Trinity readies for playoff rematch
Published 12:02 am Friday, November 14, 2014
For the second time this season, (9-3) Trinity will travel to play (11-1) University Academy.
This time, a semifinal matchup is on the line, and Trinity head coach Zach Rogel has something he didn’t have in the Saints’ Aug. 22 showdown — unity.
“That first week, we were just a bunch of strangers that tried to play together,” Rogel said. “Now, we’re a family.”
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Rogel’s blend of athletes lost to University Academy 62-36 to open the season. University quarterback Peyton Gauthier threw for 326 passing yards and five touchdowns, while Dezmon Eddie accounted for 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Gauthier has thrown for 2,507 yards, 37 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season, while Eddie has led the Lions in rushing with 608 yards and rushing nine touchdowns.
In the previous matchup against University Academy, Trinity’s Kevontaye Caston accounted for four total touchdowns, making plays with his legs and feet in the loss. However, Caston had three interceptions in the loss, and Rogel said he anticipates a more mature Caston to take the field Friday night.
“I would imagine they would try to contain him in the pocket with their ends and have spys at linebacker,” Rogel said. “But we’ve got some wrinkles added this week to get other guys the ball.”
One player Rogel will target is wide receiver Cade Wells, who was lost in the second half of the first matchup with a bruised collarbone. Rogel said having him play the entire game will give Trinity an added boost in this semifinal matchup.
Before practice this week, Rogel and defensive coordinator Chris Bunio revisited the film from the first game, and could barely recognize the product on the field.
“We had a long list of differences from now compared to then, and the board was filled up,” Rogel said. “One thing we couldn’t write down was our experience, attitude and mental toughness. It’s a day and night difference.”
After losing to Adams County Christian School 46-14, University Academy has won seven straight, including a 50-13 victory against Tunica Academy in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.