ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University football team lost to Olivet (Mich.) College, 34-17, in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium in Angola, Ind.
Trine's (3-3, 0-3 MIAA) offense struggled early with its first two possessions ending in turnovers, forcing the Thunder defense to try and keep the Olivet (6-0, 3-0 MIAA) Comets out of the endzone early. The Trine defense held Olivet to a three-and-out on its first drive following the Thunder's first turnover, but couldn't keep the Comets out of the endzone on their second attempt from a short field and put the ball in the endzone on a 40-yard pass completion resulting in a 7-0 deficit at the 8:04 mark.
Following the Olivet score, Trine's offense put together a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own that included a 20-yard pass play from freshman Alex Price (Reading, Mich./Reading) to senior Seth Boggs (Sandusky, Ohio/Perkins) and a 17-yard run by Price and ended in an 11-yard TD completion from Price to sophomore Adam Gutting (Findlay, Ohio/Findlay) for the score to make it a 7-7 game.
The two teams continued to trade TDas the Comets answered on their next drive and went 81 yards in four plays to cap the drive with a four-yard run for the the final points of the first quarter and take a 14-7 margin in favor of Olivet after the first 15 minutes.
The first points of the second quarter were recorded by Trine when senior kicker Lucas Garza (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) made a 41-yard field goal at the 13:21 minute mark to cut into the deficit, 14-10.
Later in the quarter, Olivet added to its lead on a 13-yard pass play that ended a sizeable 16-play, 79-yard drive that lasted 7:13. The touchdown catch came on the final play of the half as the Comets took a 21-10 lead into the intermission.
After receiving the second half's opening kickoff, the Trine drive looked to have stalled, but Olivet gave the ball right back to the Thunder with a fumble on the ensuing punt. Three plays later, Price connected on his second TD toss of the afternoon to Glutting, this time of 13 yards which put Trine to within four points, 21-17, with 13:10 remaining in the frame.
Olivet then responded with another sizeable drive (11 plays, 65-yards) that led to a one-yard run to paydirt to extend the deficit to 28-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
The lengthy possessions continued for Olivet in the fourth quarter who scored the only points as part of a 14-play, 80-yard drive and took 9:02 off the clock. The Comets tallied their final points on a 10-yard QB scamper with a little over three minutes to go. The extra point attempt missed its mark, but Olivet still led, 34-17.
Trine drove to the Olivet 11-yard line on its ensuing drive, but a fumble on a sack gave the ball back to Olivet in its own territory with a second left. The Comets needed one kneel-down to run out the clock and come away with the 34-17 final.
Price finished with 15 completions on the day in 24 attempts for 184 yards to go along with his two TD passes. He was also the team's leading rusher with 83 yards on 17 carries (4.9 yards per carry).
Senior Jacob Chesney (Kirklin, Ind./Sheridan) led all receivers with five catches and had 48 yards.
Defensively, junior Ivan Upshaw (Fort Wayne, Ind./New Haven) had a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo and five assists). Junior Keysean Amison (Sandusky, Ohio/Perkins) also fnished in double figures in tackles with 10 stops (five solo and five assists).
Trine will remain at home and will take on Finlandia (Mich.) University in a MIAA matchup at Zollner Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 26. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m.