Trinity doesn’t go down easy to bigger BA team
BROOKHAVEN — Despite having nearly half as many players on its roster as Brookhaven Academy, Trinity Episcopal stayed right with the Cougars Friday night with the MAIS District 5-AA championship on the line.
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime before a turnover by the Saints led to the first of two Landon Nettles touchdown runs in the third quarter and the Cougars went on to win the game 34-14. The win gives Brookhaven the district title and the No. 1 seed for next week’s Class AA South State Playoffs.
Trinity turned the ball over three times in the game, and head coach Josh Loy said those played a big factor in the outcome of the game.
“It led to them getting the momentum and led to them getting some scores,” Loy said. “We’ve got to execute better. We’ve got to hang on to the ball. We turned the ball over right after the half and they scored.”
A fumble recovered by Brookhaven Academy (7-4, 3-0) resulted in Nettles’ 1-yard touchdown run with 7:47 to go in the third quarter that gave the Cougars a 21-14 lead. Nettles scored with 54 seconds left in the quarter on a 45-yard run. Kevin Nettles added the extra point for a 28-14 lead.
Matthew Evans picked off a Garrett Vinson pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown with 7:07 remaining that finished off the Saints.
Despite allowing 381 yards of total offense, Loy said the defense played well enough for the Saints to win the game.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us. We’ve got to make plays and get some stops,” Loy said.
For one half, it looked like the game would have gone down to which team had the ball last. Gage Posey scored on a 1-yard run that gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter. Tanner Cage responded for the Saints with a 41-yard touchdown run just over a minute later to tie the game at 7-7.
Posey then connected with Evans on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:48 remaining in the first half, but Trinity answered with Cage’s 6-yard touchdown run with 1:32 to go until halftime.
Cage finished with 142 yards rushing on 21 carries while Vinson was 7-of-14 passing for 129 yards and two interceptions.
“It was a great football game. Both teams played hard. There were some momentum swings. Tanner made some plays for us,” Loy said.
Trinity Episcopal will take on Silliman Institute in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. next Friday Loy said the Saints will probably play host to the Wildcats.