However, a split second later, during Wallace’s return to set McMurry up for a final comeback attempt, the Tigers stripped the ball from Wallace, recovered the fumble and were able to avoid the upset by McMurry Saturday night at Wilford Moore Stadium.
McMurry’s quarterback, Jake Mullin, set the single game McMurry record for passing yards and passing completions with 479 and 35 respectively. However, the Hal Mumme era ended with an unfortunate turn of events to end the game.
Four of McMurry’s five turnovers came in the fourth quarter allowing Trinity to rebound from a 20-17 deficit. Mullin threw two interceptions in the final quarter and Wallace’s fumble gave Trinity the ball back with 58 seconds left and no timeouts for the home team.
The lead changed five times before Trinity was able to hold on for the win. Marcus Franklin caught a 63-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 left in the third quarter to give McMurry a 20-17 lead.
However, Trinity responded with a nine-play, 72-yard drive over the next 3:56 capped by Chris Baer’s one-yard touchdown run to help the Tigers regain the lead at 24-20. Then, after Mullin’s first fourth-quarter interception, Trinity used the short 55-yard field and scored four plays later when Davidson hit Riley Curry for a 40-yard touchdown score.
Mullin responded by throwing a 38-yard reception to Delfonte Diamond, however, at the end of the play Trinity’s Evan Reville recovered Diamond’s fumble forced by Kyle Coats to halt the drive.
McMurry’s defense struck back when Jimmy Terrell forced a fumble and Wallace recovered at the Tiger 30-yard line. Two plays later, Mullin found Marcus Thompson in the end zone for a score. After the two-point conversion failed, McMurry trailed 31-26 with 6:58 left.
Trinity countered with a solid drive down to McMurry’s 17-yard line. However, Garret Biel missed the 34-yard field goal attempt giving the home team the ball back with 3:41.
Unfortunately for McMurry, Mullin was hit by Trinity’s Tucker Morrow while throwing a pass and the ball floated into the arms of Reville with 1:58 remaining.
McMurry forced Trinity into a third-down situation when Wallace popped the ball free with one minute left to go. However, Al Furlow returned the favor when Wallace on his way back towards Trinity territory, and Furlow picked up the ball at the McMurry 49-yard line and ran out the clock from there.
Still, the McMurry Air Raid Offense caused fits for Trinity and two 11-year old school records came crashing down in just the first game under Mumme’s new system.
Mullin finished 35 of 54 for 479 yards and three touchdown strikes along with three picks. He found Diamond for a 16-yard score in the first quarter for the first touchdown pass of the season; then, he hooked up with Franklin in the third with the 63-yard score, and Thompson in the fourth from 20 yards out.
McMurry struggled rushing the ball finishing with 19 carries and negative seven yards. Mullin was the leader in rushing too with six carries and 13 yards. On the receiving end, Diamond led with nine receptions and 105 yards while Franklin led in yards with 153 on six catches. Running back Chantz Purvis also had six receptions for 56 yards.
Trinity’s Davidson filled in for Jeremy Staska in the second half who left with a hamstring injury. Davidson finished with 77 yards on 4 of 10 passing and a touchdown and had 17 yards on nine carries on the ground. Baer led with 69 yards on 20 carries while Staska had 41 yards on nine carries and added 96 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Mullin broke Braxton Shaver’s record in the fourth quarter with his 38-yard completion to Diamond prior to the fumble. That passed Shaver’s mark of 410 yards set against Mary Hardin-Baylor Oct. 3, 1998. Then, Mullin’s touchdown pass to Thompson gave him the single-game completions record passing Shaver’s mark of 33 in the same game.
Defensively, Nick Hernandez had 11 tackles while Jimmy Terrell, Kerry Gamble and Wallace all had 10 apiece. Wallace finished with 1.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Reville led the Tigers’ defensive attack along with Dennis Grebe; each player had nine tackles, but Reville was the hero with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
McMurry returns to action Saturday at home against Austin College. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Wilford Moore Stadium.