October 19, 2001, Boykin Field. Game Conditions: Clear, light wind. Game temperature: 65
The homestanding Trinity Wildcats clawed their way to two first half touchdowns, a punt return and a nice touchdown pass at the climax of an 85 yard drive, but had to hold on for dear life as St. James scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and had a chance for a third, as Trinity clinched a Capital City Conference championship and virtually clinched a region championship with a hard-fought 14 - 12 victory over the Trojans.
On the first three game possessions, defenses were steadfast. However, with Trinity holding the field position advantage, a Trojan punt was fielded by Allan Barnett at the 41 yard line and he avoided several early tackles, crossed field, and broke free at the Trojan 20 for a touchdown, the fourth consecutive game St. James has given up a return touchdown of some kind. Bobby Trott's extra point was good and the Wildcats had an early 7-0 lead.
On the Trojans' first possession of the second quarter, they drove from their own 21, with a 14 yard run by Josh Thomas and a fourth down conversion by Alan Craft the drive highlights. However, the Trojans had to punt. After a personal foul on Trinity, the ball was pushed back to the 15 yard line with 5:29 to go in the half. Trinity converted a crucial fourth and inches on their own 25, and a Coleman Farrior run of 14 and first down tosses from Walker Fain to Perry Hooper for 15 and to Drew Sullivan for 7 gave Trinity the ball at the Trojan 27. Fain runs of 8 and 7 yards gave Trinity a first down at the 12, and after downing the ball to stop the clock, Fain lofted a nice pass to a wide open Matthew Massey on the far sideline for a touchdown. Trott's point was true, and Trinity had a 14-0 lead.
The last play of the half was interesting. After a Coe Baxter kickoff return to the Trojan 43, St. James had 8.6 seconds to score. Craft lifted a deep pass which was intercepted by Hooper, but the ball was swiped by Trojan Alex Howell and he was just caught by Hooper as he ran down the sideline as time expired.
Trinity offered St. James numerous opportunities to score in the second half. On the first drive, Fain was sacked and am ensuing fumble was picked up by Aaron Bern, who returned it 22 yards to the Wildcat 39. However, after a first down, the Trojans could not convert a fourth and 4 from the Trinity 21. The teams traded possessions until the end of the quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Trinity had the ball at midfield and attempted a screen pass. The pass was intercepted by Zack Smith and he rumbled toward the endzone with only a Fain tackle at the Wildcat 17 saving an immediate touchdown. St. James converted a 4th down and 8 with an Alan Craft to Alex Howell pass of 13 yards to the 2, the only completed Trojan pass of the game, and two consecutive Craft sneaks had the ball in the endzone. The extra point was blocked by a swarming Wildcat defense, but the lead was only 8, at 14-6, with still nearly 10 minutes remaining in the game.
On third down on the following drive, Fain attempted a backwards pass to Hooper which was bobbled, and the Trojans fell on the ball at the Wildcats 25. It took 9 plays for St. James to move down the field, but another Craft sneak from the 1 gave the Trojans a second touchdown. On the ensuing two point conversion, a Craft pass to Baxter was incomplete, and Trinity held the lead at 14-12 with 4:33 remaining.
Trinity did manage one first down after a pooch kickoff, but failed on fourth and inches on a confusing call of a quarterback sweep counter. St. James took over on their own 40 with 2:06 remaining. However, a penalty and a sack led to a fourth and 10 which the Trojans could not convert, and having exhausted all their time outs, Trinity ran the clock out with a well earned win.
GAME EIGHT SIDELINE STATISTICS:
ST. JAMES RUSHING 45 attempts 150 yards 2 TDs (3.33 yards per carry)
34 Yates 12
16 / 52 7
Thomas 7 / 34
10 Craft 9 / 8 (2 TDs) 58 Wales 1 / -7
PASSING 1 completion 7 attempts 1 INT 13 yards 0 TDs (2 sacks of, - 7 yards)
10 Craft 1 - 7 - 1 13 yards (2 sacks, - 7)
11 Howell 1 / 13
TOTAL YARDS: 163
KICKS: XP 0 /
FG 0 / 0
2 POINT CONVERSIONS: 0 / 1
KICKOFFS: 3 (35,30,19) PUNTS: 5 (35,32,29,32,39)
KO RETURNS: 3 (5,11,20) PUNT RETURNS: 0
FUMBLE RETURNS: 2 (12,22) INTERCEPTION RETURNS: 1 (28)
FIRST DOWNS: 12 (11 rushing, 1 passing)
TURNOVER MARGIN: + 3
PENALTIES: 2 / 10 yards
TIME OF POSSESSION: 25:45
RUSHING 40 attempts 155 yards 0 TDs (3.88 yards
PASSING 7 completions 13 attempts 1 INT 73 yards 1 TD (3 sacks of, - 24 yards)
TOTAL YARDS: 228
RETURN TO THE STJ 2001 FOOTBALL HOMEPAGE