Immaculate Reception Sinks Lions
Trinity Bible College hosted the Dakota College at Bottineau Lumberjacks this past weekend for their homecoming game. This was also part of the Trinity’s 60 Year Celebration. In a game of big plays, Trinity ended up on the wrong side of the 34-38 final.
The game didn’t start out well. For the second straight week, Trinity gave up a touchdown on the opening play. But the Lions were able to answer with a 5 play, 58 yard drive that was capped off by a 4 yard touchdown pass from Vincent Williams to Clay Emerson. Kiah Jackson added the extra point to give the Lions a 7-6 lead only 2 minutes into the game. The Lumberjacks would score again and take a 12-7 lead midway through the 2nd quarter until Kevin Gilleland intercepted a Lumberjack pass and returned it 25 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 14-12 lead. Bottineau scored again to take the lead at 14-20, but Trinity would answer right back with a 6 play, 51 yard drive that was capped off with a 1 yard run by quarterback Vincent Williams. Trinity took a 21-20 lead into the half.
The second half started out great for the Lions. After a Bottineau turnover, Trinity needed only one play to take a 28-20 lead when Vincent Williams connected on a 17 yard scoring strike to Brandon Welch. Entering the 4th quarter the Lions held a 28-26 lead. Both offenses stalled out until just under 5 minutes to play in the game. Then, after a Trinity fumble, Bottineau would score to take a 28-32 lead. With the momentum clearly in the Lumberjacks’ favor, the Lions needed a spark. That spark came by way of Freshman Clay Emerson and the special teams unit. Emerson took the following kickoff 75 yards back to pay dirt running behind a perfectly executed wall by the return team to give Trinity the lead and the momentum. With 4:52 left in the game, the Trinity defense took the field with a big-time stand on their minds, but the excitement was just beginning! On 3rd and 4 from the Lions 34 yard line, the lumberjacks threw a pass that appeared to bounce in front of the receiver. To the dismay of the home crowd, the pass was ruled a completion. Three plays later a pass from the DC-B quarterback floated into the end zone and appeared to be intercepted by Freshman Cornerback Nathan Pfitzer. In the moments that followed, the ball then appeared to be dropped by Pfitzer, however; the official ruled that the ball hit Pfitzer’s foot and bounced into the air then bounced off of Pfitzer’s back upon which the DC-B receiver caught the ball and scored what would become the game-winning touchdown! The heartache at Bob Tatum field resounded through all of TBC’s campus as Bottineau did their very best “Immaculate Reception” impersonation! The Lions would have a minute and two seconds to try to get another score, but a big sack and some great defensive play by the lumberjacks on the final four plays sunk all hopes of a thrilling comeback!
Offensively, the Lions were led in receiving by Clay Emerson who had 4 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Emerson also had 140 yards in returns and a special teams’ touchdown. Kendrick Berry had 3 receptions for 58 yards, while Brandon Welch caught 2 passes for 49 yards and a score for the Lions. Quarterback Vincent Williams was 11 for 31 for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Clint Linthicum completed 2 passes for 46 yards. Linthicum also rushed for 35 yards on 18 carries. Clyde Lewis rushed 3 times for 16 yards. The Lions were hampered by turnovers all afternoon as they committed 5 turnovers.
Defensively for the Lions, Joel Sandoz led the team with 12 tackles. Ryan Wolfenden recorded 10 tackles, all of which were solo. Kyle Swanson had 9 tackles, 3 of which were tackles for loss. Kevin Gilleland had an interception returned 25 yards for a touchdown. Matt Fellers had an interception and 3 pass break-ups in the game.
Coach Morgan had this to say about the game: “WOW!!!!! What a heartbreaker! My emotions are just straight numb! To come this close and then have it slip through our hands – MAN! People will try to blame the officials for this loss, but offensively we played our worst game of the season today. We did not execute… and the turnovers are absolutely killing us! We have two weeks to improve on those things. I guess the positive to take from all this is that you can’t win games until you learn how to rebound from losses like this!”
The Lions have a bye week this coming week but will travel to face Concordia JV on Friday afternoon at 3pm on Oct. 16. The Trinity Lions and their coaching staff would like to thank everyone in attendance at the Homecoming game for all of their support. The crowd and the atmosphere were truly appreciated.