Thunder Roll to Victory at Kalamazoo

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Trine football team rolled to a 42-17 victory over Kalamazoo in MIAA-action Saturday afternoon at Angell Field.

The Thunder outgained the Hornets 445-173 in racing out to a 42-10 lead at the half. Trine racked up 562 yards of total offense overall while holding Kalamazoo to 350. The Thunder defense held the Hornets to 250 passing yards, more than 60 below its season average. Trine extended its winning-streak to four and improved to 5-1 overall, 2-0 in the MIAA. Kalamazoo fell to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio / St. Francis de Sales) totaled 150 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. He added 43 yards receiving. Carswell became the fifth player in team history to top 1,000 yards rushing in a season and the first to do so since Richard Gunn in 2013. Carswell entered today’s game second in the nation in rushing yards and finished the day with 1,031 yards on the season.

After the two teams traded empty possessions to start the game, Carswell struck the first blow of the game for the Thunder. The sophomore showed his explosiveness in breaking through for a 70-yard touchdown run to put Trine up 7-0 early.

Kalamazoo answered on the ensuing drive as Alex White ran in from seven yards out to tie things up 7-7 with 5:36 to play in the first quarter. White was held to 210 passing yards, 68 below his season average, on an 18-of-46 passing effort. He added 44 yards on the ground.

The Thunder took the lead right back as Brandon Rooze (West Lafayette, Ind. / Benton Central) connected with a wide-open Ty Fischbach (Oxford, Ind. / Benton Central) for a 30-yard touchdown in the closing minutes of the opening quarter. The high school teammates connected for two touchdown strikes on the day. Fischbach caught a career-high seven passes for 130 yards and the two scores.

Carswell extended Trine’s cushion to two TDs and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season with his second touchdown run. The sophomore found the end zone from 19-yards out on a third-and-long to push the score to 21-7.

A new wrinkle gave the Thunder a three touchdown lead. Andrew Duckett (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) took a handoff on an end-around and fired a long pass to a wide-open Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio / Fremont-Ross) for a 61-yard touchdown. The TD was Duckett’s first career touchdown toss. Barnett has a receiving TD in four-straight games.

After a Kalamazoo field goal, the Thunder went right back down the field to score on Mark Wilson‘s (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central) 10-yard touchdown run.

The Hornets threatened in the closing minutes of the first half, but the Trine defense rose to the occasion for the stop deep in Thunder territory. The offense face an 80-yard field with 1:01 to go until halftime, but needed just two plays to cover that distance.

A 43-yard completion from Rooze to Carswell was extended by a personal foul to move the ball deep into Kalamazoo territory. On the next play, Rooze connected with Fischbach again for a 22-yard touchdown strike. Rooze finished the day 10-of-18 passing for 168 yards and the two scores.

The first half performance saw Trine notch 21 first downs to Kalamazoo’s 10. The 32-point halftime lead was more than enough, as the Hornets were only able to add points on a five-yard TD pass from Brock Rucinski to Ethan Kubik in the closing minutes.

Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio / Central Catholic) picked off a pass in the second half to help seal the victory. The sophomore now has nine career interceptions, the sixth-most in team history.

Taylor James (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte) and Joseph Domogalik (Indianapolis, Ind. / Ben Davis) paced the Thunder defense with seven tackles apiece. Trine came away with four sacks, including two from Domogalik. Rodney Haywood (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) and Kyle Wiswell(Three Rivers, Mich. / Mendon) each added sacks.

Trine has not allowed any of its opponents to top 400 yards of total offense during its four-game winning streak. The Thunder have allowed a combined 151 rushing yards over the last three contests.

Trine continues its quest for a MIAA title when the Thunder travel to Hope Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.