Trinity Saints advance in playoffs with victory
Published 12:47 am Saturday, November 8, 2014
If Trinity head coach Zach Rogel ever needed a visual to back up his sermons on turnovers, the Saints’ 38-12 victory against Columbus Christian Academy in the second playoffs would qualify as such.
Columbus Christian had 305 rushing yards, most of which were earned in the first half, but had only six points to show for it up until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. Rogel said the difference in the game was the Pirates’ four fumbles, which Trinity cashed in on.
“Winner of turnover margin wins ballgame, and that proved true tonight,” Rogel said. “They don’t turn the ball over, and this is a completely different ballgame.”
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Rogel had to conquer fears heading into the second round matchup, specifically, a solution to filling the void starting left tackle Spencer Adams left. Rogel knew who to call upon to replace Adams, who did not play because of a sprained ankle.
“I texted (Ernest) Chatman Saturday night, and I said, ‘We’re about to find out what you’re about this week,’” Rogel said. “I said, ‘Do you know what I’m talking about?’ He said, ‘No,’ so I told him he was playing left tackle this week. He responded with, ‘Anything for the team.’”
Chatman, who never played on both sides of the ball before and has been playing defensive tackle all season long for the Saints, answered his coach’s challenge.
“Playing offensive line is new to me, but I would do anything for the team,” Chatman said. “I would never let any of my team down. You’ve got to make sacrifices.”
With Chatman helping upfront, Trinity was able to get the ball on the perimeter to skill players.
Cortez Adams cashed in on the first Saint scoring drive of the night with 5:34 left to play in the first quarter. Following a Columbus Christian fumble in the red zone, Kevontaye Caston connected with Cade Wells, who turned on the burners and scored on an 84-yard reception. Caston finished the game with 160 passing yards, 106 rushing yards and three total touchdowns, while Wells finished the game with 46 rushing yards, 86 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
“They had a hard time catching Cade and Kevontaye,” Rogel said.
Columbus Christian drew within eight after K.C. Cunningham scored on a fourth-and-goal in the early goings of the second quarter. However, Caston found Demond Fleming for a 50-yard touchdown just 22 seconds after Columbus Christian scored. Including that score, the Saints scored 24 unanswered points in the quarter, with the other two scores coming from a 3-yard Caston run and 5-yard run from Wells.
Trinity took a 38-6 lead into the half, and while the defenses stalled offensive production in the third quarter, a scary scene emerged in the fourth when Columbus Christian’s B.J. Shirley was knocked unconscious. The game was delayed 30 minutes as an ambulance arrived on scene. Rogel said he believed the injury to be a severe concussion, and Trinity headmaster Les Hegwood said the training staff didn’t want to speculate on how severe the injury was.
Trinity’s David Jackson suffered what Rogel thought to be an ankle sprain in the win, as well, but Jackson went to get X-Rays after the game to be sure.
Following the game, Rogel set his eyes on a third round matchup with No. 1 seed University Academy. Rogel was still riding high off of what he called the best win of the season.
“I think hands down it’s our best performance,” Rogel said. “Like I told them before the game, there’s nothing you can do in life that will recreate this feeling. When everything is on the line, they came out and stood up to it.”