KALAMAZOO, MICH. -- The Trine University football team recorded its second-straight undefeated regular season and claimed back-to-back outright Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships with a 48-18 win against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College in the regular-season finale in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Senior running back Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) continued to add his name to the record books by rushing for a Trine and MIAA single-game record 359 yards against the Hornets and also set a school single-season record with 2,184 total rushing yards now on the year. Also against Kalamazoo, Carswell found the endzone four times with rushing touchdowns of 23, 2, 54 and 77 yards.
Senior quarterback Andrew Duckett (Niles, Mich./Brandywine) was the second-leading rusher for Trine with 42 yards that included a 17-yard TD run. He also completed his only pass attempt of the day for 31 yards.
Junior QB Brandon Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) completed six-of-10 passes for 107 yards and had a pair of TD completions.
His top target was senior Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) with three receptions for 73 yards and caught one of Brandon Winters TD tosses. Junior Jacob Chesney (Kirklin, Ind./Sheridan) was the other recipient of a TD completion which was a 45-yard reception, his only catch of the contest.
Defensively, Trine held KZOO to 216 yards of total offense (56 rushing and 160 passing) and had nine tackles for loss, including five sacks, to go along with two takeaways (one fumble and one interception). Senior Robert Riley (Mendon, Mich./Mendon) had a game-tying and team-high nine tackles (seven solo and two assists) and had a game-best four pass breakups. Juniors Mason McFarland (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs) and Simeon Washington (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) were tied for second with six tackles each. McFarland also had two tackles for loss, which included 1.5 sacks.
Both teams scored on their first offensive possessions of the game with Trine (10-0, 7-0 MIAA) scoring on a 23-yard rush by Carswell. Kalamazoo (7-3, 4-3 MIAA) failed to convert on its extra point attempt on its TD drive as the Thunder lead, 7-6, early in the first quarter. Trine scored the only other points of the period on its very next drive that ended in a two-yard TD and included an 83-yard dash earlier on the third play of the possession as the Thunder led, 14-6, after the first 15 minutes.
Kalamazoo cut into the deficit early in the second quarter with a 24-yard TD completion. The Hornets went for the two-point conversion, but the attempt failed, keeping Trine in the lead, 14-12, at the 11:40 minute mark. On Trine's ensuing drive, Carswell broke free for a 54-yard run to paydirt for the only other score of the quarter and gave the visitors a 21-12 advantage at halftime.
The third quarter began with KZOO receiving the kickoff, but on its third play from scrimmage, senior Cayleel Hill (Owings Mills, Md./Owings Mills) stepped in front of a Hornet pass which led to rushes of 11 and 12 yards by Carswell, followed by a 17-yard run by Duckett to the endzone that extended the Trine lead to 28-12 with 12:20 to go in the period. The Hornets went three-and-out following the latest Trine score, but a fumble by the Thunder on the punt attempt that was recovered by KZOO, gave the Hornets the ball back at the Trine 16-yard line. The ensuing drive looked to end thanks to an interception by senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), but a holding call negated the interception and continued the drive for the home squad. After a total of eight plays, KZOO found the endzone on a pass completion and attempted a second two-point conversion. KZOO was denied again on the attempt as the lead remained 10 points for Trine, 28-18, after the third quarter.
Trine pulled away in the fourth quarter by outscoring KZOO, 20-0, with the first two scores coming through the air and began with a 27-yard hookup from Brandon Winters to Barnett at the 12:12 mark. The extra point attempt missed its mark, but the Thunder tacked another TD on its next offensive series that was set up by a defensive fumble recovery by Trine's Chase Crook (Freeland, Mich./Freeland), with a one-play scoring drive thanks to a 45-yard completion from Brandon Winters to Chesney that made the score, 41-18, with 9:22 to go in the game. The final points came late in the period when Carswell scored his fourth rushing TD of the contest on a drive that began with an eight-yard run and then followed with a 77-yard run to the endzone as the Thunder went on to post the 48-18 final.
Trine will earn the MIAA automatic bid to the NCAA National Tournament that begins next weekend. The tournament field will be officially announced tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 11) at 5:30 p.m. on www.ncaa.com.