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Trinity Episcopal blanks fourth opponent in a row

Trinity Episcopal senior quarterback Michael Whitley scrambles around Wilkinson County Christian Academy's Austin Hendry Friday night at the WCCA football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity Episcopal senior quarterback Michael Whitley scrambles around Wilkinson County Christian Academy’s Austin Hendry Friday night at the WCCA football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

WOODVILLE — Trinity Episcopal Day School kept more than its winning streak alive in a 42-0 rout of Wilkinson County Christian Academy Friday night.

The Saints (7-0, 2-0) pitched their fourth shutout in a row this season, this time against the Rams (2-5, 1-1), and Trinity head coach Josh Loy said his defense has been playing “outstanding” in recent weeks.

“They forced turnovers (and) they scored on that side of the ball,” Loy said. “When we play defense like we’re capable of, it’s tough on opponents. We’re playing really well on that side of the ball. I think our starting defense hasn’t given up a touchdown since the second quarter of Centreville (in Week 2).”

Trinity Episcopal senior defensive back Caleb Cross tackles Wilkinson County Christian Academy's Rodney Boyd Jr. Friday night at the WCCA football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity Episcopal senior defensive back Caleb Cross tackles Wilkinson County Christian Academy’s Rodney Boyd Jr. Friday night at the WCCA football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

While the shutout was nice, Loy also said he was displeased with the way his team played at times, citing the Saints’ minus 105 yards on 10 penalties and two fumbles lost.

“I thought we were extremely sloppy,” Loy said. “Penalty-wise and turnover-wise, that was our worst outing of the year.”

WCCA head coach David Wright said he knew his team had a tall task with the Saints coming in, and Trinity was able to capitalize on mistakes made by his players, he said.

“With the playmakers they have, we knew we were going to have to play a nearly perfect game (to have a chance),” Wright said. “When you make mistakes, they’ll capitalize. That’s what good teams do.”

The Saints scored first with 3:04 left in the opening quarter on a 22-yard carry by Dee Fleming to give Trinity an early 6-0 lead. The Saints went up 20-0 in the second quarter when Sandrock caught two touchdown passes for 33 and 3 yards apiece to put Trinity ahead three scores at intermission.

The closest WCCA came to scoring was with 10:16 left in the first half when the Rams attempted a 35-yard field goal. But the kick didn’t go through, and the Trinity defense would go on to limit WCCA to 50 yards on the ground and 89 yards through the air.

In the third quarter, Fleming scored again on a 5-yard run with 9:59 left to give the Saints a 26-0 lead.

Two more touchdowns by the Saints in the final quarter put an already lopsided game even further out of reach. With 10:03 left in the game, quarterback Michael Whitley hit Dre McCoy for a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. Whitley ran the two-point conversion, giving the Saints a 34-0 lead.

On the ensuing WCCA possession, backup quarterback Justin Prevost threw an interception to McCoy, who returned the ball 36 yards for the score. Trey Hall caught the two-point conversion pass, and the Saints led 42-0.

Already short eight players because of injuries, the Rams had two more players hurt during the course of play. Center Harrison Holden, a senior, sustained a leg injury during the third quarter, and Prevost also injured his leg during the fourth quarter. Wright said he doesn’t know either player’s prognoses.

Whitley was 13 for 18 in passing with 153 yards and three touchdowns for Trinity. Fleming tallied 101 yards on 14 carries. WCCA’s Jalen Washington went 6-for-16 in passing for 89 yards, and Jamal Vessell had 50 yards rushing on 10 carries.

WCCA will play at Tallulah Academy next week, while Trinity returns home to face River Oaks School.

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