Tigers seek revenge at Trinity
NATCHEZ — The Centreville Academy football team is heading to Natchez today seeking revenge, and Trinity Episcopal Day School knows it will have its hands full with a bunch of angry Tigers, head coach Josh Loy said.
Trinity has won the last three matchups in its series against Centreville, including two last year, the second of which eliminated the Tigers from the playoffs.
“They are coming in with a chip on their shoulder,” Loy said. “We talked about that all week. We know they won’t be happy when they get here, and we have got to be ready for them.”
Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman said last season’s losses have provided some motivation this week.
“(Trinity) has been a thorn in our side,” Stutzman said. “I’m sure (last season) is in the back of (our players’) minds, at least we hope it is. Anytime you get knocked out of the playoffs by a team, it kind of lingers with you. These kids are focused this year.”
Both teams participated in blowouts in the opening week of the season. Centreville beat Amite School Center 56-0, and Trinity lost to Jefferson County High School 47-0.
Loy said Centreville would present a different — yet equally difficult — challenge for the Saints than Jefferson County.
“We lost to a really good, athletic football team,” he said. “We go from speed and athleticism to raw power and (physicality).”
Loy said he tried to use this week to prepare the Saints for a physical battle, but it was tough with the team’s lack of depth.
“We tried to be as physical as we can be, but we had some illnesses this week and didn’t have more than 17 players all week,” he said. “We know it’s going to be a slugfest.”
Trinity expects Centreville to run right at its defense tonight, and Loy said the Saints would have to keep their eyes on receiver Colby Shaw, running back Randy Bell and quarterback Casey Haygood.
Centreville breezed through its opener so easily that the starters did not get much playing time, and Stutzman said the coaching staff is still trying to learn what it has this season.
“I thought last week we came out and took care of business early, and we were able to get everybody a lot of action,” he said. “We didn’t play but three series with the first team, so I don’t really know what we learned.”
Stutzman said the Tigers have focused on stopping Trinity’s spread offense this week.
“They have a lot of quick running backs, and we have to contain their speed,” he said.
Stutzman described Trinity as very athletic on offense and defense, and that athleticism will provide a challenge for the Tigers.
“They have a good product, and we just have to go out and win,” he said.
Loy said a win for the Saints would provide a huge boost after a tough opening week.
“It would be a huge win,” he said. “Everybody knows the prestige and quality of football Centreville has. It would be a huge shot in the arm and get our season going the way we want and think it could go.”
Stutzman said he knows the fans will be ready to watch another battle between the two rival programs.
“Trinity has a good set up down in that hill, and it makes for a good atmosphere for games on Friday night,” he said. “We know they will have a lot of fans, and our fans will travel with us like they always do.”
The Saints and Tigers will kick off at 7 p.m. at Trinity School.