SHERMAN, Texas – Trinity returned two blocked punts for touchdowns and got a 47-yard field goal as part of a huge day on special teams, as the Tigers topped the Austin College football team 38-17 on Saturday at Jerry Apple Stadium. The 'Roos are now 2-5 overall and 0-3 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Tigers got off to a fast start with a 50 yard kick return on the opening kickoff and seemed poised to punch it in on the first possession of the game, but Garrett Marcantel picked off a pass from Davis King in the endzone. However, the Tigers would find pay dirt on their next possession, with Griffin Lay scoring from 13 yards out to make it 7-0 after the first quarter.
A series of penalties by both teams would mar the first scoring drive of the game for Austin College, with six flags thrown over the course of a 14 play, 86 yard drive by the 'Roos that culminated in a 30-yard field goal by Cesar Ruiz to make it 7-3 with 7:22 left in the opening half. Trinity would answer on the very next possession, going 91 yards in 10 plays with King finding Rhodes Legg from 31 yards out to make it 14-3 with 2:07 left before halftime. Trinity would tack on three more points on a 47-yard field goal by Colby Doyal, his longest of the year, to make it 17-3 at the break.
Trinity's big day on special teams was really kick-started as the third quarter opened, with Doyal recovering his own onside kick to give the Tigers possession to begin the second half. The 'Roo defense would hold, with Hayden Schilling forcing a fumble, but after the Austin College offense stalled, John Fee's punt was blocked and brought into the endzone by Jordan Williams with 11:13 on the clock.
Williams would score again on another blocked punt just seven minutes later, making the score 31-3 with 4:24 left in the third quarter. The Tigers added another touchdown early in the fourth on a 32 yard touchdown pass from Justin Ventura to Cody Sandman to make it 38-3 with 9:56 remaining.
Austin College answered with one of its best drives of the day, going 65 yards in 11 plays, capped off by a 16 yard touchdown run by Kyle Bohannon with the 'Roos facing fourth down to make it 38-10 with 4:10 left. Bohannon would score again on a six yard quarterback keeper with 19 seconds left to make it a 38-17 final score.
Austin College finished the game with 18 first downs, compared to 15 for Trinity, but 11 penalties proved costly for the 'Roos and a 22.7 yard punt return average and a 33.0 yard kickoff return average for Trinity enabled the Tigers to win the field position battle. Bohannon completed 5-of-16 passes for 61 yards and rushed for 30 yards and two scores. Brandon Evans carried 14 times for 96 yards, and Elijah Moore added 59 yards on 18 carries. James Hemen and Charles Eneh each had nine tackles for the 'Roos.
King finished the game completing 10-of-13 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and Lay rushed 13 times for 70 yards to pace the Tigers on the ground. Mitchell Globe led Trinity with 12 tackles, as the Trinity defense sacked Bohannon five times in the game.