San Antonio - The Tiger football team rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to secure a thrilling 41-35 overtime victory over Chapman (CA) University on Saturday afternoon.
Following a missed field goal by Trinity in the first overtime period, Jacob Blankenship sacked the quarterback on Chapman's first offensive play, forcing a fumble that was picked up and returned 63 yards for a game-winning touchdown by Tiger linebacker Mitchell Globe.
Trinity entered the fourth quarter trailing Chapman 35-21, but the Tigers began their comeback with a three-yard touchdown run by Jay Foster with just 7:38 remaining.
Chapman drove down to Trinity's 31 yard line on the ensuing possession, but Kieven Boudreaux knocked the ball loose, and Robert Kuhne recovered a fumble to give the Tiger offense the ball back with just under four minutes to play.
The Tigers were unable to move the ball, and were backed up to fourth-and-16 on their own 32 following a Chapman sack. Trinity was forced to go for it with time running down, and though Chapman stopped the Tigers short, the Panthers committed a 15-yard personal foul on the play, and Trinity got a new set of downs.
Chapman drove to the Tiger 39 yard line, but were facing a fourth-and-one with just 18 seconds left. Trinity had too many players on the field on the play, which gave Chapman a first down. The Panthers dropped a 24-yard pass down to the Trinity 10, and Chapman spiked the ball to stop the clock with just a few seconds left.
Staring at a short 27-yard field goal attempt, Chapman was set to steal the victory, but Chris Stewart came off the edge of the Tiger line to block the kick as time expired, and the teams went to overtime.
In overtime, Trinity was unable to move the ball, and settled for a long field goal attempt. That kick sailed wide, and Chapman could win the game with any score.
Chapman's quarterback Ricky Bautista dropped back on first down, but Blankenship was on him quickly behind the line. Bautista tried to throw the ball away, but Blankenship hit him as he threw, and the deflected pass went backwards and towards the Chapman bench. Globe scooped up the loose ball and streaked down the sideline for the winning score.
Chapman scored three first-quarter touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead after the first 15 minutes, but Trinity outscored the visitors 14-7 in the second - including the last score with 19 seconds on the clock - to make it a 28-21 game at the half.
Trinity improves to 2-1 this season with its second consecutive win, while Chapman falls to 0-2 on the year. The Tigers also avenge last year's loss to the Panthers in California, and each team has one win in the series.
The game marked Trinity's first overtime win since the 2010 season, which was a 40-34 victory against Howard Payne (TX) University.
The Tigers also had 500+ yards of offense for the first time since 2013, and scored 40 or more points for the first time since 2014.
Austin Grauer completed 25-40 for a career-high 389 yards passing and one touchdown, and he also rushed for a touchdown as well.
Grauer is the first Tiger quarterback to throw for 300+ yards since 2013, and his 389 passing yards in a game are tied for the 15th-most in school history. He also became the seventh player in Trinity football history to reach 3,000 career passing yards, and now stands sixth all-time with more than 3,200 in his career.
Mitchell Globe finished the game with 10 tackles and the game-winning fumble return for a touchdown, which was the first Tiger fumble return for a touchdown since the 2013 season.
Jay Foster and Evan McDowell finished with two touchdowns each. Foster nabbed both of his scores in the fourth quarter - including a 49-yard catch-and-run to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. McDowell scored both of his touchdowns in the first half - the last of which came with just 19 seconds left in the second quarter.
Tommy Lavine finished with nine receptions for 140 yards to lead the Tigers, posting his second consecutive 100-yard game.
Trinity will continue its Southern Athletic Association schedule on the road against Birmingham-Southern (AL) College next Saturday at noon.