Trinity’s season ends against University

Published 12:12 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

NATCHEZ — The (8-4) Trinity Saints’ season came to an end at the hands of No. 1 seed (12-1) University Academy in a 44-8 loss on the road Friday night.

Dealing with the bitter taste of defeat, Rogel blamed himself for the loss, and said he doesn’t want his young players to hold their heads low because that would diminish the semifinal run.

“We’ve gotten a lot of experience this year, and that’s more beneficial than a state championship right now,” said Rogel, who coached a sophomore-heavy team.

Email newsletter signup

Unfortunately, the Saints’ youth showed, particularly in the second half. However, the early goings proved to be a defensive struggle with University Academy scoring the first touchdown of the game in the second quarter. Zach Rhone ran for two touchdowns — 15-yard run and a 1-yard run — in the second quarter for University, but 13 seconds before the half, Trinity drew within one possession when eighth grader Jakaris Caston intercepted Peyton Gauthier and took it back 34 yards for the touchdown.

“That was a good momentum builder,” Rogel said. “But it got slippery in the second half. That was one me. I didn’t have a good offensive game plan, and I let them down. The kids played hard.”

University went on to outscore Trinity 30-0 in the second half.

The Saints were stymied offensively, producing negative 34 rushing yards in the contest. Trinity was held to negative four yards in the game, but the Saints were also without wide receiver David Jackson who suffered a high ankle sprain against Central Holmes last week.

“It definitely hurt us,” Rogel said. “That’s one of our main weapons, and we don’t have many to begin with. Any time you throw an eighth grader into the mix (Caston), and ask him to perform on the same level, it’s tough.”

University Academy controlled the clock with 407 rushing yards, totaling 415 yards in the contest. Rogel said he kept the offensive game plan the same as he normally does, allowing Caston and Cade Wells to make plays on the perimeter, all the while giving Cortez Adams the rock between the tackles. Rogel said defensive coordinator Chris Bunio came up with a good defensive plan, but the offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough to sustain a drive.

“I feel like if the offense would have played on the same level as the defense, it would have been a different ballgame, but offense didn’t produce,” Rogel said.