Trinity vs. Community Christian

Recharged Lions look to rebound tonight

by Chris Goltermann

When Trinity Christian looks across the field for tonight’s game against Community Christian at Dutchtown High, it may get a mirror image among two programs continuing to put distance between where they stand today and its 8-man football roots.

Like the Lions, Community Christian is a former member of the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama, and is quickly finding its way in the GISA.

Only one will be able to take another big step tonight, however.

For Trinity, getting into the win column following a disappointing loss at John Milledge in last week’s season opener will mean finding the stamina to get through four quarters. The Lions watched an early six-point lead vanish before halftime after the Trojans scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter.

“New faces, first game and stuff, but a lot of it was conditioning. I put a lot of that stuff on me,” said Trinity Christian head coach Chris Hanson. “I didn’t condition them as much as I should have and we changed that up this week. It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.”

Community, out of Stockbridge, may pose some problems after a 1-1 start that included a 61-point outburst to open the season against Dawson Street before coming back down to Earth in a 31-7 loss at Gatewood.

“They have a good looking team. Coach [Adam] Collins has done a good job with them,” Hanson said. “They’re big physical kids. They have good speed in the skill areas. We’ve got to play execution football. That’s what we’ve stressed all week.”

While most schools are in the last of two-year contracts to play football, the teams did not play last season, with the game filling a void left by Arlington Christian, which is not fielding a varsity team this year.

The Knights showcase bulk on both sides of the line between senior defensive tackle Kenneth Cousins (6-0, 290) and offensive lineman Nate Jones (5-11, 290) and Sebastian Lewis (6-4, 310).

This week’s added conditioning in practice should be put to the test immediately after allowing John Milledge to run for over 250 yards in last week’s opener. Trinity’s offense also lost steam after opening the scoring on a touchdown run by fullback Conner Owen. Senior quarterback Daniel Shoates was 10-for-17 for 176 yards and a touchdown while also finding a new target in Christian Downs, who had 108 of the passing total. But two interceptions were as much a part in giving the Trojans key field position.

“The offense started great. We’ve just got to sustain that for all four quarters, There’s a difference between game condition and practice condition and we saw that last Friday night,” Hanson said. “But we played a good team too. We just didn’t match their physicality when we needed.”

Trinity’s running game picked up in the second half with senior J.D. Farlow, a transfer from Heritage Christian’s 8-man program, managing just 47 yards on 16 carries.

“There was a lot of positives. We were able to throw the ball some,” Hanson said “We’ve just got to continue to get better each day we’re out here.”

The Lions also saw progress among first-year punter Will Townsend and kicker Daniel Jones.

“That was an area of concern coming into the season and we’ve been able to get that sured up,” Hanson said. “The guys understand we didn’t play to our potential last Friday night and we’ve got another opportunity this week.”

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