Updated: Saturday, 13 Oct 2012, 11:39 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 13 Oct 2012, 11:39 PM EDT
ADRIAN, Mich. - In a day that was dominated by the defenses, the Trine University football team dropped the annual Black and Blue Border Brawl to Adrian 10-3. The Thunder are now 4-3 on the season and drop their first MIAA game of the season to fall to 2-1.
Trine’s defense came up with the first stop of the game as the Adrian offense was driving deep into Thunder territory. With the ball on the Trine 13-yard line, the Thunder defense stopped the Adrian run for no gain and then forced an incomplete pass. The Bulldogs would attempt a 27-yard field goal, but thanks to the Thunder pressure, the kick would sail wide right.
After Trine was unable to get anything going on their first possession, the Bulldogs would again start to drive into Trine territory. Once again though, the Thunder defense would come up big as reigning MIAA Defensive Player of the Week junior Blaek Combs (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidate) would intercept the Taylor Copacia pass at the 35-yard line.
After the Thunder would go three-and-out to start the second quarter, the Trine defense would force the Bulldogs to settle for a 22-yard field goal. Adrian had driven down to the Trine 3-yard line, but the Thunder defense came up with a big stop on third down.
On the ensuing possession, Trine would attempt to go for it on fourth down, but senior running back Michael Inge (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern) would be stopped at the line of scrimmage on 4th-and-2. Adrian would use the good field position to score the game’s only touchdown on 3rd-and-goal from the Trine 1-yard line. Adrian would have another opportunity right before the half, but again the Trine defense held the Bulldogs as the 38-yard field goal attempt went wide left.
In the second half, defense would rule the field as the Thunder held Adrian to just 63 yards, all of which came on the ground. Adrian’s lone opportunity came early in the third quarter, but once again it would be Combs coming up with his third interception in the last two games, picking off the Adrian pass at the 3-yard line.
Trine made it a one possession game with 1:52 remaining in the game when junior Tyler Keck (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) connected on his seventh straight field goal of the season from 22 yards out. The drive was setup when Adrian was called for pass interference and a personal foul on the same play. Senior Ryan Hargraves (Taylor, Mich./Truman) would then find junior Mario Hernandez (Bronson, Mich./Bronson) for an 18-yard completion to put the ball at the Bulldogs 3-yard line.
The Thunder would then try an onside kick, but the ball would go out-of-bounds, giving Adrian the ball as they were then able to run out the clock.
Hargraves finished with a game-high 11-of-18 for 116 yard through the air and added in 22 yards on the ground. Inge finished the rainy afternoon with 13 carries for 54 yards. Senior JaVontae Hence (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) led all received on the day with eight catches for 76 yards.
Senior Myron Puryear (Canton, Mich./Plymouth), junior Caleb Nitz (Baroda, Mich./Lakeshore) and freshman Michael Spears (Kendallville, Ind./East Noble) led the Trine defense with a game-high nine tackles each. All three players also recorded a tackle for loss. Junior Louis Danesi (Santa Fe, Texas/Santa Fe) made eight stops on the day, including two for a loss and a sack. Combs followed up a career-best game last week with seven tackles (five solo) and picking off two passes.
For the day, Adrian out-gained the Thunder 313-199, as they had possession more than 10 minutes over Trine (36:52-23:08). On third-down conversions for the afternoon, the Thunder went 4-of-12 while Adrian completed 7-of-15 attempts.
This marks the first time since 2005-2006 that Trine has dropped back-to-back games to Adrian; 2006 was also the last time the Thunder fell at Adrian’s field. The game saw the second fewest points scored in the 10 career match-ups between the two schools, only the 9-0 Trine win in 2008 had fewer combined points.
Trine will now use their bye week to recuperate before returning to the field on October 27 when they travel to Hope to avenge last season’s loss to the Flying Dutchmen.
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