Prep Football: Trinity Christian tries to regain focus tonightBy CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Typically when a football team scores 31 points in half a quarter, the end result is a pleased head coach.
Not so for Trinity Christian’s Chris Hanson.
“Some mental focus in practice last week just wasn’t where it needed to be. It’s been a lot different this week,” Hanson said in preparation for tonight’s game against a young and up-and-coming Dominion Christian program at East Coweta Middle’s McKnight Field. “Anything we do, we can have ability and we can have talent. But it all depends on how focused we are to harness that.”
Following last week’s 56-22 loss at The Heritage School, one might easily overlook Dominion, which fell behind 38-0 against the Hawks thanks to five touchdowns from senior All-State tailback Candler Rich. The Knights took a season off in 2011 following a 2-8 debut in the GISA, returning this fall with a young roster including nine seniors.
“I’m not saying we’re there yet, but it’s been a little more intense week. I think they learned something from last week in how Arlington came out and played us,” Hanson said. “We can’t overlook anybody.”
Sophomore quarterback A.J. Wilson and junior receiver Luke Lewallen, at 6-4, 240 pounds, leads a spread offense capable of hitting the big play.
Despite its youth in 10 sophomores and six freshmen, Dominion Christian enters with more game experience so far in 2012, having played 12 quarters this fall to just five by Trinity.
The Lions got plenty of big plays in its final six minutes on the field last Friday. Dee Snelling ran back two long punt returns and Hanson has been pleased with the team’s 1-2 combination of tailback Jay Warner and fullback Edwin Rivera, both of whom are in their first seasons as senior transfers. So far, first-year starting quarterback Connor Adams, a senior, has also been steady.
“I’m ready to see how we come out and respond this week. Our whole motto is attack in all three phases and that’s what I want to see,” Hanson said. “I thought we did some good things against John Milledge and then we came out last week not ready to play. I don’t want to be on that roller-coaster ride. We’re going into our third game of the year and played only a full game and a quarter. And this is [Dominion’s] fourth game. So we’re at a disadvantage just in game experience.”
It’s a big reason why Trinity’s coaches have been demanding perfection in practices. At points during Tuesday’s drills, defensive coordinator J.P. Weaver’s voice echoed as if it was intended to be heard on Highway 154.
Weaver’s much-improved unit has allowed just three scores in two games, with Arlington’s other score last week coming off a fumble deep in the Lions territory.
“John Milledge has probably one of the best teams in GISA. They might be playing double-A, but they’re a triple-A program,” Hanson said. “We just didn’t get it done last week. I’ve challenged the guys this week to fix it and let’s get it done the right way we play football.”