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Trinity Valley puts up 72 points, routs Mesa in Heart of Texas Bowl
 December 7, 2013


COPPERAS COVE, Texas – No. 6 Trinity Valley scored the second-most points in NJCAA bowl history Saturday in a 72-23 rout of No. 12 Mesa in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl.

The Cardinals’ 72 points is the most scored in a bowl game by an active NJCAA member college. Dixie State – now an NCAA DII program – scored 76 points against Lackawanna in the 1997 Dixie Rotary Bowl.

Cardinals freshman running back Luis Lopez was named the game’s MVP after rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries. Trinity Valley sophomore quarterback Ryan Polite (right) completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the absence of star quarterback Blake Kemp, Mesa still saw sophomore wide receiver Cody Saul pull down six receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Trinity Valley’s offense was unstoppable, while the Thunderbirds’ attack floundered. The Cardinals posted 613 yards of offense compared to just 225 for Mesa. The Thunderbirds also played their own worst enemy, turning the ball over six times with two fumbles and four interceptions.

Trinity Valley got the scoring started on their first play from scrimmage when Polite connected with sophomore wide receiver Momon for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Following a Mesa field goal, the Cardinals took a 14-3 lead on a 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown by sophomore linebacker Tray Thornton. That score sparked a 28-0 run for Trinity Valley who went into halftime with a 42-16 lead.

The Cardinals got on the board early again in the second half with a 77-yard touchdown pass from Polite to freshman wide receiver Darius Floyd. Polite followed up the next drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put Trinity Valley up 56-16. Just over a minute later, Cardinals defensive lineman Ke’Andre Love put the game with a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Cardinals capped off the year with a 10-2 record, winning their first bowl game since 2005. Trinity Valley earned their first 10-win season since 2002 and their sixth in the program’s 67-year history. The Thunderbirds’ defeat dropped their record to 8-3 for the season.

Photo courtesy of Photos by Camera Artistry (www.covephotos.com

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