VARSITY FOOTBALL: Conquerors Come from Behind to Win Region Semifinal

A safety and two touchdowns brought the top seed back in the second half, and a Pick 6 added the exclamation point as the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors scored 23 unanswered points in coming from behind to defeat the #4 seed Orlando Christian Prep Warriors 30-13 in the Class 1M, Region 1 semifinal Friday night on the home field.

On their first possession of the third quarter, the Warriors lost three yards to their own 13 to set up 3rd and 13. Trinity’s Bryce Kazmierczak chased OCP quarterback Vilay Nakkoun into the end zone and nearly brought the QB down for the safety. Nakkoun, in attempt to avoid the sack, threw the ball wildly and drew the intentional grounding penalty that resulted in two points for the Conquerors, who trimmed a six-point halftime deficit down to four at 13-9.

The offense took over from there after getting the free kick at their own 42.

Treyaun Webb capped a 3-play, 58-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The drive’s big play was a 36-yard completion from quarterback Colin Hurley to receiver London Smith down the left sideline. Smith appeared to have scored but was ruled out of bounds at the 20. A pass interference call on the next play set up Webb with 1st and Goal at the 10. Webb’s second touchdown of the night plus the PAT put Trinity in the lead 16-13, and the Conquerors’ defense never allowed OCP to score again.

Following a Javon Nobles fumble recovery that Malachi Young forced, the Conquerors worked down the third-quarter clock, and the teams traded sides. Hurley then finished the 9-play, 46-yard drive with a 1-yard blast into the end zone to give Trinity a two-possession lead at 23-13.

After the kickoff, Orlando Christian Prep drove 72 yards from their own 22 to the Trinity 6 and set up for a 24-yard field goal attempt that would have made it a one-possession game. Kazmierczak, however, blocked the kick to thwart the effort.

Kyle Boylston intercepted a pass on OCP’s next drive to seal the win with 4:43 left, but Boylston was not finished. OPC’s last-ditch effort resulted in Boylston intercepting his second pass of the night and returning the ball 84 yards for the touchdown.

After a scoreless first quarter that featured each defense forcing multiple punts and turnovers on downs, Webb put Trinity on the board first with a 1-yard burst that capped a 16-play, 84-yard drive. Darnell Rogers gained 72 yards on 8 carries during that drive.

OCP’s Sean Murphy returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to tie the score. The Warriors then scored with 16 seconds left before halftime when Nakkoun, a Rutgers commit, raced 18 yards for the touchdown, but his pass on the two-point attempt sailed long. OCP led 13-7 at the half.

Webb finished the night with 104 yards and 2 TD’s on 20 carries, and Rogers carried 24 times for 139 yards to help set up the scores. Hurley was 10 for 17 for 190 yards, and Miles Burris caught 5 passes for 112 yards. Smith had 2 receptions for 46 yards, including his big play that set up the go-ahead touchdown.

Boyltson intercepted 2 passes and tackled 6 Warriors. Cam Anderson had 12 tackles, and Elijah Crocker tackled 6 men. One of Crocker’s tackles was a touchdown saver, catching from behind OCP’s Brian Thomas, who raced 61 yards to the Trinity 15 in the third quarter with Trinity leading by only 3 points. The defense then forced its fourth turnover on downs.

Thomas had 78 yards on 8 carries for the Warriors, and Nakkoun ran 14 times for 119 yards and a score.

The Conquerors (11-0) will face Jacksonville rival University Christian (10-1) on Friday in the Class 1M, Region 1 Final. University defeated Orlando’s The First Academy 42-13 in their semifinal game. UC’s only loss happened at Trinity earlier in the season.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. The winner will advance to the state semifinal on December 2.

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