High School Football
Lions unable to find answers in loss
MACON - Trinity Christian entered Friday looking for answers on the heels of two-straight losses to open GISA Region 2-AAA play.
Mount de Sales didn't give the Lions any, however, in a 20-3 loss that left the Lions unable to solve the problems that have haunted them the past three weeks.
Trinity was unable to find the end zone for the second consecutive Friday, and big plays by opposing offenses presented problems that turned a slim 7-0 halftime deficit into mustwin situations now for the final two weeks of the season.
'We moved the ball at times, but we couldn't get it in the end zone,' said Lions head coach Chris Hanson. 'The defense played well, with the exception of a couple of big plays.'
While Trinity dominated time of possession, touchdowns from 52, 70 and 28 yards by Mount de Sales made up 150 of the Cavaliers' 278 total yards in the victory.
The Lions finished with 177 yards rushing on 47 attempts, led by senior quarterback Daniel Shoates' 64 yards. He was also 6 of 24 passing for 70 yards and an interception.
At 4-4 overall and 0-3 in 2-AAA, the Lions need a win next Friday at home against Westminster- Augusta (6-3, 0-3) - which has also lost three straight games to begin region play - to make a bid for two remaining state playoff berths.
The win by Mount de Sales (3-5, 3-0), on the other hand, clinched a trip to the postseason along with Stratford Academy (6-2, 3-0) following its 14-13 win over Macon rival Tattnall Square.
'We have two games left and we still hold our own destiny,' Hanson said. 'Right now, we've got to focus on Westminster.'
After being unable to score in the first quarter for the fifth consecutive week, Trinity seemed poised to hold Mount de Sales just as long until the Cavaliers put together 13 unanswered points on opposite ends of halftime.
The Lions finished with 167 yards rushing to Mount de Sales' 161 in the loss.
A late second-quarter fumble by the Lions with just over a minute left in the second quarter was quickly converted by the Mount de Sales offense on a 52-yard strike that caught Trinity's defense off-guard off a double pass from Carson Leatherwood to Will Jones for a 7-0 lead at the break.
Then, on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Cavaliers running back Alex Sands broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run to put Mount de Sales further ahead 14-0 just 19 seconds into the second half.
Trinity's lone points came off a 28-yard field goal by Daniel Jones with 7:16 left in the third quarter, only to see Mount de Sales respond with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that ended with quarterback Reed Ely finding an outstretched Leatherwood in the end zone from 28 yards to make it 20-3 with 3:46 left in the quarter.
Ely finished 6 of 10 passing for 55 yards to go with Leatherwood's 52-yard strike through the air. Sands finished with 100 yards on seven carries, highlighted by his long score.
Cavaliers 20, Lions 3
Trinity Christian 0 0 3 0- 3 Mount de Sales 0 7 130-20 2nd Quarter MdS - Will Jones 52 yard pass from Carson Leatherwood (Ryan Murphy kick), 1:01 3rd Quarter MdS - Alex Sands 70 run (kick failed), 11:41 TC - Daniel Jones 28-yard field goal, 7:16 MdS - Leatherwood 27 pass from Ryan Lee (Murphy kick), 3:46