Thunder Open Season With Win Against Manchester

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ANGOLA, IND.  --  The Trine University Thunder began the 2017 season in winning fashion with a 35-12 victory against Manchester University in the home opener at Zollner Athletic Stadium.

The Thunder (1-0) offense rushed for over 200 yards in the game (217) with the duo of senior running back Mark Wilson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) and junior Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) leading the way.  Wilson rushed for a game-high 94 yards on 13 carries, while Carswell had 53 yards on 15 carries.  Both players also found the endzone once.

Senior quarterback Evan Wyse (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) completed nine-of-15 passes for 133 yards and had a pair of touchdowns.  Carswell led the Trine receivers with three catches for 74 yards.  Junior wideout Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) also caught three passes for 29 yards that included an 11-yard TD completion.

Trine also played stout defense, especially in the second half, holding Manchester (0-1) to 61 total yards, including a negative seven yards in the fourth quarter alone.  Sophomore linebacker Simeon Washington (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) posted a game-high 10 tackles (five solo and five assists) which included 1.5 tackles for loss.  

Trine made a statement early in the first quarter scoring its first points of the game without the offense seeing the field.  After forcing Manchester to punt on the first drive of the game, junior Marcus Winters (Toledo/Central Catholic) returned the Spartan kick 85 yards for the touchdown to give the Thunder a 7-0 advantage.

On Trine's first offensive possession, the Thunder added to their lead when Wyse found Barnett on an 11-yard pass play to extend the margin to 14-0 with 3:17 left in the frame.  The two scores would be all the scoring after the first 15 minutes.

On a drive that carried over into the second quarter, Manchester got on the board with a 37-yard pass play, but the extra point attempt was blocked, keeping the score at 14-6 with 14:54 remaining in the half.  Trine answered on its ensuing drive going nine plays and 69 yards that saw six rushes by Carswell, including a final rush of one yard to end the drive and put the Thunder up, 21-6, at the 11:07 mark.

Manchester got on the board agian just before the end of the half on a three-yard completion to narrow the gap.  But the Spartans would fail on its second PAT attempt as Trine led, 21-12, at the break.

The second half belonged to the home team as Trine took the opening drive of the third quarter and marched 63 yards in eight plays to score its third TD of the game, this time with Wyse's second scoring hookup.  Sophomore Seth Boggs (Sandusky/Perkins) found himself on the receiving end of a 12-yard toss by Wyse.  

In the fourth quarter, Trine tallied its final points of the contest with just over four-and-a-half minutes remaining when senior Mark Wilson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) found paydirt on a three-yard scamper to cap an eight-play, 57-yard drive that also saw Wilson rattle off runs of 20 and nine yards, as the margin grew to 35-12.  

The Wilson TD was the final points of the game as Trine went on to the 35-12 victory.

Trine will next travel to Bluffton, Ohio for a non-conference matchup against Bluffton University next Saturday, Sept. 9.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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