Trinity faces DeSoto School in title game

Published 1:11 am Monday, November 23, 2009

NATCHEZ — When the final seconds ticked off the clock in Trinity Episcopal’s 38-11 victory over Riverfield Academy in the MAIS Class A South State championship game last Friday, there was some vindication for the Saints from last year’s 30-7 second round playoff debacle against Oak Forest.

“We feel like we didn’t play a great football game last year in the South State semifinals against Oak Forest,” Trinity head coach David King said. “This group had the mindset early on; they really focus hard and win (a state championship). These kids really wanted to make this a special season.”

Trinity now has the chance to do that Friday afternoon at Harper Davis Field on the Millsaps College campus in Jackson when they take on DeSoto School (Ark.) in the Class A title game. Kickoff will be at noon.

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A state championship would be a sweet reward for a team that started off strong but struggled through a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season against a very tough schedule.

The Saints lost three consecutive games to Class AA teams that made the playoffs, including a two-point loss to River Oaks and a four-point loss to Brookhaven Academy, the No. 1 ranked team in AA.

“We had a tough schedule that challenged our will and intestinal fortitude,” King said. “We were able to put those losses behind us and learn from them and grow from them.”

King said playing four games against Class AA schools and a game against a Class AAA school really prepared the Saints for their playoff run due to the physicality of the larger schools.

“The AA football is a lot more physical brand because they are bigger schools,” King said. “We wanted to be a physical football team at the end of the year. A lot of Class A schools choose not to play up a classification because they are bigger and more physical, but we thought that would help us and it certainly has.

“We went toe to toe with four of the best teams in Class AA and played them all competitively. In the playoffs we’ve seen some really good football teams and we’re not intimidated. We’re as physical as any bunch we’re going to see simply because of what we’ve faced.”

And now that the season’s final game looms large on the horizon, King said his team is playing its best football of the season.

“Our saying is we want to be better in the last part of the season than the first,” King said. “This group has put its best football out there in the last three weeks.”