It’s a rematch with Trinity hosting Apaches

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; It’s the playoffs, and there’s no bigger indicator of what it takes on Friday nights at this time of the year than what happened last week to Trinity Episcopal.

Deer Creek gave the Saints, ranked No. 1 in Class A, all it wanted and had a chance late to tie it up before coming up short. It was a pretty good wake-up call for the Saints, who have set their sights on a state championship since the beginning of the season.

Only four quarters will do, and that’s what Friday night’s game at home against Glenbrook will take.

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&uot;It got us up this week, and we know what we have to do,&uot; Trinity senior lineman Tres Atkins said of last week’s loss. &uot;It knocked us back down to earth. I think it told us to play one game at a time and not look ahead. We know what to expect out of their line. (We’ll) just play hard like we always do.&uot;

The Saints’ offense did misfire at times Friday night, and the Warriors were able to drive the ball with their misdirection well to stay in the game. But the Saints were in their first game without injured senior Chase Brown, a loss that shook up both sides of the ball a bit since he starts at safety and running back.

Now the Saints will have to face a Glenbrook team that throws well and played Trinity close in a 25-18 Apaches loss back on Oct. 10.

&uot;We’ll have to play without one of our most talented players,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;I’m not going to beat to death an injury, but it’s one of those unfortunate injuries and we’ll have to overcome it. Chase provides athletic ability, leadership and depth.

&uot;He’s been our starting safety since halfway through his freshman year. Now we’ve got to put in Ryan (Rachal) at a position he’s never played against Glenbrook, a team that’s going to throw it 30 times.&uot;

It’s a big rematch in Class A Friday between the Apaches and Saints, and at least the Saints were able to put together a nice offensive package against Deer Creek to continue to build on. While being a man depleted in the backfield, Gregory Ketchings ran for 242 yards on 22 carries behind an offensive line that took control.

It’s the area the Saints were thin at late in the season last year against Prentiss Christian at the South State championship, but things are different now &045; or, to be specific, bigger and stronger.

&uot;Other players stepped up (Friday),&uot; King said. &uot;I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job of stepping up and giving Gregory some holes. In all of the MPSA, only one team &045; Simpson Academy &045; has given up fewer points than us, and no team has scored more. If the kids continue to believe in what we’re doing, we’ll be fine.&uot;

The Saints’ 66 points given up this season is just behind Simpson’s 56, but it’s worth noting the Apaches scored the most points of any team on Trinity in the regular season. That 25-18 win at Glenbrook was one of the most-anticipated non-district matchups in Class A and the most points any team scored on Trinity in the regular season.

&uot;They’ve got so many athletes,&uot; King said. &uot;They’ve got speed, size and athleticism &045; just like us. They threw it 28 times the last time. They’ve got a very good high school back, a transfer out of Minden High School who is extremely elusive. He’s probably the best back I’ve seen in two years. They have two other receivers from the same high school. They just have a load of athletic ability.&uot;

The Apaches have probably the most speed Trinity has seen this year, and they ran for 115 yards in that first game while notching 224 yards total offense. Quarterback J.C. Fleming ran for one touchdown and threw for another in that contest.

&uot;They’re not really that fast, but they’re speedy and shifty,&uot; said senior Dudley Guice Jr., who plays receiver and cornerback. &uot;They remind me of our running backs, Gregory and Chase. They throw the ball, but we’re kind of glad they’re going to throw. Our defensive line will step up, and our secondary is good. I’m not trying to boast, but they’ll throw the ball, and we’ll see what our secondary is made of.&uot;