The Conquerors’ schedule did not get any easier in week 7 when they had to take on MaxPreps’s #32 team in the nation, the Patriots of American Heritage School (Plantation, Florida). Trinity Christian Academy, however, made a defensive stand early, scored twice in the 2nd quarter to take the lead, overcame big penalties, and forged 2 more great defensive stands on route to a 27-14 win over the nationally ranked Patriots.
With their starting quarterback out because of injury, the Patriots used a plethora of out passes to the sidelines and rushes to sustain long drives that also got help from Trinity penalties. The top-notch Conquerors defense, however, stopped Heritage’s opening 8-play drive with an interception from Thomas Fryer. Trinity, though, could not capitalize on the takeaway, and the 1st quarter ended without a score from either side.
SECOND QUARTER SCORING
Trinity started the 2nd quarter with another interception. This time, Keaton Thomas picked off the pass on the 1st play of the period and returned it 13 yards to the Trinity 47.
Darnell Rogers rushed 3 times on the ensuing drive for a total of 49 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 3. He got the ball to the 1 on 1st down, and Cam Miller took the next snap from the Wildcat formation and put the Conquerors on the board 6-0 with 9:57 left in the quarter. AHS blocked the PAT attempt.
Quarterback Colin Hurley took over from there.
Later in the period, Hurley found Miller in the back right corner of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown reception to cap a 4-play, 41-yard drive that culminated from Tre Stewart’s fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff after Miller’s touchdown run just moments before.
Treyaun Webb converted the 2-point attempt with a run right through the middle to put Trinity ahead 14-0 with 8:01 left on the clock.
BIG DEFENSIVE STAND
American Heritage gained 58 yards via penalties within the first few plays after receiving the kickoff and had 1st and 10 at the Trinity 13. A 4-yard rush, a no-gain rush, and an incomplete pass set up 4th and 6 at the 9. Backup quarterback Brandon Inniss, a University of Oklahoma wide receiver commit, found Isaiah Nesmith in the end zone. Nesmith had the ball in his hands while in the air, but before he could land, Thomas punched the ball loose and pulled Nesmith away to force the incompletion.
Trinity took the 14-0 lead into halftime.
Early in the 3rd quarter, Hurley connected with Xander Ross for a 28-yard touchdown pass that seemingly put the game out of reach at 20-0. However, the Patriots would begin to fight back.
On the ensuing drive that started at the 10:31 mark, AHS’s Byron Louis gained 58 yards on the ground, including a 44-yard scamper on the drive’s 1st play. Inniss completed the 15-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots on the board.
The teams continued to trade touchdowns from there. Hurley connected with Fred Highsmith on a post slant to the middle of the field, and Highsmith raced in for a 33-yard touchdown reception to put Trinity ahead 27-7 with 3:23 left to play.
American Heritage scored once more on a Reggie Williams 4-yard run, but that was all the Patriots could put on the board.
CLUTCH DEFENSIVE STAND
The biggest defensive stand came early in the 4th quarter on an American Heritage drive that began late in the 3rd. The Patriots moved the ball 24 yards after a very short punt to set up 1st and goal at the Trinity 9. The defense then allowed only 2 yards in the first 3 downs.
On 4th down at the 7, Jonathan Goddard chased Inniss back to the 21 before sacking the quarterback for the team’s 2nd takeaway on downs. A touchdown would have made the score a 1-possession margin and could have very possibly given the Patriots all the momentum they needed to try to complete the comeback.
Hurley finished the night 7 for 9 passing, good for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns to Miller, Ross, and Highsmith. He amassed his 2nd perfect QB rating of 153.8 this season. Darius James caught 2 of those passes for 68 yards. His first went for 55 yards and set up the Hurley-to-Ross connection.
Rogers gained 91 yards on 11 carries, and Miller rushed 4 times for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Conquerors held American Heritage to 64 yards passing, but the Patriots gained 151 yards on the ground. Caden Morrell (13) and Cam Anderson (10) combined for 23 of the team’s 67 tackles while 15 teammates all recorded tackles. Jaykob Jones had 8 of them, and Goddard had 7. Jones, Thomas, and Goddard also broke up passes, and Trinity stole 3 possessions (2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery).
The Conquerors (6-1) will play at Tallahassee’s Florida State University High School (5-1), the #53 team in Florida, as of week 7. Trinity will then close the regular season with Homecoming night vs. Florida #50 Riverside (6-1) on October 22 and at Tallahassee’s Florida #71 Lincoln (4-2) on Thursday, November 4.
The Conquerors are off on October 29.
Stats: Larry Wither’s TCA Statistician
Raymond Bureau | October, 2021