Updated: Sunday, 07 Oct 2012, 12:08 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 06 Oct 2012, 6:04 PM EDT
ANGOLA, Ind. - It took just five plays for the Trine University football team to sprint to a lead, helping them pick up a huge win as they knocked off defending conference champion Albion College 27-22 on homecoming. The Thunder improve to 4-2 on the season and are now just one of two undefeated teams in the conference at 2-0.
The scoring came fast as furious for the Thunder to start the game. After going for the long pass on their first play of the game, senior quarterback Ryan Hargraves (Taylor, Mich./Truman) would scramble for a career-long 83-yard touchdown to put the Thunder on the board. On the ensuing Albion possession, the Britons running back Darrin Williams would fumble the ball on their third play as senior Myron Puryear (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) would recover the ball and scramble for 79 yards and the score to give Trine a 14-0 lead just 2:09 into the game.
Albion would answer back going 81 yards in eight plays as Clinton Orr ran for a 28-yard score, but the point after attempt failed when the Albion holder was unable to snatch the low snap.
On the Britons next possession, the Thunder defense would come up big as Albion was driving deep into Trine territory. On third-down and the ball on the Trine 16-yard-line, sophomore Tyler Guzy (Coldwater, Mich./Coldwater) would intercept the Dominic Dona Pass at the 2-yard-line to end the Albion threat. Trine would use the turnover to their advantage as they drove nearly the entire length of the field in just 13 plays as senior Mike Inge (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern) capped off the drive as he ran the ball in from 4 yard outs to give the Thunder a 21-6 advantage.
Not to be counted out though, the defending conference champs would answer back as Orr would score on an 18-yard run as the two-point conversion pass was intercepted.
The Thunder would score once more before the end of the half as junior Tyler Keck (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) would split the uprights from 32 yards out as time expired to give Trine a 24-12 halftime advantage.
Albion would start the third quarter with a field goal of the own, a 21-yard kick, but the defense for both teams would prevail in the quarter as the two sides traded three-and-outs.
Trine’s lead would be cut to just two as the Britons started the fourth quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run by Williams. The Thunder would answer right back, using a short field thanks to a 39-yard kickoff return by Puryear as Keck capped off the Thunder’s seven play drive by drilling a 30-yard field goal attempt.
Neither team would be able to get much going on their next possessions as the game would come down to one final drive by Albion.
After a holding penalty to start their drive, Trine sophomore Ryan Hogan (Vine Grove, Ky./Meade County) and junior Louis Danesi (Santa Fe, Texas/Santa Fe) sacked Bona for a 5-yard loss to bring up fourth down. Albion would convert on the 4th-and-15 with a 22-yard pass and the first-down. After another first-down put the Britons near mid-field, another holding penalty would push them back. After two incomplete passes, Bona would be intercepted by junior Blaek Combs (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidate) at the Trine 15 to seal the Thunder victory.
Hargraves led the Thunder through the air and on the ground as he completed 11-of-15 for 166 yards, while scrambling for a net of 83 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Inge finished the afternoon with 49 yards on 21 carries and a score on the ground. Senior JaVontae Hence (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) caught five passes for a game-high 60 yards.
Combs led all players with a career-high 17 tackles (8 solo) including one for a loss, a pick and a pass break-up. Danesi finished with nine tackles (3 solo), a half sack, and a tackle for loss.
For the afternoon, Albion out-gained the Thunder 356-300, but the Trine defense came up with three turnovers (2 interceptions and 1 fumble). Trine was 3-of-9 on third-down conversions while the Britons converted 5-of-14; Albion was also 3-for-4 on fourth-downs.
Trine has now won four of the last five meeting between the two schools and is now 4-1 against Albion at home in conference play.
Trine will face-off against the only other unbeaten team in conference when they travel to Adrian on October 13 for a 4:00 p.m. game as they try and avenge a 26-7 loss a season ago.
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