Raymond Bureau | August, 2021
Darnell Rogers put his team ahead for the first time late in the third quarter, and the Trinity Christian Academy varsity Conquerors finished off a preseason showdown with the 5A Raiders of Rickards High School Friday night in Tallahassee.
Rogers pounded his way into the end zone from one yard out with 2:04 left in the third quarter to give Trinity its first lead of the night before Seth Bialek’s extra point made it a seven-point margin. The touchdown was the fourth of the night for the Conquerors as they battled back from a 21-13 halftime deficit.
Trinity completed the comeback with a safety at the 4:22 mark of the third quarter. Trevon Smith forged his way through the line and stopped the Rickards rusher in the end zone for the deuce that tied the score at 21-all. The safety came approximately three minutes after Trinity running back Cam Miller’s 12-yard touchdown run and an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt pulled the Conquerors to within two at 21-19.
The teams traded touchdowns throughout the first half. After Rickards got a big 43-yard touchdown run from quarterback Michael Townsend midway through the first period, TCA’s Treyaun Webb answered with a 1-yard touchdown run of his own at the 1:42 mark to cap a six-play, 32-yard drive that followed Cameron Anderson’s fumble recovery on a Rickards punt attempt.
Rickards regained the lead early in the second when Townsend hit Greg Turner with a 48-yard scoring pass only to see TCA quarterback Colin Hurley find receiver Xander Ross for a 25-yard score to pull the Conquerors to within one; the tying PAT failed. Rickards extended its lead to 21-13 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Townsend to Keyon Brown just 22 seconds before the halftime whistle.
Although unofficial, Hurley had an impressive first varsity start. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 142 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Ross caught three passes for 40 yards and a score, and Fred Highsmith caught 2 passes for 58 yards to lead the Conquerors.
Rogers led TCA with 66 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries while Webb complied 62 yards on 11 carries and scored once. Townsend was 12 for 23 for 144 yards and a touchdown through the air for Rickards while also rushing for 111 yards and a score on 15 carries.
Defensively, Caden Morrell was in on 11 tackles (6 solo), and Jonathan Goddard had eight. Fifteen different Conquerors recorded tackles, and 11 of those tackles were for loss, including Smith’s safety.
The Conquerors will open the regular season on the road by visiting The Graveyard at Raines High School to take on the 5A Vikings. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 27. The next three games are all on the home turf when the Conquerors face Ribault on September 3, Zarephath Academy on September 10, and Clearwater Academy International on September 17. All three games will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Stats: Larry Withers, TCA Statistician
Photo: TCA Football Fan Zone on Facebook