Trinity Collegiate stumbles against Legion Collegiate Academy
By Don Gearhart
On a rare, cool September night the Legion Collegiate Academy made the trip to Trinity Collegiate for another version of Friday Night Lights. The Lancers came into this game sporting a 1-4 record and the Titans loyal fanbase expected the 2-3 home team to get back to the 0.500 mark on the season.
The Lancers received the opening kick-off in good field position at the 50-yard line when the squib kick barely travelled the required distance. From there it was a steady diet of Elijah Coleman who had runs of 20 and 10 yards to the Titans 20-yard line. A quarterback keeper from Andrew Turner gained nine yards before Coleman capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. The extra point try was amiss but the Lancers jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Trinity also had the benefit of a short field and seemed to have their offense rolling but coughed up the ball on a fumble on a short fourth down run. The Lancers, starting at their own 16-yard line were able to move the ball to the 45-yard line before having to punt the ball to the Titans. From their own 11-yard line, Trinity quickly got out of the shadow of their own goal line when Carter Hardee took the snap and burst through for a 34-yard sprint. The first quarter came to an end but the Titans ground game produced an 11-play drive that culminated when Tre Leonard scampered for a nine yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Titans had notched the score at 6-6 at the 10:40 mark of the second quarter
From that point, the fireworks that were set off prior to the game could not compare to the field action that followed for the rest of the half. The Lancers engineered their own 11-play drive that ate up just over 7 minutes of clock time. Turner finished off the drive with a 2-yard plunge. The two-point conversion gave the Lancers a 14-6 edge with 3:15 to play in the half. Trinity’s hopes looked dim when they faced a 3rd down and 9 at their own 19 yard line. A short pass to Brycen Scott appeared to get the first down but Scott dodged several tacklers then found the sideline and outraced the Lancers to paydirt. The 2-point try was good and knotted the score at 14-14 with 1:25 left in the first half. On the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff, the Lancers used a little trickery. The pass in the right flats was behind the quarterback which made the play a lateral rather than a pass. As the Titans defenders converged on the receiver, he threw a 56-yard touchdown to the split end who was wide open and in just twelve seconds, the Lancers went ahead 20-14 after the 2-point try once again failed.
Trinity received the second half kickoff and had a 7-play drive that stalled at the Lancers 38-yard line. After Coleman was tossed for a 2-yard loss, Turner threw a strike for a 64-yard touchdown pass with 6:29 in the third quarter. The extra point try failed but the Lancers now led 26-14. The Titans next possession ended when Hardee’s pass was intercepted at the Lancers 15-yard line. As the Lancers marched down the field, the third quarte ended with Legion Collegiate Academy knocking on the door. A 4-yard pass from Turner to Coleman resulted in a touchdown and a 32-14 lead with only 5 seconds off the fourth quarter clock when the PAT failed.
Trinity’s next possession once again ended with an interception at the Lancer 15-yard line. An 8-play drive ended on a Coleman 1-yard run for his third touchdown of the night with just 4:27 in the game. The Lancers were unable to convert the PAT but had a commanding 38-14 lead. Trinity looked to be in trouble of converting a first down on their next possession but the another short pass to Scott turned
into a 27-yard touchdown with 3:11 on the clock and Leonard tacked on two more on the conversion to make the score 38-22 in favor of the Lancers. The Legion Collegiate Academy was able to run out the clock to secure their second victory of the season and ensure the bus trip back to Rock Hill was enjoyable.
Coleman led a very well-coached Lancers team carrying the ball seventeen times for 153 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 4-yard touchdown. Turner complemented that effort running for 82 yards on 10 carries and a TD. He also completed 8-12 pass attempt for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Leonard led the Trinity rushing efforts with 73 yards on 12 carries. Hardee ran for 59-yards on nine carries and Scott tallied 40 yards on 9 carries. Hardee completed five of 13 pass attempts but had two passes picked off. Scott had two receptions for 108 yards, both resulting on touchdown catches.