Trinity takes on River Oaks Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The Trinity Saints (10-2) have done the work, and now they have the scenario they&8217;ve dreamed of all season.

The Saints will host defending Class A state champion and top-ranked River Oaks (11-1), who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, in the MPSA Class A South State Championship Game.

The winner will advance to the state championship game at Mississippi College next Thursday.

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Head coach David King said he feels his team is excited about the opportunity ahead.

&8220;This is what these kids get out there in that grueling heat in July for, to play for the ultimate prize,&8221; King said. &8220;I think both teams have come a long way since August. What better way to finish out a career than with a chance to go to the state championship on your home field? I&8217;m excited for our seniors.&8221;

To do so, however, the Saints will have to defeat a top-notch opponent.

&8220;These guys are very, very good,&8221; King said. &8220;I&8217;m very impressed with how well they execute and how hard they play. They&8217;ll be real fundamental on both sides of the ball. They only run five or six plays on offense, mostly counters or traps, to make you play fundamental defense. They&8217;ll play a 4-3 defense and do everything right with it.&8221;

During the first two games of the playoffs, the Saint first teamers have spent much of the second half on the sidelines, as Trinity outscored North Delta and Glenbrook 83-0 during the first half of their games. King said he didn&8217;t expect that to be a factor &8212; or at least not a hindrance.

&8220;I think, at this stage, everybody&8217;s in good shape. I think our kids are smart enough to realize that this is the best team we&8217;ve played this year. (River Oaks is) expecting to win, and they should be. They&8217;re No. 1 for a reason. It&8217;s probably an advantage to us because our kids are well-rested.&8221;

One key to the game, in King&8217;s mind, will be the Saints&8217; speed going up against River Oaks&8217; power.

&8220;Nobody has run the football against them. We&8217;re going to need to spread it out a little bit. They&8217;re so good up front, you just don&8217;t line up and run the football at them. We&8217;re going to have to use our athleticism and our skill people. Their offensive line&8217;s the best we&8217;ve seen. The kids are going to have to know their assignments. We&8217;ve gone two-a-days the last two days of practice to make sure they know their assignments.&8221;

Wide receiver Clint Easom is questionable with a shoulder injury, but the Saints are otherwise healthy.

King said the game would ultimately come down to heart.

&8220;It&8217;s just going to be a matter of who wants it the worst. It&8217;s an old clich/ but it&8217;s true. We have to play mistake-free football if we&8217;re going to beat this bunch.&8221;

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity.