‘Unprepared’ Saints squad beats Crusaders

Published 2:18 am Saturday, September 11, 2010

HATTIESBURG — Heading into Friday night’s game at Alpha Christian, Trinity Episcopal head coach David King said he didn’t know very much about the Crusaders.

Which may have been why he said what he said about his team’s performance, even though the top-ranked Saints pulled away for a 57-20 victory to remain undefeated.

“They were just a little bit less prepared than we were. That was the most unprepared football team that I’ve ever put on the field. Period. We were not very good tonight. Period,” he said.

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Even though Trinity Episcopal’s defense gave up 185 passing yards, it more than made up for it by holding the Crusaders to minus-22 yards rushing on 13 carries and forcing seven turnovers, six on interceptions.

While Alpha Christian didn’t give up any big plays, it still could not stop or even slow down Saints senior running back Kent King, who finished with 210 yards rushing on 21 carries with three touchdowns. King had a key 7-yard touchdown run with 5:23 to go in the third quarter after the Crusaders scored 20 unanswered points to cut what was a big lead to just 28-20.

Trinity (4-0) scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. Tip McKenzie scored on a 34-yard pass from Givonni Dent, Daniel Dunaway scored on a 4-yard run and King added a 10-yard touchdown run. Zach Marshall was 3-for-3 on extra points in the opening quarter as Trinity led 21-0.

Dunaway finished with 65 yards rushing on 13 carries while Dent completed 6 of 12 passes for 78 yards.

The Saints added to their lead just 20 seconds into the second quarter when King scored on a 41-yard run. Marshall added the extra point and they had what appeared to be a commanding 28-0 lead.

But just when most people who traveled from Natchez to Hattiesburg to watch the game thought the Saints were going to enjoy another easy win, the Crusaders had other ideas.

Dewuell Moore took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown just 20 second later. Then with 6:53 remaining until halftime, Antonio Stevens threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Akeem Pollard and Stevens ran in for the two-point conversion to make it a 28-14 game.

Pollard then caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Rex Ferguson with 7:47 left in the third quarter and just like that it was a one-possession game at 28-20.

But that would be as close as Alpha Christian (1-3) would get. After King’s third touchdown of the game, Trinity outscored the Crusaders 21-0 in the fourth quarter. McKenzie ran in from 1 yard out, Dent intercepted a pass and returned it 61 yards for a score and Eric James scored from 6 yards out as time expired.

Trinity Episcopal hosts Porter’s Chapel next Friday at 7 p.m.