OLIVET, MICH. -- Trine University seniors Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) and Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) etched their names further into the record books with their performances in a 50-49 win against Olivet (Mich.) College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action.
Carswell needed just 69 yards coming into today's game to become the all-time leader in rushing yards and exceeded that mark with 199 yards against Olivet. Carswell surpasses Barron Chambers '99 with 4,298 career yards.
Barnett also came into today's matchup against the Comets within striking distance of the program's all-time reception yard record and reached that mark in the first half against Olivet. Barnett ended the game with 147 reception yards to bring his career total to 2,615 yards and move ahead of Gage Corner '16 for the all-time lead.
As a team, Trine finished with 454 total yards (266 rushing and 188 passing) with Carswell finishing a yard shy of his fourth-straight 200-yard rushing game at 199 yards on 32 carries (6.2 yards per carry) and had three TD. Senior quarterback Andrew Duckett (Niles, Mich./Brandywine) was second in rushing with 57 yards and a score.
Brandon Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) completed seven-of-13 passes for 156 yards and had three TD tosses. Duckett completed two-of-three passes for 32 yards.
Barnett ended the game with a season-high 147 receiving yards and averaged 24.5 yards per catch. Senior Elijah Klepper (Mendon, Mich./Mendon) both receptions were for TD and had 40 reception yards. Munn's only catch was also for a TD.
On defense, two players finished with 10 or more tackles, led by sophomore Sam Cavanaugh (Muncie, Ind./Central) with 12 tackles (six solo and six assisted. Senior James Starks (Morgantown, Ind./Indian Creek) was second with 10 stops (seven solo and three assists).
Trine (6-0, 3-0 MIAA) jumped out early scoring on its first possession of the game on a 37-yard hookup from Brandon Winters to Klepper that ended a four-play, 66-yard drive that took just 1:20 off the clock. But Olivet (4-2, 2-1 MIAA) came right back and equaled the Trine score on its ensuing possession to tie the game at 7-7. The Comet score would be the first of three straight for 21 unanswered points, including a touchdown that came off of a Trine fumble to take a 21-7 lead after the first quarter.
The Thunder then began a rally of their own with 28 straight points, all scored in the second quarter, that was started by an eight-yard TD run by Carswell that capped a 12-play drive early in period number two. The Trine defense then gave the ball back to the Thunder offense via a fumble on Olivet's next drive which led to a one-yard TD completion from Brandon Winters to junior Damon Munn (Franklin, Ind./Franklin) with 10:20 to go in the half to even the game at 21-21. Momentum stayed on Trine's side as Carswell found the endzone two more times before the end of the period with runs of 29 and 65 yards to give the Thunder the lead again, 35-21. Olivet ended the Thunder scoring run with a touchdown just before the end of the half on a three-yard scamper to cut the margin to 35-28 at halftime.
Neither team's offense could get going early in the third quarter, but a blocked Olivet field goal attempt by Trine's J.J. Fierro (Kokomo, Ind./Maconaquah) looked to give the Trine offense a spark. But the ensuing Trine drive ended in an interception as the Comets looked to gain momentum with the ball at the Olivet 49-yard line. Trine's defense kept the Comets from adding any points and forced a punt, but would end up with the ball at their own two yard line. On the first play of the drive, Carswell was tackled in his own endzone resulting in a safety and made the score, 35-30. Olivet got the ball back and continued to pile on the points with a one-yard TD run that put the Comets ahead, 36-35. Olivet went for the two-point conversion, but failed to convert keeping the score 36-35 in favor of the home squad after three quarters of play.
The offensive onslaught continued in the fourth as Trine regained the lead on a 13-yard run by Duckett on a fourth down play. The Thunder converted a two-point conversion following the score on a draw play by Brandon Winters that put Trine up by a touchdown, 43-36 with 12:59 to go in regulation. Olivet evened up the score again on its ensuing drive that would also come down to a fourth-down play that resulted in a 17-yard TD pass with a little under seven minutes to go making the score 43-43. About three minutes later, Trine regained the lead thanks to a three-yard strike from Brandon Winters to Klepper, the second time the duo connected for a score in the game, as the Thunder led, 50-43, at the 3:29 mark. A timely quarterback sack by junior Simeon Washington (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) put the Comets in a fourth-and-15, but Olivet converted to keep the drive going and led to an 11-yard passing TD with 37 seconds left in regulation to pull to within a point, 50-49. Olivet looked to win in regulation and attempted the two-point conversion, but failed to convert, keeping the lead at a point for Trine. Olivet attempted the onside kick which ended up getting batted out of bounds by Trine, securing the one-point victory, 50-49.
Trine will look to stay unbeaten when it travels to Hancock, Mich. to take on MIAA newcomer Finlandia University next Saturday, Oct. 20. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.