Still hope for Trinity, Huntington

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 22, 1999

Trinity and Huntington dropped their opening games Friday, both MPSA Division 6A contests. But don’t despair guys. It’s not as bad as it was last year.

Last year, Tensas was definitely the class of the district, and proved it going all the way to South State.

River Oaks was also strong.

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Tensas defeated Trinity 8-7 Friday, while River Oaks used to fumble returns for touchdowns to nip Huntington 14-13.

But, truth be told, the better teams did not win Friday. Of course, that’s not going to change any records and both teams have still dug themselves a hole early in the season.

But this Tensas team has a lot of holes to fill from last year and Chris Jacobs knows. The Chief head coach said after the game, &uot;I’m very pleased to come out of here with a win and lucky. For the most part, Trinity outplayed us.&uot;

Trinity held a 7-2 lead through most of the second half before Tensas Academy senior running back Stanley Hazleton scored on a 9-yard run with 40 seconds remaining to give the Chiefs the 8-7 win.

Trinity had control of the game for most of the contest, but ran out of gas in the final stanza, allowing the Chiefs to go 75 yards in 3:49 for the winning score.

A third personal foul and another 5-yard penalty aided the Chiefs.

Saint head coach David King and his assistants made it very clear in a 35-minute postgame speech that the conditioning and mental mistakes made Friday will not be tolerated in the future.

Meanwhile, Tensas was impressive on its last drive, never panicking. At the Saint 28-yard line with 1:40 to play, the Chief offense acted as if they were just starting the period, fully under control and not showing the least amount of panic.

&uot;I think a lot of that was the fact we won five games in the last quarter, including Trinity (7-0) last year,&uot; Jacobs said.

No doubt this loss was tougher to take than last year’s 6-0 loss to Tensas in the season-opener because the Saints surprised everyone by making the playoffs last season.

More is being expected this year and that’s where the leadership part has to come into play. If this loss doesn’t hurt real bad, there’s a problem.

As for Huntington, the Hound defense shut out River Oaks, but the Mustangs used two fumble returns for touchdowns to nip the Hounds.

River Oaks was supposedly going to be tough this year and the Hounds were looking to finish somewhere in the middle.

Pine Hills lost a tough 14-12 contest to Tallulah, as the Trojans used a punt and kickoff return for all of their scoring.

The Wildcats are definitely a much improved team.

Briarfield was beaten by non-district foe Prairie View 39-6.

So the bottom line is, there is not a team head over shoulders above everyone else.

There is a lot of parity in the district this season and when a coach says any team in the district can be beat any week, this time he’s telling the truth.

It’s still a wide-open race, and even a loss in the first week is not devastating. It’s still all up for grabs.

By the way, one more thing. I understand the water breaks and I’m glad to see them. But I almost fell out when officials signaled for a water break with Tensas facing a fourth-and-one just inside the 50-yard line.

I know they are told to call for a break at certain times, but to freely give a team a chance to talk about a fourth-and-one just is not right. Hopefully more discretion will be used in the future.