There were TWO big football games in San Antonio on Saturday

Photo Courtesy of Jonny Conway

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Saturday was a great day for the 210.

The Mary Hardin-Baylor at Trinity game wasn’t the main attraction in San Antonio last Saturday night, that designation belonged to UTSA and Texas State in the Alamodome. But three and a half miles across I-35 was a contest that had the eyes of the Division III football world.

The scene at the Alamodome was incredible and was beautifully highlighted by Dave Campbell’s college editor, Ishmael Johnson, who wrote about a tailgate and a crowd not seen for a Roadrunners game since the program’s first-ever game in 2012. Ultimately, UTSA continued its dominance over the Bobcats in a 20-13 victory in front of 49,342 fans.

The scene at Trinity University Multi-Purpose Stadium was reminiscent of something you’d see in a movie. A Saturday Night Lights-type scene, if you will.

Parking was nearly impossible at the Alamodome. The same can be said at Trinity, where parking is limited on a beautiful campus nestled into the landscape of downtown San Antonio. The parking garage was close to capacity two hours before kickoff.

The tailgate outside the stadium was full of people enjoying areas of shade on another 100-plus-degree day. According to some locals, the tailgate scene at Trinity improved when they connected with the fraternities and sororities on campus to set the environment before the game.

The vibe around the tailgate was relaxing. Students tossing a frisbee, children running around playing, people cooking delicious food that provided an aroma everyone could enjoy, music that matched the atmosphere, and a combination of donors, parents, and fans that provided incredible hospitality.

“We have phenomenal presidential leadership with Dr. (Vanessa) Beasley, and her focus on the student experience here at Trinity is incredible,” Trinity coach Jerheme Urban said. “The crowd is incredible, and I expect things to keep growing here.”

The home stands were full once the game began. Standing room along the fence surrounding the track was the only thing available on the home side throughout the game. The visitor’s side was thin to start the game, which is understandable considering the sun continued to heat the aluminum stands. Some Trinity fans were overheard convincing a few Cru fans to sit on the home side to avoid the heat. They may be rivals on the field, but the camaraderie and care for others, from the 1,776 attendees to this visitor, was apparent throughout the evening.

“There’s more people here than when I was in high school,” all-american linebacker and Burton native Caleb Harmel said. “You get the feel of being in a movie on nights like tonight.  It’s awesome to see the students come out and set up the tailgate. There are drinks for everybody, and everyone is having a good time. It’s what college football should be.”

The action on the field was intense. Trinity’s offense clicked early and jumped to an early 14-0 lead. However, UMHB fought back in the second quarter and entered the half trailing 21-16. Feelings of Deja Vu were prominent during the third quarter when the Tigers struggled to score inside the red zone. The anxiety was understandable in a series that UMHB has dominated recently, winning the last seven meetings since 2004.

The sense of trepidation was extinguished when Caleb Crawford narrowly kept a pass from Tucker Horn from hitting the ground in the end zone, extending Trinity’s lead to 28-16 in the third quarter. Winston Hutchison’s 17-yard touchdown with 6:47 remaining set off a celebration 19 years in the making for Trinity fans.

“The 210 man, that’s awesome to hear,” Horn said after being informed of UTSA’s victory. “I know they play in a venue that is unmatched. The Alamodome is freaking awesome. But if you want something to do on a Saturday night, watch a game at Trinity. We don’t get all the hoopla around the game, but it means something different here. You get good football and people who love a team and a university and are awesome to be around.”

Saturday was indeed an excellent day for the 210.

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