MEQUON, Wis. - An interception with just four second left in the game sent the Trine University football team home with their second straight non-conference loss for the first time since 2006, falling to Concordia (WI) 13-10. The Thunder now return home with a 1-2 record.
Trine would get on the board first, scoring late in the first quarter. With the Falcons punting from their own 29, sophomore Zach Hess (Eagle, Mich./Grand Ledge) blocked the Concordia punt and junior Caleb Nitz (Baroda, Mich./Lakeshore) recovered the ball in the end zone for the Trine touchdown. It was the first blocked kick by the Thunder since Brandon Killingbeck knocked one away on October 30, 2010 against Olivet.
On the following possession, Concordia would drive the ball down 77 yards, scoring on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
From there, the two teams combined for just 28 yards the rest of the quarter, as the score remained 7-7 at halftime.
After Trine opened the second half with a three and out, Concordia would drive 51 yards and score three points on a 39-yard field goal.
Senior Myron Puryear (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) took the ensuing kickoff back 60 yards, all the way down to the Falcons 21 yard line. Senior Ryan Hargraves (Taylor, Mich./Truman) would find fellow senior JaVontae Hence (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) for an 8-yard completion on fourth down. After three consecutive incomplete passes, the Thunder tied the game with a 24-yard field goal from junior Tyler Keck (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial).
Concordia would again take the lead on the next possession, this time on a 29-yard field goal. Both teams would have two chances at the end zone, but all of which resulted in punts.
Trine's final opportunity came with 2:30 left on the clock as the Thunder quickly drove down to the Falcons 35 yard line. Hargraves would be sacked on first down for a seven yard loss. After an incomplete pass on third down, Hargraves found another senior in Mario Brown (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Central) wide open on the left sideline for a 19-yard gain. After a Concordia timeout, on the very next play Hargraves was looking for a receiver down the middle, but was picked off by the Concordia linebacker at the Falcons six, ending the game.
Hargraves finished the afternoon completing 13-of-27 for 144 yards and two interceptions while being sacked four times. Sophomore Jared Barton (Middleton, Mich./Fulton) led the Thunder's ground attack, rushing for a game-high 41 yards on 15 carries. Hence led the Trine receivers with five catches on 35 yards, while Brown had 36 yards on two catches.
Defensively, sophomore Tyler Guzy (Coldwater, Mich./Coldwater) led the Thunder with 15 tackles (six solo). Puryear finished with 12 stops (seven solo) and Louis Danesi made 11 tackles (three solo), including game-high 2.5 for loss.
Hence's fifth and final catch in the fourth quarter made him Trine's all-time career leader in pass receptions with 151, passing Le'Once Belton (1996-1999) who finished his career with 150.
Junior punter Nick Muir (Niles, Mich./Edwardsburg) had an outstanding game, setting two school records. Muir netted 291 yards, which is sixth all-time in school history, on six punts for a record-setting average of 48.5 per punt. Muir also booted a school record 81 yarder during the fourth quarter from the Trine 19 yard line. The previous record was held by Nathan Fitzsimmons, a 68 yarder during a home game against Washington & Jefferson on September 3, 2005.
Trine will look to end their first consecutive losing streak since 2007, when they host NAIA Taylor University on September 22 at 1:00 p.m.