Thunder Lose Defensive Struggle to Falcons

In a game where points were at a premium, the Thunder came alive for the second straight week only to fall short, as Concordia University (1-2) intercepted Ryan Hargraves in the waning seconds to win, 13-10. Trine struggled to move the ball all day long, finishing with just 140 total yards and eight first downs.

The first featured multiple three and outs for both sides as the teams traded punts until a great special teams play by the Thunder. Tight end Zachary Hess blocked the Falcons punt and linebacker Caleb Nitz recovered in the back of the end zone to give Trine a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Concordia then took over on the last possession of the first quarter, using a long seven minute to tie the game at 7 all.  After both teams got into the end zone, six punts (three by each side) brought the end of the first half.

A gaffe on the kickoff return to start of the second half by Concordia gave the Thunder new life. Unfortunately, they could not take advantage and had to punt it away after going three and out. Concordia behind the arm of Austin Damascheke marched down the field and kicker David Gonzalez drilled a 39 yard field goal to make it 10-7.

Not to be denied, the Thunder again used their special teams to setup a score behind a 60 yard return from cornerback/return specialist Myron Puryear. A short drive that began on the Concordia 21 stalled at the six but tied the game at 10 with five minutes left in the third. Concordia then ate up the clock through the air, going on a 53 yard drive that ended once more with a field goal for the Falcons, giving them a 13-10 lead.

The last quarter was more of the same, as the Thunder in their first two possessions went three and out, the only highlight an 81 yard punt Nicholas Muir that pinned them back on their own 20. Concordia took over in the middle of the fourth and ate up five critical minutes off the clock. Down by three with 2:30 remaining, the Thunder for the second week in a row began a long drive in an attempt to take the lead and the game.

A heavy dose of Hargraves to receiver JaVontae Hence and a few critical catches by Mario Brown brought the Thunder into field goal range with ten seconds left. Hargraves then threw a back breaking interception and gave Concordia a hard earned victory.

Trine looks to bounce back and finish their non-conference schedule on the familiar turf of Shive Field against Taylor (IN) next Saturday at 1 p.m.


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