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Tables turned from one year ago for Saints team

Centreville’s Tyler Caston runs through an attempted tackle by Trinity Episcopal School’s Demond Fleming Friday. Centreville won the game 51-24.     (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)
Centreville’s Tyler Caston runs through an attempted tackle by Trinity Episcopal School’s Demond Fleming Friday. Centreville won the game 51-24.
(Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Centreville’s 51-24 victory against Trinity Friday night followed last year’s script, except this time it was Centreville dishing out the one-sided beatdown.

During last season’s 13-0 perfect season, Trinity defeated Centreville 44-18, establishing the first time Centreville head coach Bill Hurst ever had the clock running against him at home.

Roles reversed in the 51-24 blowout Friday in Natchez as Trinity entered the second half down 44-12 with the clock running.

“It was the total opposite game from last year,” Hurst said. “I know Trinity lost a lot of kids, and we had most of our kids back, so I felt like our kids came out and played like they were “Take nothing from Trinity. They came out and fought hard.”

The final box score, which included 434 total yards by Centreville who played mostly underclassmen in the second half, bothered Trinity head coach Zach Rogel.

“I’m disappointed,” Rogel said. “I think we have a better team than that. I think we could have played a little bit better than that.”

Trinity was able to move the ball, but failed to complete drives in the first half. The Saints used dump off passes to the halfback in the flats as a way to try and exploit Centreville’s defense, a scheme Rogel put together after watching Brookhaven Academy have success with it against Centreville in week one. This tactic helped the Saints produce 385 total yards in the game.

Trinity’s Kevontaye Caston threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Caston connected with Tommy McCoy on an 11-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter. McCoy was targeted often, recording 142 receiving yards in the first half. Caston later found Cade Wells for a 15-yard strike in the second quarter, but by then the Saints were down 34-12.

Centreville set the tone following the opening kickoff. Trinity lost five yards on its opening drive and was forced to punt, and the Tigers took just two plays to march 55 yards to the end zone. A 26-yard touchdown pass from Casey Haygood to Daniel Hollingsworth capped the short drive.

Trinity mounted some offense on its ensuing drive, but failed to convert a fourth down from the Centreville 35-yard line. Centreville took the ensuing drive 65 yards to go up 14-0 with 4:41 to go in the first.

Centreville’s offense was able to bully around Trinity’s defense for the entire game. That was the difference maker for Hurst.

“I think that’s the key to the whole deal,” Hurst said. “I tell my kids all the time that you win football games from tackle to tackle. That offensive line is what wins those ballgames for you. Without a doubt, our offensive line did a great job.”

After giving up 44 first half points, Rogel challenged his team to continue fighting, urging his team not to give up. Serving as one of the few bright notes of the night, Rogel was happy to see his team put forth the effort in the second half.

“We kept coming,” Rogel said. “What I’m excited about is that everybody supported our young squad. The fans stayed until the final horn. They didn’t have to, but they did. Everybody is on board, but it’s just about finding that connection on the field.”

Centreville running back McDowell rushed for 109 yards on six carries. McDowell sat for the second half. Haygood finished the game with 143 passing yards and four total touchdowns. Trinity’s Wells finished the game with 48 receiving yards, 17 rushing yards and 62 passing yards.

Rogel said these bumps in the roads are only going to help his team grow.

“There’s no teacher like experience,” Rogel said.