ALBION, MICH. -- Junior running back Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) and junior wide receiver Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) had season-high performances to help lead the Trine University football team to a convincing, 56-21, win against Albion (Mich.) College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action in Albion, Mich.
Carswell rushed for a season-high 204 yards on 10 carries (20.4 yards per rush) and scored three times. It marked the fifth game of his career with 100 or more yards. He also now surpasses the 2,000-yard career rushing mark with 2,092, becoming the fifth player in program history to run for 2,000 or more yards in a career.
Barnett also had an equally impressive day with 150 yards on four receptions and had three touchdowns. He also returned a kick 95 yards for a TD. His 150 reception yards was his fourth 100-yard receiving game in his career and his kick return for TD was the second of his career.
The Thunder offense totaled 535 yards of offense (348 rushing and 187 passing) in the game. Senior quarterback Evan Wyse (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) threw just six passes, completing five, for 172 yards and three TD. Wyse also rushed for 51 yards on eight carries (6.4 ypc.) and had one TD. Senior tailback Mark Wilson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) fell just short of 100 yards on the ground with 94 yards in 19 attempts (4.9 ypc.).
Defensively, after recording a pair of interceptions last week against Concorida-Chicago, earning him D3football.com national player of the week honors, junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) picked up right where he left off with two more INT's against Albion. Winters' two picks were part of four total interceptions for the Thunder on the day, which also included a pair of fumble recoveries for six total takeaways.
Senior Me'Leick Miles (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) and junior Zach DeMeester (Coldwater, Mich./Coldwater) led the team in tackles with six each. Miles also had two tackles for loss to go along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
It was the defense that set up Trine's (5-0, 1-0 MIAA) first score of the game on a fumble recovery by Miles on Albion's first possession that led to a one-play scoring drive that saw Wyse find paydirt on a 20-yard run to give the Thunder the early 7-0 lead. On the Britons' ensuing possession, the Trine defense struck again with another fumble recovery that led to a 33-yard scamper for a TD by Carswell, his first of the game, extending the margin to 14-0 within the first five minutes of the game.
Albion (1-4, 0-2 MIAA) slowed the Thunder momentum with a score on its next drive on a 17-yard pass play, making the score, 14-7, with 7:45 to go in the quarter.
Trine answered the Albion score later in the period when Wyse and Barnett connected on their first TD pass play of the contest that capped a drive that began with a 63-yard run by Carswell. The Barnett TD was the final points of the quarter as the Thunder lead, 21-7, after the first 15 minutes.
The second quarter saw Trine pull away by scoring 28 points that began with a three-play scoring drive with Wyse finding Barnett for the second time in the game, this time on a 77-yard pass play that made the score, 28-7, with 13:57 to go in the half. Following a three-and-out by Albion following the score, Carswell rushed for his second TD to make it a 35-7 ball game at the 11:06 mark.
The Trine defense set up another Trine score thanks to Winters' first interception of the contest on the Britons' ensuing drive and led to a 72-yard TD run by Carswell to extend the margin to 42-7. Near the end of the quarter, Winters recorded his second INT to give the Thunder offense the ball back at the 50-yard line. Three plays later, Wyse and Barnett connected on their third TD hookup, this time of 40 yards, to end the scoring in the half and gave Trine a 49-7 advantage at halftime.
Albion scored a quick touchdown to begin the third quarter, but Trine answered on the ensuing kickoff when Barnett found running room and took off for a 95-yard return to regain the 42-point margin, 56-14. The return tied him for the third longest in program history. The two scores were the only points scored in the quarter as the Thunder went into the final frame mainting a 56-14 lead.
The two teams nearly played to a scoreless fourth quarter, but Albion found the endzone with seconds remaining on a 10-yard completion to end an eight-play, 79-yard drive. But the Thunder already had the game well in hand and went to the 56-21 final.
Trine will look to keep its winning momentum going when it hosts Kalamazoo (Mich.) College next Saturday, Oct. 14 in a MIAA game at Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.