San Antonio – The Tiger football team opened up Southern Athletic Association play with a narrow 14-10 loss to #13 Berry (GA) College on Saturday night.
Trinity's defense forced a fumble to stop the first drive for the Berry offense, but the Vikings took advantage of a short punt on the next chance to score on a 20-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Tigers struggled to get the offense going in the first half, but did manage a Charlie Sheppard field goal from 43 yards out to get on the board late in the second quarter.
After the teams traded punts, Berry took over again with just 45 seconds left in the half, but an incomplete pass combined with a Trinity timeout gave the Tigers the ball back with six seconds remaining.
After a quick 12-yard pass out of bounds, Trinity was on its on 48-yard line with only two seconds remaining. Quarterback Wyatt Messex dropped back to pass, was flushed out of the pocket and nearly sacked, then uncorked a Hail Mary pass from his own 45-yard line. The ball came down just inside the goal line and into the arms of Tiger receiver Tommy Lavine for a 52-yard touchdown that put Trinity in front 10-7 at the half.
After a promising start on offense in the third quarter, Berry had two penalties and a bad snap ruin the drive and was forced to punt. The punt went out of bounds at the one-yard line and the Tigers were pinned all the way back.
Trinity put together a 15-play drive that covered 94 yards, but a fourth-and-three pass from the Berry five was incomplete. The Tigers came away with no points to show from a drive that spanned more than eight minutes.
Berry took the ensuing drive 95 yards to the end zone, taking a 14-10 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers got to the Berry 22-yard line on its next possession, but failed on its third fourth down situation of the game to turn the ball back over to the Vikings.
Berry chewed up four minutes on its next drive before punting it back to Trinity, but the Tigers turned the ball over just two plays later. The Vikings ran the clock down to 34 seconds before calling timeout, then converted a first down 4th-and-8 to seal the victory.
The Tigers fall to 1-2 overall with its second straight loss, while Berry remains unbeaten at 3-0 this season. Berry also now leads the series between the two teams with a 2-1 record.
Tommy Lavine had his best game of the young season with six receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown on the 52-yard play to end the first half. Lavine is now tied for sixth on Trinity's all-time list for receptions and fifth in career touchdown receptions.
Chris Stewart added five catches for 47 yards and two rushing attempts for 17 more yards from scrimmage.
Charlie Sheppard kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal for the first points of the night for the Tigers. His previous long was a 42-yard kick against Berry last season.
Charles Davis finished with 86 yards from scrimmage in the game, leading the way with 15 carries for 59 yards rushing, and also grabbing a career-long 27-yard reception.
Wyatt Messex was 15-26 through the air for 246 yards and one touchdown, but was sacked four times and threw one interception.
Trinity will finish the month with a road game at Centre (KY) College on September 28, at 12:00 p.m. (ET).