payne and Willamette

The Trinity University Tigers football team took on the Willamete University Bearcats on Saturday, Sept. 13 in Salem, Oregon for their first away game of the season. The Tigers dropped their second straight game, with a loss of 34-10, giving them a record of 0-2.

The Tigers were the first to score during the game. The touchdown came at the end of a 63-yard drive in the second quarter of the game when senior running back Desmond King rushed for a four-yard touchdown.

The Bearcats answered the call with back-to-back drives that resulted in 13 points.

Just before halftime, the Tigers kicked a field goal to bring the score to 13-10.

“Scoring just before halftime gave the team a big morale boost before going in to the locker room,” said first-year  linebacker Jordan Williams.

Late in the third quarter, Willamette extended their lead to 20-10 with a touchdown. During the fourth quarter, the Bearcats scored two more touchdowns, extending the lead 34-10 and outscoring the Tigers 21-0 in the second half.

Turnovers plagued both teams. The Tiger offense turned the ball over five times during the game, but the defense kept the game close by forcing the Bearcats to turn the ball over four times.

Sophomore wide receiver LeAndrew Gordon led the offense with 49 receiving yards and 73 yards on four kick returns.

Junior running back Travis Williams led the team in rushing with 54 yards on 13 carries. King had 43 yards and scored the only touchdown for the Tigers.

The defense had a big day as well, holding the Bearcats to just 229 total yards on the day.

“It was fun to see the Tiger defense flying around making plays when we needed them,” said first-year defensive lineman Jacob Blankenship.

The defense was led by the linebacker duo of sophomore Julian Turner and senior  Connor Yorloff, with both players picking up 11 tackles each.

Yorloff  recorded three tackles that resulted in a loss of yards for the Bearcats, and Turner recovered a fumble. Senior  defensive back Jai Boatman also came up big with his second interception of the season during last Saturday’s game.

“It was a tough loss, but that day we learned we have the ability to play with a top 30 team like Willamete. We just have to be more consistent; otherwise a good team like that will be able to capitalize on our mistakes,” said head coach Jerheme Urban.

On Saturday, Sept. 20  the Tigers go to Alpine, Texas to play Sul Ross State University. Then they return home to play Pacific Lutheran University (Wash.) on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.