Jackson, Mississippi - The Trinity football team opened its Southern Athletic Association era with a 28-26 win over Millsaps College Saturday afternoon at Harper Davis Field.
First-year running back Charles Davis gave the Tigers the early lead after scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, highlighted by his 52-yard romp that put Trinity in front 14-0.
Millsaps tied the game with two touchdowns of its own in the second quarter.
Neither team scored again until late in the third when Millsaps converted a 32-yard field goal. Combined with another field goal in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, the Majors cut the lead to just 21-20, and the game's outcome was up for grabs.
Trinity drove to the Millsaps two yard line on the ensuing drive, but the Majors stopped the Tigers on fourth-and-goal to keep it a one-point game.
The Tiger defense held as well, and forced Millsaps to punt from inside its own 10 yard line. Rhodes Legg then ripped off a 24-yard punt return to set Trinity up at the Millsaps 26.
Grauer needed just three plays to find Cort Cowart for the touchdown, and the Tigers took control of the game at 28-20 with less than six minutes to play.
Millsaps used a 55-yard run on the first play of its next drive to spark a scoring drive of its own, and the Majors set up for the game-tying two-point conversion. Trinity's defense held, though, as Jordan Williams broke up the tying conversion attempt, and the Tiger team held on to the narrow lead.
After Trinity's offense was stopped on the next drive, Millsaps got the ball back with one last shot to win the game, but just 55 seconds remaining on the clock. The Majors drove to the Tiger 32 yard line, but the potential game-winning field goal missed wide left as time expired, and Trinity escaped with the victory.
Austin Grauer completed 17-27 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushing for 32 yards in the game.
Charles Davis scored the first two touchdowns of his collegiate career, leading the Tigers with 81 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Tommy Lavine snagged six passes for 115 yards to lead the Tigers in receiving.
Rhodes Legg made six receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown, and had 114 all-purpose yards. Legg punted the ball five times for an average of 27.4 yards.
Mitchell Globe led the game with 15 tackles, including a QB sack.
Cash Crane intercepted a pass for the only turnover of the game for the Tiger defense.
Trinity put up 402 yards of total offense, with 247 in the air and 155 on the ground. Millsaps had 360 total yards, with 183 rushing and 177 passing.
The Tigers evened their overall record to 1-1, and stand at 1-0 in the SAA. The Majors dropped to 1-2 and 0-1 in conference play.
After the loss to the Tigers, Millsaps leads the series 21-18. The Majors narrowly beat Trinity 24-20 last season in Jackson. Trinity's last win over Millsaps came in a 35-24 win over the Majors during the 2012 season.
The Tigers open up their 2017 home campaign by hosting Chapman (CA) University on Saturday, September 23, at 1:00 p.m.