A 3-point fourth-quarter lead turned into a 16-point victory after two late touchdowns, and the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors outlasted the Generals of Riverside High School 30-14 Friday night in a hard-fought battle on the road.
Treyaun Webb scored twice in the game’s final 5:46 to ice it for the Conquerors. Webb’s first touchdown came on a 9-yard end around to the right side and capped a 4-play, 24-yard drive that started after Riverside’s punt from the end zone shanked off the kicker’s foot and headed straight to the sideline. The extra point was blocked, but Trinity led 23-14 with 5:46 remaining.
On the ensuing drive, Riverside started at their own 1 and got all the way to the Trinity 20 thanks in large part to a 62-yard pass from Devin Herring to Tae’Shaun Gelsey on the drive’s first play. The Trinity defense, though, held strong and forced its third turnover on downs when Bryce Kazmierczak stopped Herring on 4th and 7 at the 20.
The Conquerors then got help from a 15-yard Riverside dead-ball personal foul and set up 1st and 10 at their own 40. Webb ran for 4 yards then took the 2nd-down handoff and swept around the left side to race 56 yards untouched into the end zone with 24 seconds remaining for the game’s final tally.
The score was tied at 14-all well into the fourth quarter before Seth Bialek converted a 44-yard field goal to give Trinity back the lead at 17-14 with 8:40 left to play. TCA got the ball at the 15 after a Darnell Rogers 77-yard kickoff return, but a holding penalty in the backfield put the ball at the 30 on 2nd down. Bialek then connected for his first field goal of the season.
The Conquerors never trailed; they scored first when Colin Hurley hit London Smith with a screen pass on their first play of the second quarter after the defense forced a punt to start the period. Smith caught the ball and motored up the right sideline 42 yards into the end zone. The score remained 7-0 at the half and nearly all of the third quarter.
Riverside scored just two minutes before the end of the third on Herring’s 8-yard TD run to cap an 11-play drive that took more than 5 minutes off the clock. Trinity’s Javon Nobles blocked the PAT, and TCA led 7-6.
Rogers, though, received the ensuing kickoff at the 13 and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown to rebuild the lead to 14-6. The period ended during Riverside’s next possession, and when play resumed, Herring connected with Rajon Wright on a 27-yard touchdown pass before driving in the two-point conversion himself and evening the score at 14-14.
Rogers then took his second big kickoff return of the night to the Riverside 15, and the Conquerors added the insurance points.
Rogers totaled 176 yards on two kickoff returns and 46 yards rushing for 222 all-purpose yards. His touchdown was his 10th of the season, which is tied for third in Class 1M an 50th in all of Florida.
Webb totaled 105 yards and 2 TD’s on 14 carries, and Hurley was 6 for 7 for 103 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Smith caught three of Hurley’s passes for 59 yards and a score.
For Riverside, Herring threw for 231 yards and a touchdown on a 17-for-28 performance while also rushing for 83 yards and a score on 23 carries. White caught 9 passes for 92 yards and a score.
The Conquerors (6-0) will battle the Fighting Christians of University Christian School (7-0) in a much-anticipated match-up between the two 9-time state champions; Trinity has won all 11 previous match-ups, and the last was in 2016. The game is at Trinity and will start at 7:30 p.m. Trinity will then make up the washed out game at Christ’s Church Academy at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 20.
Statistics: Larry Withers, TCA Statistician
Photos: Raymond Bureau