Outmanned Trinity blanked by No. 2 Oak Forest

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 5, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Trinity’s small numbers were again its downfall, as the Saints fell 20-0 to Oak Forest Friday night.

In the first half, the Saints held tight with their opponents, eating up clock running the ball and keeping the Yellow Jackets out of the endzone until midway through the second quarter when Oak Forest quarterback Shane Holland connected with A.J. Petitto for a 37-yard touchdown pass, giving the Yellow Jackets an 8-0 lead.

&uot;We played all right. We came out a little sluggish at the beginning of the game, but we came together and got the victory,&uot; Holland said.

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But as the game wore on, Oak Forest wore down the Saints, slowly picking up yardage and taking advantage of Trinity miscues to score. The wet conditions played havoc on both team’s passing games and reduced the center of the field to a muddy morass, making gripping the ball a priority.

Trinity was hurt by its occasional inability to hold on to the pigskin in the game. On the kickoff following Oak Forest’s second touchdown, the Saints were unable to cleanly field the ball, allowing the Yellow Jackets to pounce on the ball. From there, Oak Forest quarterback Shane Hollard led his team on a third scoring drive, completing an 11-yard pass to Petitto for the touchdown.

With 5:43 remaining in the game, that score all but ended Trinity’s chances.

&uot;I’m just so proud of our boys. We were outmanned by a great ballclub,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;They’re No. 2 in the state for a reason, but if our kids continue to play that hard, we can’t be upset with them.&uot;

Oak Forest lost two running backs, Taylor Finch and Kody Walker, in the first quarter to injury, though head coach Jason Brabham said neither injury appeared to be serious and he expects both to be back for next week’s game.

Those injuries forced Bonner Fitzgerald and Brandon Seal to take on the increased burden and both performed admirably. The Yellowjackets had three rushers with more than 50 yards: Fitzgerald, Seal and John Phillips.

Despite the lopsided score, Brabham said he felt Trinity played better than his team in the game and that he felt fortunate to get the victory.

&uot;I’m glad we won, but not necessarily how we won,&uot; Brabham said. &uot;I feel like they whipped us all over the field. We got outcoached and outplayed. They did a great job. They’ve had more talent here (in the past) but I’ve never seen their guys play this hard.&uot;

Oak Forest’s Holland threw for just 52 yards in the game, but threw two touchdowns and ran for 39 yards in the game.

&uot;It was real wet out there, but we took advantage of (the passing game) when we had to,&uot; Holland said.

Trinity will begin preparing to face district rival Silliman Friday in a game between two teams that have yet to win a district game.

&uot;It’s a big district game,&uot; King said. &uot;Our goal, just like the last five years, is we want to be in the playoffs.&uot;