Trinity-Oak Forest has makings of classic battles in time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Slowly, but surely, the Trinity Episcopal-Oak Forest matchup is building into a friendly, yet juicy rivalry.

In the Yellow Jackets’ victory in Natchez last season, the Amite, La., school brought a town police car to the game and sounded the siren each time Oak Forest scored, which was often for last year’s Mississippi Private School Association Class AA state champs.

Turnabout was fair play, apparently Friday, as Saints fans brought an Adams County sheriff’s car on the road and let it ring after the game’s alpha and omega touchdowns from Gregory Ketchings and Dudley Guice Jr., respectively, during the Saints 20-17 double overtime win.

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&uot;We knew it was their homecoming and, as a senior, you never want to lose this game,&uot; Trinity tailback/safety Chase Brown. &uot;We came out on that first drive and Gregory scored. But, then penalties killed us. We managed to overcome all that, though.&uot;

Guice, who also had an interception close to the end on regulation to go with his gamewinner, said the victory quieted any doubters that may have considered Trinity overrated after shutout victories of lesser competition.

&uot;This shows those games against Chamberlain-Hunt, Huntington, Claiborne and Plain Dealing were no flukes,&uot; Guice said. &uot;All I can tell you is look out for the Trinity Saints.&uot;

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING &045; When Ketchings scampered 37 yards for a quick 7-0 lead on Trinity’s second play from scrimmage, it was easy to prop your feet up and believe the Saints would roll for the fifth straight game.

After all, Trinity had outscored its first four opponents by a combined 216-0.

&uot;When we first scored, I promise you I thought we were going to blow (Oak Forest) out,&uot; Guice said. &uot;But they strapped it on and came to play. That’s when I started to get frustrated.&uot;

The Yellow Jackets methodically controlled the first half with a collection of rushers that never had more than one long run, yet increasingly wore down Trinity defenders.

&uot;They were just steadily coming at us,&uot; Brown said. &uot;That quarterback (Shane Holland) was tough to read with some of his moves. He’s a player.&uot;

However, when it counted, Oak Forest backs did not put the ball over the goal line in either overtime session.

&uot;I’m proud of my guys. They played their hearts out,&uot; Jackets head coach Jason Brabham said. &uot;I had a feeling it was going to come down to the last play and they took advantage of it when we didn’t.&uot;

BOTH SIDES IMPRESSED &045; The slobberknocker was probably the most physical game either team will play until the playoffs.

Trinity, perhaps, could face just as bruising of a challenge in MPSA 7-1A rival Wilkinson County Christian Academy, who lost to this same Oak Forest team, 21-14, in the season opener.

&uot;We’ve been in five (overtime) games like that before, so that was nothing new for us. It was a great football game,&uot; Brabham said. &uot;I’ve been coaching here nine years and I’ve never seen that many athletes on one team&uot; like Trinity’s.

Guice hopes, for his team’s sake that, Saints players have had time to enjoy the win, and are now motivated to focus on the preseason goal of winning a state championship.

&uot;We went up against a good ball club tonight,&uot; he said. &uot;But we don’t want this to blow up in our face. We’ll stay on cloud nine tonight, but we’ve got to go back to work in practice. We don’t want this win to backfire on us.&uot;

HOLDING ON &045; Even though Wilkinson Christian dropped a tough 26-21 loss to ACCS Friday, you can bet the Rams are taking solace in the fact they played with the Class AAA school and did so by hanging on to the football.

The Rams did put the ball on the ground four times and lost once, but it was much better than the previous week when they put it on the ground 11 times and lost it three in a win over Tensas Academy.

The turnover factor helped &045; the Rams were in the lead midway through the fourth before the Rebels got a 50-yard pass from Dustin Case to Ray Simpson to take the lead for good.

&uot;We’ve done some things this week that should correct the problem,&uot; WCCA head coach Paul Hayles said during the week. &uot;We’ve had some problems (with the snap). One thing is when we got into a lead (at Tensas) we did some different play-calling. But as far as running the ball and dropping it, we haven’t done a lot of that. It’s either the handoff and we bobble it or the quarterback-center exchange.&uot;

Adam Daigle

contributed to this report.