Trinity’s Chase Brown out for season as team opens postseason

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The news on Monday wasn’t good to say the least.

Here at the start of the postseason and a time when a talented group of Trinity Episcopal Saints were looking to flex their muscles, one of their best is out. An MRI on Chase Brown’s knee injury from Friday night revealed a torn ACL, and the senior running back/defensive back is out for the season and all of basketball season.

The Saints will go their first game without him Friday when they host Deer Creek at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the MPSA Class A playoffs.

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&uot;You don’t replace Chase Browns,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;It’s just a bad deal, a bad situation. His leadership was just as important as his athletic ability. These guys right here are going to circle the wagons, and I think they’re going to come together. I think they’ll play for Chase now. Football is like life &045; you have to be able to overcome adversity.&uot;

Brown was part of the Saints’ 2001 state championship team and a key contributor last year and this year at both running back and on defense. The Saints will likely insert Stevan Ridley into his place after the freshman came in relief in Friday’s win over WCCA to rush for 89 yards on 12 carries.

The Saints &045; ranked No. 1 in Class A &045; will continue to set their sights on a state championship this season after getting knocked out of the playoffs last year against Prentiss Christian in the South State championship.

The first step toward doing so is the Warriors, a team coached by former Huntington head coach Jay Murphree.

&uot;Jay is a good friend of Coach (Matt) Mason and mine, and we go a long way back with Jay,&uot; King said. &uot;His team will play hard. We’ve been real deep in the playoffs the last two years, and this group has played in the biggest game you play in in the state championship. Deer Creek is a team that has improved very much. From what everybody is telling us, they’re the real deal.&uot;

The game will be the first for Murphree back in the Miss-Lou since he left Huntington for a job at Briarfield before landing at Deer Creek for the start of the current school year. But it’s not one he’s welcoming with his Raiders coming in to face the state’s top-ranked team right off the bat.

&uot;We’re playing Trinity, and they’re 10-0 and No. 1 in the state,&uot; said Murphree, who also serves as the school’s headmaster. &uot;You don’t need much more motivation than that. We’ve seen them on film, and they’re a very good team. We can definitely see how they’re 10-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state. They have a lot of speed and a lot of skill position guys that can go at any time.&uot;

The Raiders &045; who made the playoffs last year &045; are 7-3 coming in after losses to Briarfield, district champ Tallulah and Marvell Academy, and their point differential against Briarfield and Sharkey-Issaquena was the difference in them getting the No. 2 spot out of District 5-A.

Now the Saints will deal with a Deer Creek rushing game that can move the football with running backs Chris Welch, John Thomas Brewton and Clark Trotter behind quarterback Hunter McIntyre.

&uot;They’re strong and have some really good backs,&uot; King said. &uot;They match up well with us. They run a lot of deception plays that can beat you with traps and things like that. We’ll have to play one of our better games defensively to keep them out of the end zone. They’re going to run the football on us.&uot;

The Raiders were solid at times during the regular season and lost both district games by a touchdown &045; 14-10 to Tallulah and 34-28 to Briarfield &045; before ending the season with a 28-16 loss to Marvell. Briarfield also got in by way of the wild card berth, two of the best remaining teams in the South that go North to play.

&uot;What it came down was we had a pretty good district and everybody beat everybody,&uot; Murphree said. &uot;It came down to that three-way tie. We were in regardless, but we didn’t know where &045; either a wild card or in second. We didn’t know where we were going.&uot;

The Saints hope to get their offense in gear early and take control of the game. They did it with the running game last week in a 33-14 win over WCCA to claim the district title, but now it’s time to step it up.

&uot;We need to keep our offense hot,&uot; King said. &uot;The last two games we’ve started out slow offensively. I think our running game has come a long way. We have to put the ball in the hands of our playmakers and make plays.&uot;