Trinity feeder teams win championships
Trinity Christian's football program had quite a successful week, capped off by a state-playoff clinching victory on Friday over rival Heritage School.
But a pair of championship efforts by the school's 'B' and 'C' feeder-program teams certainly provided a chance at continuing the varsity's success well into the near future in the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
Trinity's 5th-and-6th grade 'C' team rallied from an early six-point deficit by scoring on the opening play of the fourth quarter and then made a key fourth-down stop with 4:04 to play to hold on for a 8-6 victory over Creekside Christian.
The Lions finished the season on top while closing the season with a 6-2-1 record.
It was followed by another championship win by Trinity's 7th-8th grade 'B' lineup, which capped off a perfect season with a 28-18 win over Community Christian.
The Trinity 'B' team scored a touchdown in all four-quarters and held off a 12-point surge by the Knights over an eight-minute span before halftime to finish the season with a title and a 9-0 record.
In the 'B' team championship, the Lions quickly got on the scoreboard on the first possession of the game, driving the length of the field on big runs by Dalton Colburn to the 11 and Luke Vermilya to the Creekside 2, before Colburn carried it the rest of the way behind blocks from Mark Robbins and Trey Willoughby.
Ryan Whelan added the ensuing 2-point conversion for a 8-0 lead with 6:35 still left on the first-quarter clock.
Trinity then held Community Christian on downs when Colburn led a stop on a fake punt by the Knights to keep the 8-point lead heading into the second quarter.
It didn't stay that way for long.
After forcing Community to punt, Trinity's offense picked up a key third-down conversion on a run by Colburn to the Lions 38-yard line. On the following snap, Whelan found a hole on the right side, cut toward the middle and raced down the left sidelines for a 62-yard touchdown.
Estes' two-point conversion pushed Trinity ahead 16-0.
The Knights, however, stormed back to close to within a 16-12 deficit following a pair of quick scores in the final two minutes prior to halftime including a 70-yard interception return by Dante Washington to put Community on the scoreboard.
Trinity's defense continued to hold throughout the third quarter, getting a key tackle from Trey Willoughby for force a punt to the Lions 20-yard line.
From there, Trinity's offense marched 80 yards the other way before Colburn kept his feet churning on a run where he bounced off a defender and followed a block off the left side from the offense line into the end zone to put the Lions further ahead 22-12 with less than 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Teams traded fumbles on three consecutive series early in the fourth quarter, with Colburn getting one of Trinity's two recoveries in the span, before the Lions put the game away with a final touchdown drive.
Again, Colburn managed to find the end zone on a sweep to the right to close a long possession that put the Lions ahead 28-12 with under 1:09 left in the game. In the 'C' team championship, Creekside scored its only touchdown one play following a Trinity fumble at the Lions 4-yardline after being held on downs to close its opening drive of the game on a tackle by Hunter Meeks.
The Lions fought off two early turnovers, however, to hold the Cougars scoreless from there.
The Trinity defense added a key stop on the ensuing extra-point try where Creekside's John Hawkins was met by a sea of Lion tacklers including Conner Marshall, Trey Lucas and Christopher Pinaud.
Trailing 6-0 at halftime, an offense led by quarterback Clay Hurston put together a drive that closed the third quarter on a fourth-and-goal situation on the Creekside 2-yard line.
When play resumed, Trinity got a push to the left side led by fullback Grant Gibson, allowing teammate Shep Hancock to follow behind for the tying score with 7:55 to play.
Hancock followed with the ensuing 2-point conversion for the eventual gamewinning points, barreling over a Cougar defender in the process to put Trinity ahead for good 8-6.
Still, it took a final fourth-down stop from the Lions defense with Creekside parked at the Trinity 27-yard line. Luke Aycock made an initial hit on a fourthand- 4 attempt by the Cougars before help arrived in the form of Hancock, Gibson and Marshall among others to give the Lions possession with 4:04 remaining.
The team then swung field position in their favor on a reverse to Brandon Scruggs, who carried the ball around the left side and deep into Creekside territory.
From there, a Trinity team led by head coach Patrick Railey, was able to run out the clock to clinch the championship.