Angola, Ind. - The Alma College football team fell to No. 14 Trine University 52-24 on Saturday (Oct. 6) afternoon.
Alma (1-4, 0-2 MIAA), like all of Trine opponents thus far, had trouble containing running back Lamar Carswell. He ran for 293 yards and five touchdowns on 19 attempts. Alma had 63 rushing attempts to just 10 passes and, as such, won the time of possession battle, 46 minutes to 14. This was likely done to keep the ball away from Carswell, but he and the Thunder (5-0, 2-0 MIAA) capitalized off big plays.
Steven Sowa (Lincoln Park, Mich. / St. Frances Cabrini) led the Alma rushing attack, which saw five players tote the ball at least six times. Sowa had 66 yards on 12 attempts, while Chase Hinkle (Concord, Mich. / Concord) put up 61 yards on nine carries. Mason Ippel (Jenison, Mich. / Jenison), Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) and Austin Spratling (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Wyoming Kelloggsville) all scored on the ground.
How It Happened
- Trine began the game with a 50-yard pass followed by a 15-yard rushing score. Alma tied the game on the ensuing drive, attempting just one pass. It methodically moved the ball down the field, converting two third downs and finishing with a one-yard score from Ippel.
- The next drive saw Colin Smith (Westphalia, Mich. / Pewamo-Westphalia) pick off Brandon Winters on his first pass attempt. He returned the interception 31 yards to the eight-yard-line and Spratling took it the rest of the way to give Alma its first lead of the game.
- Carswell came back with runs of 31 and 39 yards to tie the game at 14. Alma responded with a 14 play, 69-yard drive that took 7:31 off the clock. With Stevens at quarterback, Alma again carefully and slowly picked up yards. It converted a 3rd & 13 with a 17-yard pass to Chase Krueger (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern) and, later, a 4th & 1 with a two-yard rush by Sowa. Stevens scored from seven yards out to again give the Scots the lead, but it would be its last.
- Trine tied the game on the next possession on a 43-yard rush by Carswell. That run and a 12-yard pass were the longest plays of the drive, the next longest being six yards.
- After a fumble from Ippel, Carswell needed just one play to score from 28 yards out. The Thunder scored again just before halftime, a 41-yard field goal from Ryan Hibbets (tied for the longest in the conference this season with Jacob Plisko (Livonia, Mich. / Livonia Stevenson)). Trine led 31-21 at the half.
- Alma got back to within a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half after a 38-yard field goal by Plisko. It began with a 21-yard rush by Hinkle and saw two pass completions, the most by either team on any drive.
- The lone passing score occurred on the next drive, a 15-yarder from Winters to former Scot Essa Kellah to put Trine up by 14. The Thunder sealed the win with an 88-yard rushing score from Carswell and a punt return for a touchdown after an Alma three-and-out.
- Alma's rushing total (243 yards) was the most since it put up 364 against Kalamazoo on Sept. 16, 2017.
- The Scots converted nine of 17 third downs (53 percent).
- The two teams were called for a total of three penalties on the day for just 25 yards.
- Alma has recorded an interception in each of its last four games.
- Trine's longest scoring drive was nine plays. It had two scoring drives of one play and two more of two plays.
What He Said
"Once again, the Scots continue to work hard throughout the game. I'm proud of how our boys built up one another. We are looking forward to returning home next week for our cAres cancer game. Go Scots!"
- Head Coach Jason Couch
Alma hosts Adrian College on Saturday, Oct 13, at 6 p.m. It is notated as the program's cAres game, in which it will honor those affected by cancer.