RENSSELAER, Ind. - In their first-ever game against a team outside of their division, the Trine University football squad nearly upset Division II St. Joseph's (IN), falling 24-21. Junior quarterback Andrew Dee (McComb, Ohio/McComb) threw two touchdowns while senior Tyler Keck (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) added to his national-leading field goal total making both of his attempts in the game. It was the first loss of the season for the Thunder as they are now 3-1 on the year headed into conference play.
After the Pumas scored on their opening drive, the Thunder also scored on their first drive as Keck connected from 35 yards. After a St. Joseph's punt, the Thunder would use a short field to allow Keck to connect on his 10th field goal of the season from 24 yards to pull Trine within one.
From there neither team was able to put points on the board until just before halftime. The Pumas would connect on a 44-yard pass to go up 14-6 with just 1:37 to play in the half. Trine would answer back, going 75 yards in just four plays capped off by a Dee to sophomore Gage Corner (Leo, Ind./Leo) 30-yard score. Junior Tyler Guzy (Coldwater, Mich./Coldwater) would intercepted the St. Joseph's pass on their first play of the ensuing possession, but the Thunder were unable to convert on a 4th-and-3 as the half came to a close.
The Pumas would again score on their opening drive of the half on a 43-yard run. Once again though, the Thunder would answer right back as they went 70 yards in 10 plays as Dee connected with freshman Kevin Matejko (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) for a 5-yard score. Trine would go for their first, two-point conversion of the season, and again it would be Dee finding junior tight end Zach Hess (Eagle, Mich./Grand Ledge) to tie the game at 21-21.
With 43 seconds left in the third quarter, St. Joseph's would connect on a 21-yard field goal to put the final points on the board.
Trine would have two opportunities in the final quarter as they were driving into Pumas territory, but the Thunder lost a fumble and threw an interception to end both drives.
The Thunder out-gained St. Joseph's 417-367 but the Pumas converted 21 first downs to Trine's 19.
Dee threw for his second consecutive 200-yard game connecting on 19-of-32 for 205 yards and two scores. It also marked the second straight game that Corner went over 100 yards receiving as he caught eight passes for 101 yards. Junior Jared Barton (Middleton, Mich./Fulton) caught five passes on the afternoon for 72 yards. On the ground, senior Richard Gunn (Ashley, Ind./Penn) went for a season-high 175 yards on 27 carries.
For the defense, Guzy snagged two interceptions in the game to go along with seven tackles. Sophomore James Gregory (Akron, Ind./Tippecanoe Valley) and senior Tony Miranda (Goshen, Ind./NorthWood) led the team with nine tackles in the game. Gregory also broke up two passes. Senior Louis Danesi (Santa Fe, Texas/Santa Fe) made five tackles for the game, two of which were sacks.
Trine now turns their attention to conference play as they host Kalamazoo for homecoming on Oct. 5 for a 1 p.m. game.