SAN ANTONIO – The Southwestern University football team grabbed an early lead before the Trinity Tigers pulled ahead for a 58-20 victory Saturday afternoon in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference football action.
Southwestern (0-9, 0-3) was trying to erase a bad memory after being shutout by Trinity (5-4, 1-1) in the first meeting between the two teams. The Pirates answered after the Tigers march 73 yards in 12 plays on a drive that was capped with a 3-yard run from Matt Williams.
After rushing for over 100-yards in the first meeting the Pirates looked the air on Saturday and found success early on. Bryan Hicks found Matt Gillen for a 44-yard touchdown pass and catch tying the game at 6-6 as both teams missed their extra points.
The chemistry between Gillen and Hicks continued with Gillen finishing with seven catches for 129 yards and one touchdown. Hicks threw for over 200 yards for the second consecutive game finishing 17-of-30 for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
After miscues from including a missed field goal from the Tigers, Southwestern responded with an impressive 11 play 68-yard drive that eclipsed 3:24 off the clock. Tyler Petrillo plunged into the end zone from 3-yards out giving the Pirates a 13-6 lead.
Petrillo led the Pirate ground attack with 12 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown. It was the first game the first-year running back received the majority of the carries as he accounted for 48 of the Pirates 61 yards on the ground.
A Desmond King 8-yard touchdown run tied the game at 13-13 with just under 10 minutes left before the half. King helped aid in a balanced attack for the Tigers that eclipsed 500-yards of total offense while the senior rushed for 121 yards.
Southwestern was unable to take advantage before halftime after Tanner Cervenka picked off a Stephen Smith pass.
After back-to-back punts, Trinity put together another long drive that chewed up 4:38 off the clock and saw Smith find Weslyn Wagner from 7-yards out to cap an 11-play 80-yard drive. The score gave Trinity a 20-13 lead heading into the locker room.
Both teams traded punches coming out of halftime until Trinity increased its lead on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Cody Sandman.
However, Southwestern would quickly inch closer as Hicks threw his second touchdown pass of the game. Colten Shea corralled the Hicks pass for the 9-yard score and his seventh of the season.
The Tigers added to their lead with a 3-yard plunge from King. The score came with 1:50 left in the third quarter as Trinity pushed its lead to 34-20.
Trinity added four more scores in the fourth quarter including a 29-yard Kevin Wise field goal before eventually pushing the final score to 58-20.
Taylor Fann led Southwestern defensively with 12 tackles including 2.5 tackles for a loss. With the late scores, it was only the third time an opponent crossed 500 yards of total offense on the season.
Southwestern closes out its historic return to the gridiron next Saturday as the Pirates travel to Southern Virginia University. Kickoff against the Knights is scheduled for 12 p.m. (CST) from Robert E. Williams Field.