OLIVET, MI The Trine University football team concluded the 2020-21 season with a 36-21 win against Olivet College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game in Olivet, Mich.
Trine (4-1, 2-1 MIAA) got on the scoreboard on its second offensive drive of the first quarter when sophomore quarterback Alex Price connected with freshman Connor Arthur for a 36-yard touchdown completion that ended a five-play, 84-yard drive. Olivet (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) answered on its ensuing possession by marching 69 yards in four plays aided by two large pass completions that included a 25-yard strike for a score with 6:33 to go in the quarter. Momentum continued to swing between the two squads when Trine found paydirt again on its next drive when Price threw for his second TD completion, this time to sophomore Brandon Kline for 19 yards to end the scoring and give the Thunder a 14-7 edge after period number one.
In the second quarter, Trine added to its lead early thanks to the leg of senior kicker Ryan Hibbets who was successful on a 33-yard field goal at the 10:01 mark that made the score 17-7. After forcing an Olivet punt, Trine continued to pull away on the scoreboard with another field by Hibbets, a 48-yard attempt with a little over five minutes left in the half. On Trine's next drive, the Thunder drove to the Comet 10-yard line, but the drive ended with an interception that Olivet converted into seven points just before the end of the quarter thanks to an 81-yard hookup to give the home team some momentum going into the break having cut the deficit to six points, 20-14.
The only points of the third quarter came on a one-yard rush by Trine running back Xaine Kirby that was set up by a fumble recovery that ended Olivet's previous possession and then a 27-yard pass play from Price to Kline on the Thunder's first play from scrimmage following the turnover. Trine attempted a two-point conversion, but couldn't quite come up with the conversion, but still led by a score of 26-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
In a drive that carried over into the start of the fourth, Trine found the endzone for a final time with 13:27 remaining when junior Devonte Jones scored on a five-yard rushing play following back-to-back completions of 40 and 38 yards from Price to Kline and sophomore Kale Lawson. Half way through the period, the Comets tacked on a score thanks to a 12-yard completion that made it a 33-21 ball game. Olivet then attempted an on-side kick, but the ball was recovered by the Thunder who then put together a nine-play scoring drive that took four minutes off the game clock and ended in a 22-yard field goal by Hibbets to make the score 36-21. Olivet was left with a little more than a minute left, but the Trine defense held the Comets to a turnover on downs to seal the victory by a final of 36-21.
Trine ended the game with 483 yards of total offense (331 passing and 152 rushing). Price finished with a career-high 331 passing yards on 16-of-25 completions with the two scores. Kirby led all rushers with 90 yards on 18 touches (5.0 yards per rush) and had one TD. Jones ended with 42 rushing yards in 15 attempts in addition to his TD.
Kline led all receivers with a career-best 110 yards on five catches and a TD. Arthur caught four passes for 91 yards and a TD reception.
Defensively, Trine held Olivet to a negative seven yards rushing and 302 total yards in addition to three quarterback sacks. Individually, sophomore Kyle Naif (Riverview, Mich./Riverview) led the team in tackles with seven (four solo and three assists), including a tackle for loss and had a pass breakup.
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