Trinity Episcopal hosts Claiborne in second round

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 16, 2001

Friday, November 16, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

The Trinity Episcopal Saints have seen it before. &uot;It&uot;

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is a bruising style of football, almost Baltimore Ravens-esque.

Pound the ball down a team’s throat on the ground, maintain good

field position and stuff the opponents’ offense.

That’s what Claiborne Educational Foundational brings to Trinity

for Friday’s 7 p.m. Mississippi Private School Association Class

A second-round playoff game. It’s a style the Saints saw last

week against River Oaks in a 14-12 win. River Oaks held Trinity

Episcopal to 60 yards total offense while rushing for 135 yards.

But two big plays – a 95-yard punt return by Chad Ridley and an

80-yard interception return by Gregory Ketchings – saved the Saints

and gave them the win.

&uot;They’re almost a carbon-copy of River Oaks, although

not quite as big,&uot; Saints coach David King said. &uot;They’ll

try to beat you 7-0 or 14-0. There’s nothing fancy on offense.&uot;

Claiborne pulled an upset last week, beating Tri-County Academy

on the road. Tri-County was in the state championship last year.

&uot;That speaks a lot,&uot; King said.

So fans should expect another gut-wrenching tussle Friday night.

And although it is the playoffs, some may not have expected

the Trinity Episcopal offense to struggle as much as it did last

week. The 60 yards total offense was the lowest gained by the

Saints this season. They also had minus 1 rushing yards. But King

kind of expected his offense to slow its pace – and for the games

to become grind-it-out battles.

&uot;We’ve been able to do a lot of great things this year

(on offense),&uot; King said. &uot;But when you get to the first

or second round of the playoffs, everybody scouts everything.&uot;

King and his staff have been victims of that, studying countless

hours of film on River Oaks and Clairborne the past two weeks.

He also said in the big games, big plays decide how the contest

will turn out. It happened last week with Ridley’s and Ketchings’

returns, and it’s something King and the Saints coaching staff

have preached to players this week.

&uot;A big play here or there is going to make the difference

in the game,&uot; King said. &uot;And that holds in our advantage.&uot;

If the Saints win, they win advance to the South State championship

game against either Glenbrook or Amite School Center. If Glenbrook

wins, Trinity Episcopal must hit the road. If Amite is victorious,

the Saints will host their third straight playoff game.

&uot;We’re two wins away from achieving every high school

kid’s dream,&uot; King said.