Abilene, Texas – The Tiger football team opened up its 2018 campaign with a 44-0 road win at McMurry (TX) University on Thursday night.
Neither team managed much in the first several drives, but the only turnover of the game late in the first quarter proved to be costly for the War Hawks.
Robert Kuhne forced a fumble at midfield that Trinity recovered on its own 47 yardline. The Tiger offense marched it in for the first score of the season nine plays later, as Evan McDowell scored his first of two touchdowns of the game.
After a missed field goal by McMurry on its next possession, Trinity jolted the home crowd with an 80-yard pass play from Wyatt Messex to Chris Stewart that made it a 13-0 Tiger lead with less than nine minutes left in the half.
A 12-play, 80-yard drive ended with a short pitch-and-catch from 11 yards out from Messex to Tommy Lavine to cap off the first-half scoring.
Trinity scored on its first possession of the third quarter as McDowell broke free for a 34-yard touchdown that finished off a 79-yard drive.
Jonathan Reyes hit his first career field goal from 25 yards away midway through the third quarter to make it a 30-0 game, then Charles Davis had an electrifying 68-yard touchdown run to set up a 37-0 Trinity lead after three quarters.
Zach Trevino closed out the night's scoring with a 14-yard rushing touchdown with less than five minutes to play.
Trinity opens the season with a win for the third time in four seasons and nabs its first shutout since a 14-0 win over Austin College in 2016.
The Tigers piled up over 500 yards of total offense on the night, while the defense held McMurry to 80 yards rushing and less than 300 yards overall in the game.
At one point, Trinity's offense scored on six consecutive possessions during the second and third quarters. Four of those drives went for at least 79 yards.
Running back Evan McDowell added another 100-yard rushing night to his career total, finishing with 129 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. He has now rushed for 100+ yards five times in his career.
Wyatt Messex tossed a pair of touchdowns and piled up 161 yards passing in his first career start at quarterback for Trinity, as well as running for 44 more yards on six carries and catching a pass for a 40-yard gain.
Trinity will make its 2018 home debut by hosting Hardin-Simmons (TX) University on Saturday, September 8, at 6:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Tiger Network.