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No. 5/6 Trinity Celebrates Senior Day With Shutout Win

The 2022 Trinity football team posing in front of the scoreboard that reads 38-0, celebrating its SAA Championship

SAN ANTONIO – The No. 5/6 Trinity football team finished off its regular season schedule with a 38-0 Senior Day victory over the University of the South on Saturday afternoon.

Trinity improved to 10-0 this season, competing the 10th undefeated regular season in school history. It is the first 10-win season for the Tigers since 2011, and the Tigers extend their regular season winning streak to 20 games – dating back to the final game of the Spring 2021 season.

BJ Stewart (Shreveport, La. / Woodlawn) tied a school-record with two punt return touchdowns in the game, scoring in both the first and second quarters. He has scored three punt return touchdowns this season, as well as one touchdown on a kickoff return. Stewart finished the day with 141 yards in punt returns, which is the fourth-highest total in school history.

The win is also the 60th in the career of Head Coach Jerheme Urban, which ties him with Trinity Athletics Hall-of-Famer Gene Norris for second on the all-time list.

Trinity clinched the outright Southern Athletic Association Championship with the win, having secured a share of the title with last week's win over Millsaps. The Tigers have also earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs and will await the NCAA Selection Show that begins tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.

The Rundown

The game began with Sewanee taking a huge gamble by attempting an onside kick after deferring to the second half. The attempt ended up with a decent bounce, but skipped out of bounds before any players had a shot at recovering it. Just two plays later, Justin Carmouche (Cypress, Texas / Cy-Ranch) burst through the line for a 43-yard rushing touchdown to put Trinity in front 7-0 less than a minute into the game.

 Sewanee went three-and-out on its first possession, which was ended on a sack by Max Shilstone (Houston, Texas / Lamar) on third-and-long. The ensuing 52-yard punt was caught by Stewart on his own 25 yard line and he was off to the races. His 75-yard touchdown was his second of that length this season, and today's score made it a 14-0 Trinity lead with just three minutes elapsed.

Trinity's defense forced another three-and-out on the next Sewanee drive, which was also ended on a third-down sack. This time it was James Ogunrin (Katy, Texas / Episcopal) and Mac Douglas (Fairhope, Ala. / Bayside Academy) that finished off the drive. After Trinity got stopped for the first time on offense, Sewanee was back for its third possession. The Tiger defense was up to the challenge once more with its third straight three-and-out – this time forcing Sewanee backwards for a collective 24 yards lost on the drive.

Up two touchdowns midway through the quarter, Trinity's offense put together its first long drive of the game, covering 60 yards in just eight plays to increase the lead. Back-to-back completions from Tucker Horn (Graham, Texas / Graham) to Caleb Crawford (Houston, Texas / Strake Jesuit) covered 25 of those yards and put the Tigers in the red zone. Legend Grigsby (Houston, Texas / Cypress Creek) covered the final 16 yards with two rushing attempts and a three-yard touchdown reception from Horn to make it a 21-0 lead.

Sewanee picked up a first down for the first time in the game on the ensuing drive, but still managed just 12 total yards on five plays. Trinity drove 48 yards inside the Sewanee 30 on its offensive possession, but failed to convert a fourth-and-five to give the ball back to the visitors early in the second quarter.

With the quarter change also came a change in which team had the benefit of a strong wind. After two punts of 50-plus yards in the first quarter, Sewanee's next three-and-out drive ended in a 30-yard kick and gave Trinity the ball back near midfield. Trinity drove down inside the 10 before sputtering and settling for a field goal.  Blake Lin (Tyler, Texas / All Saints) converted the 26-yarder to put the Tigers on top 24-0 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.

A penalty on the second play ultimately derailed Sewanee's next drive and another three-and-out negative-yardage drive – the fifth such drive of the half forced by Trinity's defense – resulted in another punt for Sewanee. This time Stewart fielded it on his own 43 yard line, but the result was the same as the first time he touched the ball – a punt return for a touchdown to was the final score of the quarter, giving Trinity a 31-0 halftime advantage.

 After Sewanee was stopped on a three-and-out to open the third quarter, Trinity quarterback Ryan Back (Austin, Texas / Vandegrift) took over for Horn and promptly led his team on a scoring drive. Sewanee's punt was just 17 yards, so the Tigers were set up just 38 yards away to start the drive. The fourth play overall was Back's second pass attempt, which ended up as a 21-yard touchdown to Will Taylor (Houston, Texas / Strake Jesuit).

Sewanee's best scoring chance came after the score, thanks to a 73-yard kickoff return that set up the offense at the Trinity 24 yard line. The visitors then went for it on fourth-and-one at the 15, but Tiger defensive linemen Larry Green (Prosper, Texas / Prosper) and Braden Endsley (Waco, Texas / Midway) stuffed the run up the middle to force the turnover on downs.

Trinity drove 85 yards on 11 plays with its next drive, but Sewanee stripped the ball away deep in its own territory, resulting in a touchback, and keeping Trinity from another possible score. The resulting Sewanee drive made it just beyond midfield before Trinity's defense forced a turnover of its own, as TJ Scannell (San Antonio, Texas / Reagan) picked up a deflected pass for his second career interception.

Both teams failed to convert on fourth down to start the final quarter. Trinity's next scoring chance came on a 41-yard field goal attempt into the wind, but the kick fell short. The Tigers picked up more than 60 yards on its next two drives, but could not add on to the score.

Numbers to Note

Scannell, Ogunrin, and Charles Gilbert (Chandler, Ariz. / Basha) tied for the team lead with five tackles each. Gilbert also had a sack in the game and matched Ogunrin with 1.5 tackles for loss each.

Sewanee was held to just 54 total yards of offense in the game, including -13 yards of offense in the first half. Trinity's defense held its ninth opponent this season to less than 100 yards rushing as Sewanee finished with just 38 yards on the ground. The Tigers also gave up just one completion in 16 attempts, covering just 13 yards.

Trinity finished with 255 rushing yards in the game, led by Carmouche's 56 yards on just four carries. Jackson Williams (Manor, Texas / New Tech) had 48 yards on seven totes, while third-string quarterback Dez Thomas (Houston, Texas / Vista Ridge) finished with 37 yards on the ground.

Cole Monago (Houston, Texas / Klein Cain) led the game with 64 yards receiving on four receptions, while Stewart added 21 yards on five receptions to his day's total.

Coach Speak

"Man, I am so proud of these players and my assistant coaches," exclaimed Head Coach Jerheme Urban after the win. "To do what they accomplished this season is a true testament to their unity and commitment to one another. As you look around the national D-III scoreboard today, college football in general, there is a reason why there is the old adage about "why you play the game;" winning is not easy and definitely not guaranteed. The mental focus, the commitment to the process, the commitment to belief, all of those things have factored into us finishing the regular season at 10-0 and accomplishing our preseason goal of being the outright SAA Champions."

"I am very excited for our seniors who were able to not only experience victory in their last home game, but they can claim hold to three SAA championships, and if you remove the wonky four game COVID spring season, they've won 26 straight regular season games, and an overall record of 30-4," continued Coach Urban. "They committed to leaving their jerseys in a better place, and they can hold their heads high because they've done that! Today saw special performances from a lot of guys, but nothing made me more happy than watching all of our seniors play and walk off with a win. We are extremely excited about the playoffs next week, but I am going to enjoy this moment today, and again, I can't say enough how proud I am of this team!"

Up Next

Already qualified for the NCAA Playoffs, Trinity will await the announcement of its opponent and destination during Sunday afternoon's NCAA Selection Show at 4:00 p.m. (CT).