San Antonio – Trinity's football team finished off the 2018 season by upsetting ninth-ranked Berry (GA) College 21-17 in a Southern Athletic Association game on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers scored with just 49 seconds remaining to sink the Vikings, capping a five-play, 53-yard game-winning drive.
Trinity's third interception of the game set up the decisive drive, which began with just 3:08 remaining in the game.
After both teams punted on their first possessions of the game, Trinity's defense came up with its first of three turnovers to stop Berry's offense. The Tigers drove into the red zone on the ensuing drive, but this time it was Berry that came up with the turnover.
After the Tigers picked off another pass on the ensuing drive, Trinity took the lead with a 42-yard field goal from first-year kicker Charlie Sheppard with 8:27 left in the half.
Berry immediately answered with a short touchdown pass to take a 7-3 lead, then after forcing a Tiger punt, struck once more before the half on a 64-yard catch-and-run to make it a 14-3 game with just 53 seconds to go before the half.
Trinity's final drive of the half led to a 45-yard field goal attempt, but Sheppard's try fell just short and it was 14-3 in Berry's favor at the break.
The Tigers took the first possession of the third quarter deep into Berry territory and got a 28-yard field goal to make it 14-6.
After both offenses seemed to stall a bit early in the third, Trinity brought the game back to life with a 74-yard catch-and-run from Messex to Chris Stewart to make it 14-12. Messex then hit Tommy Lavine for a two-point attempt that tied the game with just under three minutes left in the quarter.
Berry answered with a 37-yard field goal to reclaim the lead early in the fourth quarter. After trading punts, Trinity got the ball back at its own 23 with just over eight minutes left. The Tigers committed their second turnover of the game and Berry seemed poised to hang on for the win.
A Berry fumble was negated by a Tiger penalty, but four plays later, Trinity's defense came up with another huge play as Christian Matta picked off another pass near midfield to set up the game-winning drive.
After the Tigers scored, Berry drove down to the Trinity 22 with six seconds left, but Trinity's defense held in the end and the Tigers scored a huge home win.
Trinity improves to 7-3 overall and 6-2 in SAA play, while Berry is now 9-1 overall and 7-1 in conference. The Vikings won the SAA Championship and will advance to the NCAA Playoffs.
Wyatt Messex went 11-23 for 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading Trinity to 415 yards of total offense in the game.
Evan McDowell led the way in rushing with 86 yards on 13 carries, while Jay Foster also had 62 yards on 11 rushes. McDowell became the 11th player in Trinity football history to reach 1,900 rushing yards for a career.
Lavine finishes the season just three yards shy of 2,000 career receiving yards and is poised to become the eighth player in school history to reach that milestone.
Vail Miesfeld and Kievan Boudreaux led Trinity with nine tackles each, while KaDarius Lee, Nic Hover, and Aaron Hale each had seven stops. Hover, Robert Kuhne, and Christian Matta all had an interception for the Tiger defense.