Trinity rides second-half surge to win at Tattnall
From Staff Reports
MACON — Trinity Christian wasn’t about to let another halftime lead get away in Macon.
A week after watching nearby Stratford Academy rally against them as a Homecoming opponent, the Lions weren’t about to let Tattnall Square celebrate during its own festivities on Friday night.
“The boys responded. I think coming out at halftime, they remembered what happened to them last week at Stratford. They weren’t about to let that happen to them again,” said Trinity Christian head coach Chris Hanson, whose team improved to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in Region 2-AAA. “I’m real proud of our guys. It was a hard-hitting game.”
Both teams quickly traded early touchdowns in the opening quarter with the Trojans striking first and Trinity answering with a score of its own on a 70-yard halfback pass from Jay Warner to Dee Snelling on the Lions’ first offensive snap of the game.
Fullback Drew Gibson exploded for an 84-yard touchdown run that put Trinity ahead 21-7.
But after a back-and-forth first half that ended with Trinity Christian ahead 21-14 with help from an interception by Snelling, the Lions took over the game with 13 unanswered points in the third quarter.
After each team was held on their first offensive possession of the second half, Trinity converted a 58-yard touchdown pass facing 3rd-and-18 when senior Connor Adams hit junior receiver Dee Snelling in stride for a 28-14 lead with 9:09 left in the third quarter after Cody Houser’s point-after kick.
Snelling finished with five catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the win. It was his second straight game with two TD receptions.
Trinity Christian then picked up a key third-down sack from sophomore Gavin Smith to force Tattnall to punt the ball back, and on the Lions ensuing first snap Warner broke free off left end for a 53-yard run to the Trojan goal-line. Adams carried the rest of the way on 1st-and-goal and the Trinity lead ballooned further to 34-14 despite a blocked PAT.
Warner finished with 141 yards rushing on 14 carries before cramping up late in the game. By then, however, he had accounted for over 200 total yards and two scores.
Tattnall quarterback Jonathan Ward tried to get his team back in the game with his arm after the Lions shut down the Trojans’ running attack. A bootleg pass for a touchdown closed the gap to 34-21 at the end of the third quarter, but it was the last time Tattnall was able to drive the ball inside the Trinity 10-yard line.
The Trojans didn’t help themselves when a botched punt snap led to a wave of Lions blocking Tattnall’s kick just outside the 5-yard line and the ball bounded into the end zone before it was scooped up by sophomore Devin Colburn just shy of the end line near the goalpost for a touchdown.
Ahead 40-21, the Lions were able to keep the clock running on its next possession when a Trojan player ran into Houser while trying to punt the ball deep into Tattnall territory. Instead it gave Trinity a first down before Adams eventually capped off the drive with a 5-yard keeper on a bootleg off left tackle.
For the Lions, Friday’s victory helped get the team back into the Region 2-AAA playoff race at 1-1 while tied with Stratford and Tattnall for second place behind The Heritage School. It also gave the second-year GISA program a signature win it was looking for all season.
“We challenged them this week. We’ve been looking for four complete quarters all year,” Hanson said. “[Tattnall head coach] Barney Hester and his program run a great program here. But we’re not done yet. We’ve still got three opportunities left and we’ve got to be ready to go.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS – Trinity Christian 47, Tattnall Square 21
Trinity Christian 14 7 13 13 — 47
Tattnall Square 7 7 7 0 — 21