Thunder Overwhelm Olivet

Trine (6-3, 4-1 MIAA) rolled to a 49-21 victory over Olivet (0-9, 0-5 MIAA), scoring on six of their first seven drives of the game. Olivet attempted to try to control the clock with the running game, but after the game began to get out of hand because of their one dimensional attack and a litany of special teams miscues.

DSC_5268Olivet was competitive in the opening minutes however, eating up half the first quarter on a long 14 play drive that failed after the Comets couldn’t convert a pass attempt on 4th & 3 inside the 20. The Thunder offense responded with a quick strike to tight end Zachary Hess for 20 yards and a 38 yard catch and run from wide receiver JaVontae Hence. Hence’s play setup a 1 yard touchdown by running back Austin Shoemaker on the next play and a 7-0 Trine lead.

The Comets had their biggest play of the day right on the ensuing kickoff return, as return man Tyre Alexander refused to go down, using a stiff arm and some smooth moves on a 63 yard return. Capitalizing on a short field, Olivet scored in three plays, with the finishing touch by Tyre Alexander once, running the ball the final 17 yards and tying the game at 7 late in the first quarter.

After a punt on their next possession for both sides, Thunder quarterback Ryan Hargraves methodically moved the team down the field on a 93 yard drive. Hitting four different receivers on the drive with a few scrambles mixed it in, the drive was punctuated by Austin Shoemaker’s second touchdown of the day from 3 yards out.

Olivet began to lose control of the game their next time out on offense. After the Thunder defense forced a three and out, the Comet’s long snapper sailed the ball way over the punter Anthony Edward’s head. Scrambling to recover the ball as it rolled 34 yards into the end zone, Edward’s couldn’t handle it. Thunder defensive back Blaek Combs stormed in and picked up the loose ball, giving the Trine a defensive touchdown and a 21-7 lead. Olivet got the ball back with three minutes remaining in the first half, getting to the Trine 33 before time expired.

A 21 point third quarter for Trine began with JaVontae Hence catching a 42 yard pass from Hargraves not even a minute in. Hence finished the game with 3 catches for 101 yards, his second straight 100 yard game and his fourth of the season.  Olivet answered back to stay in the game with a 68 yard drive, rushing 11 times in 12 plays with a mix of running backs Tyre Alexander and Chance Nighting.

DSC_5299Despite leading by 14, Trine began to  rotate their subs in, and little used running back Jamil Davis took full advantage. Davis showed power and speed, racking up three 10+ yard carries in the span of four plays. Hargraves would run it in from 12 yards out to end the drive, and the Thunder led 35-14. After a three and out by Olivet, starting running back Austin Shoemaker returned, carrying the ball three times for 17 yards and taking a 28 yard screen pass to the house on the drive to end the quarter.

The fourth quarter did not bring a change in strategy for Olivet, who continued to run the ball on almost every down despite trailing by four touchdowns. Trine blocked another Comet punt, as Combs came up big again for Trine and linebacker Charles Dreessen picked it up and scampered the final 24 yards for the touchdown. Olivet then fumbled on the kickoff return, and Trine just ran the ball to eat the clock and walk away with a 49-21 win.

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