Trinity rolls over North Delta for playoff win

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; &8220;Domination&8221; may not have been strong enough a word for what fans witnessed during the first half of Friday&8217;s Trinity-North Delta game.

The halftime score: Trinity 48, North Delta 0.

Trinity had 12 first downs after the first 24 minutes, while North Delta had none.

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The Saints racked up 323 yards of total offense in the half. North Delta: 13.

The dominant first half gave the Saints&8217; starters a breather in the second as Trinity (9-2) took a 54-22 win.

&8220;I think our speed on both sides of the ball was the difference,&8221; said Trinity head coach David King. &8220;Our line&8217;s taken a lot of criticism all year, but they were quicker and stronger tonight.&8221;

Stevan Ridley rushed for 159 yards on 12 carries and scored three touchdowns, and was also 3-of-3 passing for 77 yards and two more touchdowns.

Things deteriorated quickly for the Green Wave (6-6), as they fumbled on their third snap from scrimmage, which was picked up by Trinity&8217;s Matthew Freeman on the North Delta 23.

Two plays later, Ridley streaked into the end zone from 18 yards out and the rout was on. Blaine Misita added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with exactly 9:00 remaining in the first quarter.

After a North Delta punt, the Saints drove to the 20, where R.J. Fleming scored from 20 yards out to push the lead to 14-0.

Another punt set up Trinity in good field position, and Ridley once again made the Green Wave pay with a 30-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter to build a 21-0 lead.

The Saints then went to the air for their fourth score, as Ridley heaved a 23-yard pass to the back of the end zone, where Wells Middleton made a spectacular catch for the fourth touchdown of the game with 9:50 remaining in the first half.

After another Ridley touchdown run, the Saints got the ball in Green Wave territory again, and Ridley hooked up with Fleming on another long bomb, which Fleming made a diving catch for the touchdown.

Clint Easom scored from 55 yards out on a long touchdown run with 49 seconds to go until halftime to give the Saints their 48-0 lead.

Wholesale substitutions were made in the second half, and North Delta was able to score three touchdowns over the course of the half to make the score more respectable.

Unexpectedly, however, the Trinity backups were able to reach the end zone on one occasion, as Jackson Bryant hooked up with Kent King on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:12 remaining in the game to provide the final score.

King said his philosophy has always been to keep his team&8217;s emotions in check during the regular season to allow for impressive playoff performances such as Friday&8217;s.

&8220;These guys had a lot of pressure on them entering the season coming in ranked No. 1 in the polls,&8221; he said. &8220;This is the time of the year our boys wait for. Over a 10 game season, it&8217;s hard to get your boys up every game. We know that, we&8217;ve always been honest about that. We want them to be ready come playoff time.&8221;

Trinity will take on either Glenbrook or Heidelburg Academy, who were fighting weather delays throughout their playoff match-up Friday night.

&8220;They&8217;re both great programs,&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;ve broken Glenbrook&8217;s hearts two or three times in the playoffs, and Heidelburg beat us in the championship game three years ago, so it&8217;d be good to get a chance to avenge that. At this point, everybody&8217;s good. North Delta had a good football team, we just had a tremendous night.&8221;