San Antonio – The Tiger football team exploded for a 52-35 Southern Athletic Association victory over Austin (TX) College on Saturday afternoon.
Austin College couldn't get anything going, but pinned Trinity inside the five yard line. That led to a holding penalty in the end zone for a safety to make it a 7-2 game.
After kicking the ball back to Austin after the safety, Nic Hover picked off a pass for the Tigers and returned it 33 yards to set up the Tiger offense.
Trinity wasn't able to move the ball after the long return and had to settle for a field goal attempt. Instead of the field goal, though, Charlie Sheppard took the pitch from holder T.J. Raniszeski nine yards for a touchdown that put the Tigers up 14-2.
After the teams traded punts, Austin put together an 82-yard drive to make it a 14-9 Trinity lead late in the first quarter.
Trinity lined up for a punt after its next drive, but a low snap led to the punter's knee being down and Austin took over at the Tiger 26 yard line. The Kangaroos took advantage of the short field to take a 15-14 lead after a short touchdown.
Neither team got much else going until late in the second quarter when the Tigers blocked an Austin College punt to set up the offense inside the five yard line. Messex Hit Austin Bertness for a three-yard score to ensure the 21-15 Trinity lead by halftime.
Trinity's defense intercepted Austin College on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, leading to another Tiger touchdown. Charles Davis punched it in on third-and-goal from the one to make it a 28-15 game.
After an Austin College punt on its next possession, Trinity turned the ball over deep in its own territory and the visitors capitalized with a touchdown to cut the lead to 28-22.
A missed field goal by Trinity led to another scoring drive for the 'Roos, but the PAT was blocked to keep the game tied at 28-28 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Trinity drove 61 yards on six plays on the ensuing drive to reclaim the lead at 35-28, finishing it off with a 23-yard pass play from Messex to Bertness.
Austin went three-and-out on its next drive, and Trinity's Chris Stewart returned the ensuing punt 56 yards to set up the Tiger offense for a field goal that made it a 38-28 game.
Austin completed a 77-yard touchdown just two plays later to keep the game close at 38-35 with just under nine minutes left, but Trinity strung together back-to-back scoring drives to close out the victory.
Trinity improves to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in SAA play, while Austin dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Today marked the eighth straight win in the series for the Tigers, as well as the 25th victory in the last 26 meetings to improve to 51-30-6.
The victory is the first 50-point game for Trinity since scoring 58 points against Southwestern (TX) University in 2013.
Tommy Lavine caught 11 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tiger offense. He is the first player since 2017 to record 10 or more catches in a game, as well as the first to produce 150 or more receiving yards. He last had 11 receptions against Hendrix (AR) College in 2017, as well as picking up 150+ yards against Austin in 2017.
Trinity blocked a PAT for the first time since 2017 against Centre (KY) College, as well as blocking a punt for the second consecutive game.
Charles Davis picked up a season-best 94 yards rushing on 15 carries, scoring one of the team's three rushing touchdowns. He also became the 28th player in school history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards.
Wyatt Messex was 22-36 for 220 yards and four touchdowns, recording his third career game with four or more touchdown passes. He also is the first Tiger quarterback since Austin Grauer in 2017 to compete 20 or more passes in a game.
Michael Edmonson finished with 92 yards on four kickoff returns, as well as piling up 33 yards and a rushing touchdown on nine carries.
Michael Jewett and Jeremy Harris had seven tackles each to lead a balanced attack from the Tiger defense. Jewett also had a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss in the game, while Harris also had one of two Trinity interceptions.
Nic Hover returned his team-leading third interception for 33 yards, as well as adding five tackles and three pass breakups to his stat line.
Trinity will be off next weekend, but will resume SAA action on Saturday, October 19, at Millsaps (MS) College at 2:00 p.m.