ANGOLA, Ind. - It was a perfect ending to the season for the Trine University football team as they defeated Alma College 35-27 in their season finale at home. The Thunder end their second in the conference with a 5-1 record and 7-3 on the year.
Both sides struggled early in the opening quarter as Trine gained the only first down through the first five possessions of the game. The Thunder finally broke through in their third possession, as they used a short field to go juts 40 yards in six plays as senior Mike Inge (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern) ran in from 7 yards out.
The Thunder defense would force a turnover on Alma's third play as freshman Jake Boswell (Kokomo, Ind./Western) intercepted the pass at the line of scrimmage. Just four plays and 23 yards later, Inge would score again, this time from just a 1-yard out.
Two possessions later, Alma would score their first points against the Thunder in 11 quarters as Shannon Geren ran in from 4 yards out. Alma would add another score just before the half with 11 seconds remaining on a 1-yard pass as the game was tied 14-14 at halftime.
After neither team scored on their opening possessions of the second half, Trine struck pay dirt on their longest drive of the day, using 11 plays to go 63 yards. Senior quarterback Ryan Hargraves (Taylor, Mich./Truman) scrambled 10 yards for the touchdown.
On the first play of Alma's ensuing possession, sophomore Ryan Hogan (Vine Grove, Ky./Meade County) would strip the ball from the Alma running back as sophomore Tyler Guzy (Coldwater, Mich./Coldwater) fell on the ball. Just five plays later sophomore Austin Shoemaker (Huntington, Ind./Huntington North) ran the ball in from 7 yards out.
Alma would answer right back needing just five plays to go 75 yards to pulling within seven, 28-21.
Answering right back, the Thunder drove 70 yards, capped off by a Hargraves to Gage Corner (Leo, Ind./Leo) 17-yard touchdown, for the freshman Corner's first TD catch of his career.
Both defenses would then pick up as Alma would block a Trine punt, and then the Thunder would answer back by forcing another fumble as junior Blaek Combs (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidate) would recover.
Alma would use three long plays on their next possession to setup a score with just 16 seconds left in the game. On the point after attempt, Boswell would again come up big for the Thunder, blocking the kick. Alma would recover the on-side kick as the Thunder were unable to come up with the ball. With the clock winding down, Alma went for the Hail Mary pass, but Combs came down with the interception for Trine to end the game.
Hargraves ended the final game of his career completing 17-of-24 for 177 yards and a score while taking the ball 11 times for 16 yards and a touchdown. Shoemaker led the Thunder with 72 yards on the ground on 15 carries while reaching the end zone and 74 yards receiving on five catches. Inge finished his final game for Trine with 45 yards on 15 carries and two scores.
Senior Myron Puryear (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) led the Trine defense with nine total tackles including a game-high eight solo stops and an interception.
Trine ends their season for the six straight season with a winning record. Alma's touchdown in the second quarter was the first the Thunder have allowed to the Scots since their October 10, 2009 game when Alma scored in the third quarter. Trine finished with a season-high three interceptions.