Trinityâ€™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, Trinityâ€™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 BSCâ€™s quarterback for Trinityâ€™s first safety since 2015. BSCâ€™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.
â€œLast week, we came out relaxed and physical. We were mentally prepared and that allowed us to go out and play fast,â€ 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.
â€œI was just fortunate to be the guy to catch them. Austin threw great balls and our O-line was protecting well,â€ Lavine said.
The Tigers are excited about their success, but know that they have to stay focused on what they are trying to accomplish.
â€œThe 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,â€ said Kievan Boudreaux-Bostic, sophomore linebacker.
â€œThe biggest thing for us is to keep the intensity and continue to have a competitive fire,â€ 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.
â€œWe have a goal of being champions. Itâ€™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,â€ 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 Trinityâ€™s annual Alumni Weekend.