You would think a 25 to 30-hour bus trip south from Ellendale would take the legs, energy and spirit right out of the visiting team. Compound that with 95-degree heat on the stadium floor, a 14-0 deficit, and the knowledge that your team has yet to take a lead in any game this season – and you have a mix for disaster.
Don’t tell this season’s Lions any of that mumbo jumbo, because they rolled into Texas, just north of Dallas, where football is like the Bible to a church, and took all that aforementioned near-disaster scenario and played head-to-head football with Southwestern Assembly of God University to a draw for 53 ½ minutes of game time, before finally settling in for a 38-24 loss.
The Lions pushed and shoved their way around Lumpkins Field, which is constructed of field turf and seats 10,000 people. No the stands weren’t packed, but those who were there, or saw the game via live -stream on the internet were entertained nonetheless. Those wishing to watch the game in its entirety may follow this link and enjoy the game: http://www.sagu.edu/go/athletics/sagu-sports-streaming-archive
At the 10:01 mark of the fourth quarter SWAG went two plays and 58 yards to knot the score at 24. This came after TBC’s QB Clint Linthicum capped off a 7-play 80-yard drive with an 11-yard TD run to take a late 24-17 lead. SWAG’s Eddie Bailey Jr. evened the score with a 52-yard TD and then scored the game-winner with 6:29 left in the game when he trounced in from 34 yards.
Trailing 14 – 0, Trinity (0-4) got on the board with a great 33-yard toss from Linthicum to Lars Hedlund, which was his first career TD reception. A Christian Troxler 37-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the first half chopped the SWAG lead down and gave the TBC Lions some new life.
Anyone who knows Trinity Head Coach Dustin Morgan knows he can talk with the best of them. His halftime speech must have been a mover and a shaker, because the team responded by clamping down on defense and forcing a back-and-forth game before Brent Holt stepped into an interception and went for a “Pick-Six” from 20-yards out, and the Trinity Lions’ first lead in a game this season.
A SWAG field goal by James Gish tied the score with 13:54 left in the game and stayed that way until Linthicum’s TD.
The Lions (from TBC) got back on the offensive track in Texas as they put up 336 yards against a defense that was looking to roll a shutout, as was mentioned early in the internet broadcast. TBC would have none of that. The team rushed for 144 yards, and passed for another 192 yards.
Leading the way on the ground was Linthicum, who had 82 yards rushing and totaled 263 yard of offense on the day. Jason Elliott had 38 yards on four carries and Brandon Welch had 27 yards in two carries.
Linthicum finished his passing day going 17 for 28 for 181 yards, 2 INT and 1 TD. He connected five times with Joel Sandoz for 58 yards, four times with Shean Bosworth and 57 yards and three times with Seth Peterson for 22 yards.
Defensively the team was led by Grass Valley, CA stalwart Cole White who was in on 13 tackles for the game. Holt finished with 10 tackles and Ryan Wolfenden had six.
The Lions take to the road once again and it will seem like a wind sprint compared to the travel they just completed, when they go to Bottineau, ND to take on Dakota College for a 1 PM game Saturday.