Trinity to take on Oak Forest in MPSAA AA’s second round

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2008

NATCHEZ — After playing the first round of MPSA AA playoffs, a game where scoring was scarce, Trinity knows defense is the key to victory.

The Saints held Simpson Academy to 7 points Nov. 8, and now they hope to do the same against Oak Forest.

The Yellow Jackets already upset Central Private 28-22 this past weekend after losing to them by a point earlier this season.

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Now District 5 Oak Forest (6-5, 2-3) is looking for the same against District 3 champion Trinity (11-1, 4-0).

“They’re much improved,” said Trinity assistant coach Matt Mason. “They’ve made some personnel changes on offense and defense, and they’re one of those teams that are always getting better as the season goes on.”

The Saints defeated Oak Forest in the second round last year 35-12, and Mason expects the Jackets will remember that.

“There’s no doubt they are going to come in here looking for revenge,” he said. “They’ve also got their eyes on the same prize that we do — a state championship trophy.”

Mason said Oak Forest’s defense is strong, and depending on how the wet the field is, Trinity’s passing offense could struggle.

But according to head coach David King, that’s no worry.

“Defense is critical in the playoffs, and ours is ready to go,” he said. “We put up some big numbers this year, but when the playoffs come you have to be more conservative in your play-calling.”

The Saints also have the added advantage of playing at home for the second straight postseason contest.

Oak Forest has been on the road since its last regular season game Oct. 31.

“Playing at home, everybody gets to stay around here and get a good night’s rest,” Mason said. “We don’t have to worry about travel, we get to eat our pregame meal and everything stays right on course. The kids get excited about playing at home in front of all their own fans.”

Some of Trinity’s players have been banged up for the past several weeks and were even held out of its final regular season game, a 36-8 loss to Centreville.

Mason said Kent King and Jackson Bryant are both at about 85 percent strength and will play Friday.

While he was unsure about star running back R.J. Fleming, King was far more confident.

“He’s been cleared to play by the doctors,” he said. “All of our players are cleared to play. We’ll be at full tilt tomorrow.”