San Antonio – The Tiger football team remained unbeaten in Southern Athletic Association play with a thrilling 40-34 overtime win over Rhodes (TN) College on Saturday night.
Trinity rallied from a 34-24 deficit with 4:33 left in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and then won it with an 18-yard pass on its second offensive snap.
Colby Doyal kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game 34-34, finishing off a drive that started with the Tigers on their own 11 yardline with 1:16 left in the game and no timeouts. The Tigers converted two fourth down plays on that game-tying drive.
In overtime, Trinity's defense held Rhodes to a 37-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right, and the Tigers had a chance for the win.
Earlier in the game, it was Trinity who struck first with a 23-yard scoring strike from Grauer to Lavine to put the Tigers up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
It was all Rhodes the rest of the first half, as the Lynx scored 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 lead into halftime. Rhodes started with back-to-back field goals, then took its first lead with 1:11 to play in the half to make it a 13-7 game.
Trinity fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Lynx scored again on the first play – a 23-yard pass play that finished off the first half scoring.
The Tigers turned the tide in the third quarter, scoring 17 straight points to take a 24-20 lead, beginning with Doyal's 27-yard field goal.
On its next possession, Rhodes attempted a fake punt on fourth-and-four from its own 32 yardline, but the Tiger defense was ready and took over on downs. Trinity scored three plays later to make it a three-point game.
After Rhodes was stopped on a three-and-out, Trinity's offense also stalled near midfield, and Rhodes Legg lined up for a punt. Instead of kicking though, he dropped a pass to a wide open Lavine who turned it into a 46-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 24-20.
The game turned back to Rhodes once again, as the Lynx put together back-to-back scoring drives of 70-plus yards to reclaim control of the game with a 34-24 lead.
After the second score, Michael Edmonson wrestled the momentum back to Trinity with his 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that made it 34-31 with just over four minutes remaining.
Rhodes drove 55 yards on its next drive, chewing up valuable time on the clock, but stalled in the red zone. Facing a fourth-and-three from Trinity's 13, Rhodes tried to finish off the game by going for it instead of kicking a field goal. Trinity's defense stopped them a yard short to get the turnover on downs, setting up the dramatic game-tying drive and the overtime victory.
Trinity moves to 4-1 with its fourth consecutive victory, as well as improving to 3-0 in SAA play. It also marks the third straight win in the series against Rhodes, and the first game between the two schools since 2012.
This was Trinity's first home game in conference play this season, and SAA Commissioner Jay Gardiner joined former Tiger Spencer Chase as special guests during the coin toss.
Tommy Lavine led all receivers with seven receptions for a career-high 144 yards and three touchdowns – including the game-winner in overtime.
Lavine is the first Tiger player with three touchdown receptions in a game since Mason Lytal caught four TD passes in 2012.
Michael Edmonson's 118 yards on kickoff returns are 18th-most in Trinity history for one game, and the most by a Tiger player since 2014.
Edmonson's 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown is the longest since Caleb Urban returned one for 100 yards in 2008, as well as being tied for the fifth-longest in school history. It was also Trinity's first kick return for a score since Desmond King scored on a kick return in 2014.
Colby Doyal's 48-yard field goal was a career long for the Tiger senior, who beat his previous high of 47 from last year.
The 48-yard field goal is tied for the fifth-longest in school history, and is the longest since Garrett Biel kicked a 48-yard field goal in 2010 - also against Rhodes College.
Evan McDowell finished with 109 yards rushing on 21 carries, which is a season-high for the Tigers. The last 100-yard rushing game for the Tigers was by McDowell last season.
Globe's 14 stops make him the 23rd player in Trinity football history to record 200 or more tackles in a career.
Trinity remains at home next weekend, facing off against Centre (KY) College on Saturday, October 14, during Trinity's Alumni Weekend. The 2017 class of the Trinity Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted during halftime.