Memphis, Tennessee - The Trinity football team defeated Rhodes (TN) College 24-7 Saturday afternoon in a Southern Athletic Association matchup.
The Tigers came out swinging early, and in the first quarter, Wyatt Messex completed a 30-yard pass to Tommy Lavine, which placed the ball on the Rhodes 18 yardline. A few plays later, on fourth-and-goal, Messex rushed for a touchdown, and Jonathan Reyes booted the extra point to put the Tigers up 7-0.
The Tiger defense fed off that energy and forced a quick three-and-out to put the ball back in the possession of the offensive. On first down, Blake Johnson unleashed a 66-yard bomb to Chris Stewart for the Tigers second straight touchdown of the game.
Rhodes attempted a field goal with six minutes to go in the opening quarter, but Chris Stewart speed proved once again to be too much for the Lynx, as he was able to block the attempt. Nic Hover recovered the ball and returned 1 yard to the Trinity 17.
Sixteen plays and roughly seven minutes later, Reyes booted in a 28-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 17-0 with 08:39 remaining in the second quarter.
The Lynx retaliated and scored their only touchdown of the game with 3:25 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers came out of the locker room after halftime on fire. The defensive held Rhodes to another three-and-out, which gave the Tiger offense a chance to work their magic.
On second-and-six on the Rhodes 17, Messex fired in a touchdown pass to Stewart yet again to put the Tigers up 24-7.
Both teams battled back-and-forth the rest of the way, but neither was able to score again.
Early in the fourth however, Matthew Willis forced and recovered a Rhodes fumble on the Tigers 15. The 11-play series resulted in a 35-yard touchback.
In the final minutes the Lynx pushed hard to the Trinity 19, but the Tigers took possession and claimed the victory.
The Tigers won their second straight game and improved to 3-2 overall, and 2-1 in SAA competition. The Lynx dropped to 4-2 and 2-2 SAA.
Trinity leads the series 20-12-0 and recorded a fourth consecutive win over the Lynx. The two teams resumed their rivalry last season after a five-year hiatus with the Tigers winning a 40-34 overtime home game.
Wyatt Messex completed 12-21 passes for his second 200+ yard passing game of the season. He also recorded one passing and one rushing touchdown. He now has 831 passing yards and eight touchdowns this season, along with two rushing touchdowns.
Chris Stewart snagged five passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. This marks his second 100+ yard receiving game of the season, and he leads the team with 446 receiving yards and three touchdowns this season.
Tommy Lavine made four receptions for 77 yards. Lavine has now racked up 1,634 career receiving yards.
Evan McDowell led Trinity's ground game with 63 yards rushing and leads the Tigers with 396 yards and three touchdowns. McDowell has chalked up 1,580 yards rushing in his career.
Jonathan Reyes is now 3-3 on field goals this season.
KaDarius Lee led the Tigers with eight tackles, which is the most in his career.
The Tigers passed for a season-high 275 yards and rushed for 126, amassing 401 yards of total offense. The Tiger defense limited Rhodes to their lowest scoring game of the season.
The Tigers continue their SAA campaign Saturday, October 13, at Centre (KY) College in Danville, Kentucky. Kickoff is slated for noon EDT.