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Trinity, Centreville expect tough matchup tonight

Trinity Episcopal’s defensive lineman Conner Pressgrove sacks CENLA Christian’s quarterback Peyton  Gauthier in  last week’s season opener. Trinity won  44-34 against the  Lions. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity Episcopal’s defensive lineman Conner Pressgrove sacks CENLA Christian’s quarterback Peyton Gauthier in last week’s season opener. Trinity won 44-34 against the Lions. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal head coach Josh Loy has a dreadful memory of last year’s 37-6 pounding Centreville Academy gave them last season, and he said the Saints have been putting in the work this week to assure it won’t happen again.

“We got embarrassed last year and we’ve got a chip on our shoulder,” Loy said. “So we want to go out and show them what we’re capable of.”

Last year’s defeat is not the Saints only motivation for coming out strong against Centreville, but the doubt against them gives them an extra incentive.

“We’re a heavy underdog because our roster is much smaller,” he said. “We’re a 1A team and they’re 2A. There are not many people that’ll give us a chance against (Centreville).”

Loy got a chance to see what needed improvement against CENLA Christian Academy last week, and he said the season opener helped him better prepare his team.

“We concentrated mainly on our special teams and our defense this week,” he said. “We’re shuffling some people around and looking at different guys on defense.”

Loy said the Saints’ defense must make a big impact against a talented Centreville team, and the offense must continue to utilize what gave them 44 points against CENLA last week.

“We’re going to have to use our speed to our advantage,” he said. “They’re going to be very strong and tough up front on the line.”

Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman does not let last year’s victory get to the Tigers’ head.

Stutzman said there are still several things his team must prepare for when facing an athletic team like Trinity.

“They’re very athletic, and they’re really loaded in the field position,” Stutzman said. “It’ll be one of the best offensive teams we’ll see. We’ll have our work cut out for us defensively.”

Stutzman said he counts on Brian Arnett to take charge on the defensive end after recording eight tackles in an impressive game against Brookhaven.

Stepping up on defense is a must, Stutzman said. But last week’s win against Brookhaven Academy proved that they had to get over an obstacle first.

“We’ve been doing more conditioning because we’re not in as good of shape as we thought we were,” he said. “Kids were cramping up (against Brookhaven).”

Offensively, Stutzman said they have to be prepared for Trinity’s aggressiveness and quarterback Casey Haygood will have to withstand the pressure.

“He threw the ball well (against Brookhaven), but he has to continue to be a leader for us,” Stutzman said.

Haygood threw for 260 yards against Brookhaven and accounted for two touchdown passes.

Stutzman said he also has three running backs in Mark Curry, Tyler Caston and John Marcus McDowell that he’s depending on to create big plays.

Overall, the Tigers are expecting to fight hard against Trinity for the 2-0 record, but only one team will come out on top.

“We just take each game week-by-week, but it’ll definitely be a tough game for us,” he said.