OLIVET, Mich. – Olivet College sophomore Braden Black (Battle Creek/Harper Creek) broke three single-game school records and three single-season records, but it was not enough as Trine (Ind.) University rallied to beat the Comets, 47-41, in overtime this afternoon at the Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet.
Black set single-game marks for pass completions (32), passing yards (396) and total offensive yards (420). His efforts allowed him to break the single-season records for passing touchdowns (17), passing yards (2,105) and total offensive yards (2,445). Black needs only six pass completions and 22 pass attempts to break the single-season marks.
Olivet had a 41-27 lead with 3:20 left in the game. Trine used a 12-play, 65-yard drive to cut its deficit to seven points, 41-34. The Thunder recovered an on-side kick . On the last play of regulation, Brandon Rooze threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Jared Barton. Tyler Keck's PAT kick split the uprights to send the game to overtime.
Trine won the coin toss to start the overtime period and elected to go on defense. On the Comets' second play from scrimmage, Black's pass was intercepted by James Gregory. For the Thunder, Frank Vuocolo rushed for 21 yards on the first down and then scored on their second play to cap the come-from-behind win.
Both teams were forced to punt on their first series of the game. Olivet scored on its second drive when sophomore Tyre Alexander (Mason/Okemos) rushed one yard into the endzone. The Comets pushed their lead to 14-0 on a five-yard touchdown run by freshman Javon Moore (Lansing/Everett).
Trine answered with 14 straight points to tie the game on a one-yard touchdown run by Richard Gunn and 20-yard interception reception return by Travis Smith. The Comets took the lead back on a 75-yard scoring drive. Moore ended the drive with a six-yard run into the end zone. Freshman Jared Gensler (Whitehall) made the PAT kick to make the score 21-14 with 1:32 left before halftime.
The Thunder came right back with a scoring drive. Rooze completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Yoder with seven seconds remaining. The snap on the PAT kick attempt was bobbled and their attempt to run it in for a two-point conversion failed. Olivet led 21-20 at halftime.
Trine missed a 32-yard field goal on its first possession of the second half. The Comets struck first on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Black to sophomore Kyle Bryson (Rives Junction/Leslie) to extend their lead to 28-20.
Olivet pushed its lead to 35-20 early in the fourth quarter when Black tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Bryson. The Thunder responded with an 11-play scoring drive to trim the Comet lead to eight points, 35-27. The Comets wasted no time and stretched its lead back to 14 points on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Black to Bryson. The PAT kick was missed for a 41-27 Olivet lead.
The Comets piled up 487 yards of offense. Black was 32-of-44 for 396 yards with two interceptions and three touchdowns. He was also the leading ball carrier with five carries for 24 yards. Bryson caught 10 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Jason Barbosa (Trenton) had eight receptions for 94 yards. Sophomore Nate Roberts (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Central) topped the defense with 13 tackles, with seven solo stops.
Trine accumulated 410 yards of offense. Gunn led all rushers with 22 carries for 70 yards. Rooze completed 25-of-49 passes for 273 yards. Gage Corner led the receiving corps with 10 catches for 143 yards. Tyler Guzy finished with a team-leading 11 tackles.
Olivet will celebrate Senior Day next Saturday, Nov. 16, when it hosts Kalamazoo College. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.