HOLLAND, MICH. -- Senior running back Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) scored four times and rushed for 200 yards to lead the Trine University football team to a 35-25 win against Hope (Mich.) College in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener in Holland, Mich.
Carswell recorded his second 200-yard rushing game of the season (back-to-back games) and sixth of his career. It also marked his second career game with four rushing touchdowns and ninth with three or more rushing TDs.
Junior quarterback Brandon Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) led the passing attack, completing 10-of-12 passes for 145 yards.
Senior Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) led all receivers with game-highs of seven catches for 86 yards.
Defensively, junior Simeon Washington (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) had a team-high nine tackles and was credited with a pass breakup. Sophomore Russell DeMarco (Lakeside Marblehead, Ohio/Port Clinton) recorded the team's only quarterback sack in his only tackle of the game.
Trine (4-0, 1-0 MIAA) took the short opening kickoff and got to the Hope (2-2, 0-1 MIAA) five yard line, but the drive stalled and the Thunder were forced to attempt a field goal. Unfortunately, the 22-yard attempt sailed just left, keeping the game scoreless. The Flying Dutchmen then took their opening drive and went 80 yards in nine plays and scored on a three-yard run to take a 7-0 lead just before the end of the first quarter. The touchdown was the lone score of the frame as Hope led, 7-0, after the first 15 minutes.
Following the Hope score, Trine then got its offense going and put together a near eight-minute scoring drive that spanned 16 plays and ended in a three-yard run by Brandon Winters that evened the game at 7-7. Following a four-and-out by Hope, Trine took the lead on an 11-yard TD scamper by Carswell with 6:22 to go in the half making the score 14-7. Hope opened its ensuing possession with a 50-yard pass completion that put the ball at the Trine 22-yard line. But the Thunder defense then stood firm and held the Dutchmen to a 33-yard field goal to end the scoring in the half as the Thunder led, 14-10 at the intermission.
The second half began with a stalled drive by Hope, but the Dutchmen got the ball back on a fumble recovery on the punt. But the Thunder defense held again and forced the home team to punt despite beginning the drive in Trine's territory. On the very next Hope possession, the Dutchmen got the ball to the Trine one-yard line with a drive that was aided by a trio of personal foul calls on the visitors, but again, the Trine defense came through and held the home team out of the endzone. Despite keeping Hope scoreless, Trine got the ball at their own one-yard line and this time the Dutchmen defense stepped up with a safety to cut the deficit to 14-12. After receiving the ensuing free kick, Hope drove to within the redzone, but were held to a 25-yard field goal with 4:46 to go in the third quarter, but took a 15-14 margin. The Trine offense got its chance to respond and did so with a 41-yard TD run by Carswell to regain the lead at 21-15. The see-saw battle continued as Hope came right back and put together a scoring drive that included a 42-yard rush and 28-yard pass completion and led to a four-yard TD pass as the home squad took the lead back, 22-21, after the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hope added to its lead with a 35-yard field goal that was set up by a strip sack that gave the Dutchmen the ball at the Trine 12 yard line. Trine answered on its next possession with a five-play, 65-yard drive and ended with a seven-yard run by Carswell, his third of the night, to give the Thunder the lead back at 28-25 with 10:22 to go in regulation. Later in the period, Trine got some breathing room with another TD rush by Carswell, his fourth of the game, this time with a 10-yard score to put Trine up by 10 points, 35-25, with 2:30 left in the game. The Thunder then put the game away on Hope's ensuing possession when senior Jonathan Fierro (Kokomo, Ind./Maconaquah) came up with an interception in the Trine endzone as the Thunder went on to claim the 35-25 victory.
Trine will look to stay unbeaten when it hosts Alma (Mich.) College next Saturday, Oct. 6 at Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.