Trinity, Centreville on collision course

Published 12:21am Sunday, October 16, 2011

I haven’t seen Simpson Academy play, but I do know one thing about their MAIS playoff aspirations.

If the Cougars from Mendenhall are to make it to the Class AA title game, they will have to go through at least one formidable foe right from our own backyard.

As it stands, Trinity Episcopal and Centreville Academy seem to be on a collision course for a rematch once postseason play begins.

I’m sure Saints head coach David King and Tigers head coach Bill Hurst rather I not get their players thinking ahead when neither team has even finished their respective district schedule yet. But like the much-anticipated match-up between LSU and Alabama Nov. 5, it’s hard not to mentally fast forward a few weeks.

The Saints are currently 8-1 on the season after a 26-6 win against Oak Forest Friday night. Trinity has won its only district game to date against Adams County Christian School. The Tigers, meanwhile, are 7-2 on the year, 2-0 in district play.

With Trinity looking to win its third state title in three years, the injury issues that have hampered the team in recent weeks will need to be totally resolved.

Everyone knows about Tip McKenzie, Tanner Cage, Jake Winston and Scott Turner. But if Trinity is to secure the three-peat, the players that go at it in the trenches will need to be 100 percent.

Two weeks ago against Prairie View Academy, starting offensive lineman Chance Fenn was sitting on the sidelines. Offensive linemen are likely the most unappreciated players on the football field, and Fenn’s absence was noticed.

The Saints did not have as much success running the ball in between the tackles as they usually do, and Fenn’s absence likely played a part in that. King hates to make excuses, but continuity and chemistry are key components of offensive line play. If one or more players are out, it can throw the entire unit’s consistency off.

Trinity will likely need to run the ball consistently if the Saints want to beat Centreville, so the coaches’ main focal point right now is likely to get the team completely healthy.

Centreville in recent weeks has been trying to install a passing game, beginning against Adams County Christian School Sept. 30. Against Columbia Academy two weeks ago, the Tigers tallied 163 yards in the air.

Tigers assistant coach Brian Stutzman admitted that having a good passing game will be key come the playoffs. With teams loading the box against Centreville, the coaches saw fit to make sure their offense wasn’t one-dimensional.

The last time Centreville faced Trinity, it lost a heartbreaker at home 33-28 after Trinity completed a last-second touchdown pass. Although there’s little doubt a Bill Hurst team is focused on winning district first, I suspect revenge might be in the back of their minds.

Assuming both teams take care of business, a postseason rematch should prove to be quite a game.