One of Montgomery’s great rivalries lived up to all expectations Friday night at Ragsdale-Boykin Field. Visiting Montgomery Academy defeated Trinity 24-23 in a thriller that came down to a missed extra point by the Wildcats with 1:50 remaining on the clock.

It was a game filled with mistakes on both sides as turnovers ruled the day. MA turned the ball over 6 times and Trinity coughed it up 3 times.

It appeared that Trinity would run away with the game and led 14-0 near halftime. Nexton Marshall scored from 2 yards out in the middle of the opening quarter after an impressive 11 play drive by the Wildcats. Jack Collett then connected with Jack Singletary with a couple of minutes to go in the first half. But MA pulled off the play of the season with 52 seconds to go. Eagles quarterback Trey Lindsey was scrambling and turned up field, and just before he was tackled to the soggy turf he lateraled to Jon Clarke Woodward. The junior running back said, “I thought Trey was about to go down and he managed to get the ball to me. It wasn’t a planned play even though we practiced these things. I just headed down the sideline as fast as I could.” Woodward reached the Trinity end zone 61 yards later and was never touched during the journey. “No doubt it was the turning point. It didn’t give us the lead but it gave us the momentum going into halftime,” MA coach Gary Nelson said. Junior Mac Main said the play was the play of the game and changed everything. “That really got us going. That was exactly what we needed to comeback…a change in momentum,” Main said.

The Eagles drove 10 plays in their first drive of the second half with the beginning of the Trey Lindsey – Nate Meacham show, which is something MA fans have come to expect. Lindsey connected with his longtime favorite target midway in the third quarter with a 28 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14. A Trinity field goal by Preston Berry just before the end of the third quarter returned the lead to the Wildcats at 17-14.

Lindsey intercepted a pass while making a rare appearance on defense early in the fourth quarter, which eventually led to a 24 yard field goal by Bradley Westhauser to tie the game 17-17.

Jack Anzalone recovered a Trinity fumble with less than 5 minutes to go. Two plays later Lindsey was forced to scramble again and drilled a pass to William Robertson, who fought his way to the Trinity 9 yard line. On the next play Lindsey-Meacham combined again to give MA a 24-17 lead at 3:24 remaining. It was the first time the Eagles led in the game.

Trinity failed to wave the white flag, and with the help of a couple of penalties on the Eagles, marched down the field to score with under 2 minutes to go when Tyler Britton battled into the Eagles end zone. Unfortunately for the Wildcats the extra point failed and MA captured its second consecutive win.

Lindsey was 12-20 passing for 190 yards. Jon Clarke Woodward added 78 yards on 7 carries. Eric Doh collected 48 yards on 14 carries. William Robertson led the Eagles receiving with 5 catches for 101 yards. Nate Meacham had 52 yards on 3 catches. On defense, the Eagles were led by Jackson Kelly with 11 tackles and 3 sacks, and Brian Wilson with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Cam Holmes added 9 tackles and Hilsman James had 10 tackles.

For Trinity, Jack Collett completed 10 of 19 passes for 116 yards. Singletary led Wildcat receivers with 4 catches for 54 yards. Tate Holley ran 15 times for 76 yards to lead the Wildcats rushing effort. Marshall accumulated 42 yards on a trio of carries. Britton had 10 carries for 27 yards and Josh Hynniman carried 13 times for 19 yards. On defense Thomas Hargrove led the Wildcats with 13 tackles. Griffin Sanders had a dozen tackles. Thomas Ladner picked off a pair of MA passes.

“This was a game of players making plays. It was disappointing to lose a great game like this. I thought we did a great job by coming back with the last drive. We fell behind and we hadn’t scored in a while. I was proud of the way they came back when we needed them to. We will build on that and keep working,” Wildcats coach Barry Loyal said.

MA goes to 3-3 for the season and will travel to Dadeville next week. Trinity slips to 1-5 and will have next week off.

An additional story will be in the printed edition of next week's Montgomery Independent.

Managing Editor