Headland’s starting quarterback, Deaundre Newman was out with an injury, but that really didn’t make any difference. Headland scored two touchdowns on Trinity, but they came in the last three minutes, and so, that didn’t make any difference either.
What made all the difference was that Trinity played like the Trinity of old in a runaway romp over region foe Headland, 44-14. “I know they missed their quarterback and he is a big part of their team, but we got a couple of important players out as well. I’m really proud of our guys for the tremendous effort and the coaching staff did a terrific job preparing for this game,” Wildcats head coach Barry Loyal said.
Loyal said he planned to play “pitch and catch” this week with receivers finding spots to provide open targets for quarterback John David Bonner. The plan worked with Bonner connecting on 9 of 15 passes to a wide variety of receivers. “Give credit to our receivers. Those guys got open and that made it easier on me. The offensive line did the job also. They were sending seven or eight guys and the line held them off,” Bonner said. “Tate (Holley) did a great job running the ball tonight and we just need to keep that consistency with running and passing.”
Holley was the workhorse on the ground for the Wildcats rushing 16 times and collecting 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Trinity, a team victimized by big plays this year, turned the tables in the win over Headland. A bad snap by the Rams and a recovery by Coleman Morris put the Wildcats in position for their first score, which was a touchdown run by Holley. On the second play of the second quarter Bonner connected with James Handey for a 20 yard touchdown. Just two minutes later Bonner struck again with a touchdown pass to Jake Hufham for a 15 yard score. Hufham led the Trinity receiving corps with four catches for 68 yards.
Another big play came on the next Headland possession. The snap to the punter was high and bounced out of the end zone for a safety. After the Headland kick Bonner found Griffin Sanders for a 29 yard pick up and three plays later Holley fought his way into the end zone, which gave the Wildcats a 30-0 lead at halftime.
Trinity continued the onslaught with an impressive 12 play drive to start the second half. The drive exhausted almost half of the third period and culminated with a Bonner to William Roberson touchdown pass. Before the third quarter was complete Thomas Ladner returned a Rams punt for 46 yards and a touchdown.
There was a flurry of fumbles before the end of the third quarter quarter. Trinity’s James Davis recovered for the Wildcats defense twice and Kareen Sailor made the one recovery for the Rams.
Tyson Kirkland picked off a Trinity pass with 3:15 remaining and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. With less than a minute to play Tyler Dailey connected with Datavious Melton on a 42 yard touchdown pass.
The Trinity defense had another strong outing. Mac McClinton and Morris led the ‘Cats with 7 tackles each. Jim Portis and Porter Birmingham had a half-dozen tackles each. Kylar Williamson had 5 stops. Davis, Sanders and Watkins Johnston had 4 tackles each. A total of 20 different Wildcats were credited with tackles.
“We shut the running game down and their passing game wasn‘t steady at all. All this week we focused on the run,” Trinity defensive end Porter Birmingham said. “We were ready. We were prepared for them. I know their quarterback was out but I believe that had little impact on things as good as we played.”
Loyal praised his defense. “Those guys deserve a lot of credit. Our guys on defense pay close attention to detail and that is a strength of theirs. Our defensive coaches do an excellent job in preparing,” Loyal remarked.
Trinity goes to 2-2 overall but more importantly the Wildcats are 2-0 in the region. The most important region game of the regular season for Trinity will be next week when Catholic visits the Wildcats. Catholic is undefeated and crushed Alabama Christian this week 52-13.