Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

#7 Trinity Blitzes Texas Lutheran to Close Non-Conference Play

ACTION: #95 Jacob Munoz and #91 Carson Byrd combine for a sack while players from TLU look on

SAN ANTONIO – The seventh-ranked Tiger football team finished off its season-opening home stand with a resounding 52-14 victory over Texas Lutheran University on Saturday night.

Trinity (3-0) remained unbeaten to start the year, producing its second 50-point game in three weeks and closing out its non-conference schedule. The Tigers will be off next week before beginning defense of their Southern Athletic Association title against Hendrix the following week.

BJ Stewart (Shreveport, La. / Woodlawn) electrified the crowd and his teammates with a pair of special teams touchdowns – including a score on the game's opening kickoff. Legend Grigsby (Houston, Texas / Cypress Creek) scored three total touchdowns to power the Tiger offense.

Defensively, Trinity finished with five sacks and 11 tackles for loss, led by Jacob Munoz (Cedar Park, Texas / Cedar Park) and his game-high nine tackles. The Tigers allowed just 15 net yards rushing in the game, marking the third time in as many tries that the team has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing.

The Rundown

Texas Lutheran won the toss and deferred, which turned out to be a major game-changer. Stewart fielded the kick at his own three and flew up the field like a bolt of lightning. He broke the Tiger sideline and had just one man to beat. He broke a diving tackle at the 15 before gliding the rest of the way for a touchdown just 14 seconds into the game.

Texas Lutheran went three-and-out on its first series of the game and a short punt set Trinity up for another potential score on a drive that started at midfield. Instead, the Bulldogs got the game's first turnover on an interception and a good return to move into Trinity territory. Texas Lutheran had to settle for a long field goal, which led to another big special teams play for the Tigers. Carson Byrd (Waco, Texas / Midway) elevated for the second blocked kick in as many weeks for Trinity.

Following the block, Trinity's offense put together a 12-play scoring drive that covered 70 yards and put the Tigers up 14-0. After converting a third-and-nine with a 16-yard reception, Grigsby later punched it in from a yard out with just 40 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Down two scores early, Texas Lutheran got its offense going on the next drive, which spilled into the second quarter. The Bulldogs scored on a fourth-and-short play from the red zone to cut Trinity's lead in half at 14-7. That was as close as the visitors got the rest of the way, as well as being the final points TLU scored until the fourth quarter.

After punting near midfield, Trinity was back on defense as Texas Lutheran had a chance to tie the game. Instead, the Tiger defense held to force a punt of its own from inside the TLU 30, and the special teams generated another impact play with a block by Cade Rabson (The Woodlands, Texas / College Park). Trinity took over at the 15 yard line and wasted no time getting another score as Tucker Horn (Graham, Texas / Graham) hit Grigsby for a touchdown reception on the very next play to make it a 21-7 game.

Texas Lutheran hurt itself with three penalties on the ensuing drive, while Byrd and Munoz also combined on a 10-yard sack that left the Bulldogs staring at third-and-18. Trinity took over at its own 34 yard line with 1:44 left in the half and engineered a drive that finished with Blake Lin (Tyler, Texas / All Saints) hitting a chip-shot field goal from 28 yards out to give the Tigers a 24-7 halftime lead.

After forcing Texas Lutheran to punt on the third quarter's initial drive, Trinity put the game even further out of reach with a quick scoring drive. Grigsby rushed for 26 yards on the final two plays of the drive, including a 15-yard scamper that made it a 31-7 Tiger lead with less than five minutes gone in the quarter.

Trinity's defense kept up the intensity and forced another three-and-out that saw Texas Lutheran lose yardage – mainly thanks to a sack by Mac Douglas (Fairhope, Ala. / Bayside Academy) on third down. The next Tiger drive belonged to a pair of running backs. Winston Hutchison (Round Rock, Texas / McNeil) and Justin Carmouche (Cypress, Texas / Cy-Ranch) accounted for all 58 yards of the five-play drive that put Trinity in front 38-7. Hutchison started by gaining 35 of those yards on three plays – highlighted by a 27-yard reception. Carmouche ran for the final 23 yards on just two plays, finishing with a 17-yard sprint down the TLU sideline.

Texas Lutheran began to move the ball on its next drive, crossing into Tiger territory before stalling. A tackle for loss along with a penalty backed the Bulldogs up and led to a punt, which turned out to be the second Stewart score – and the fourth huge play on special teams for those counting at home. After cutting towards the Trinity sideline and evading a diving tackle, he stutter-stepped near the 45 yard line. Instead of cutting back, he continued up the sideline untouched for the score – and a 45-7 lead for the Tigers with just 2:08 left in the third.

A pair of pass plays of 20+ yards sparked the next Texas Lutheran drive, which finished early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown – and the final score of the night for the visiting team. Trinity's next drive moved into the red zone, but ended with what might have been the only bad-luck play of the night for the Tigers. Quarterback Ryan Back (Austin, Texas / Vandergrift) drove the team 72 yards before throwing an interception that bounced off the umpire's back and into the arms of the TLU defense.

Quarterback Dez Thomas (Houston, Texas / Vista Ridge) had his number called for the next Trinity drive, which three-and-out Texas Lutheran drive that went for negative yardage. Thomas escaped the pocket to his right on fourth play of the drive and found a wide open Will Taylor (Houston, Texas / Strake Jesuit) around the 25 yard line. Taylor took it the rest of the way for a 40-yard touchdown play that capped the scoring for the evening.

Numbers to Note

Stewart finished the game with nearly 200 all-purpose yards. His 97-yard kickoff return is the fourth-longest in school history, and the longest since Caleb Urban – brother of Trinity Head Coach Jerheme Urban – returned a kick 100 yards against Colorado College in 2008. Additionally, the 75-yard punt return for Stewart is the seventh-longest in school history.

Ryan Merrifield (Austin, Texas / Vandergrift) led a group of 11 different Tiger players to catch a pass in tonight's game, finishing with four receptions for 56 yards.

Carmouche led Trinity with 57 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine carries, while Grigsby had 45 yards on six carries on the ground. He also added 31 yards on a pair of receptions.

Lin was 7-for-7 on PATs in the game, marking his second game this season to reach that total without a miss.

Coach Speak

"I'm really proud of the fellas tonight as they wrapped up non-conference with another great win at home," began Head Coach Jerheme Urban. "I was excited to see how we would perform this evening coming off such an emotional win last weekend vs Wheaton and then continuing to play without a couple of our captains and leaders on the team. I thought Cade Rabson did a great job preparing this week to play for an injured James Ogunrin, the d-line worked hard on their rotation since we were down Harris Good, wideouts continued to move around and make plays with the absence of Bertness, and some other guys who earned some big-time opportunities at other spots as we try to get healthy before conference play. 

On his team's performance on special teams: "I thought we had tremendous play on special teams tonight. Obviously, BJ gets a ton of credit for his two touchdown returns - he has special ability and we continue to see that. With that being said, Tyson Cornett made an incredible blocking adjustment on the opening KOR to help spring him, and BJ Rainey not only brought incredible pressure that opened up Cade Rabson's punt block, but he also helped escort Stewart down the sideline on his punt return touchdown."

I was also proud of the way we came out in the second half to finish the game," continued Coach Urban. "Tucker played well, Legend Grigsby had an outstanding game, we got some big plays on defense from Harmel, Jewett and Munoz, and really played Tiger Football in all three phases. Now that we have non-conference behind us, I'm looking forward to getting healthy and fine tuning some things in the bye week before we start conference play."

Up Next

Following the upcoming bye week, Trinity travels to Conway, Arkansas, for its first SAA game of the season against Hendrix College. Kickoff is scheduled for noon on Saturday, October 1.