Thunder Take Out Britons Behind Strong Start

Photo taken by Erik Schnarr

For the second week in a row, the Thunder (4-2, 2-0 MIAA) used a fast start to propel themselves to victory in MIAA play, this time over the Albion Britons (3-2, 0-1 MIAA).

Trine scored not even a minute into the game when quarterback Ryan Hargraves took off on a shocking 83 yard touchdown run. The run served as the highlight of an efficient and effective day for Hargraves, who finished 11-for-15 for 166 yards passing without turning the ball over.

The Britons then used a big kickoff return to set themselves deep in Thunder territory, but cornerback/return specialist Myron Puryear recovered a fumble by Albion running back Darrin Williams and took it 79 yards to the house.

Photo taken by Erik Schnarr

Getting the ball back after their critical mistake, Albion used their other running back, Clinton Orr to move the chains. After crashing into the teeth of the Thunder defense early in the drive, it was a 28 yard gash that put the Britons into the end zone for the first time late in the first quarter. A questionable failed two point conversion left the Britons down eight, 14-6.

Albion started another drive late into the first quarter, this time with Darrin Williams as the primary offensive weapon. The drive carried into the beginning of the second quarter, and with the Britons in the red zone once more, they turned the ball over. This time the culprit would be quarterback Dominic Bona, who was intercepted by Thunder defensive back Tyler Guzy.

Photo taken by Erik Schnarr

Trine then marched down the field, with Ryan Hargraves connecting with three different receivers on the 98 yard drive, including two big plays to wide receiver Mario Brown. Running back Michael Inge finished off the drive by plunging in from four yards out. The drive gave the Thunder their biggest lead of the day, 21-6.

Albion tried to bounce back using the same formula as the Thunder with a heavy dose of the passing game on their next drive. The running game got them in the end zone but the two point conversion failed and cut the lead to 9, 21-12. The Thunder would then get the ball back late in the half and post a field goal on the board to end the half with a 24-12 lead.

The Britons began their rally from a two possession deficit by using their running game to open the third, busting off three runs of ten yards or more before the drive stalled inside the five yard line. Albion then kicked a short field goal to make it 24-15. The rest of the quarter led to opportunities but no points for either side after both had any issues moving the ball up and down the field.

Trine’s lead was quickly cut to two after Darrin Williams led the Britons back into the end zone once more early in the fourth. The Britons kicked the extra point and put the pressure back on the Thunder offense to get something going.

Photo taken by Erik Schnarr

Myron Puryear’s best kickoff return of the day, a 36 yarder, set up the Thunder near midfield. When the pressure was on, Hargraves went to his go-to guy, wide receiver JaVontae Hence, who picked up a key first down that led to a short field goal attempt moments later.

Down by five, the Britons had two more opportunities in between the Thunder’s attempt to run out the clock. The first time they had to punt, the second time they got stuck in a desperation fourth and long and third and long scenarios, and hit both conversions. The Thunder defense finally sealed the victory on a fourth and 15 attempt to convert was intercepted by defensive back Blaek Combs.

The Thunder square off against the Adrian College Bulldogs in what will be a key game in determining who wins the conference next Saturday on the road at 4:00 p.m.

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