Forsyth, Ga. – Blessed Trinity completed one of the year’s best stretches of playoff road wins and got a measure of revenge to boot.
No. 5 Blessed Trinity got a big second half from sophomore running back Elijah Green and pulled away for a 28-7 win at Mary Persons Friday night in a Class AAAA semifinal.
The win avenged a 28-27 loss at the Forsyth school in the 2016 quarterfinals.
“We just wanted to come after them, mix it up a little bit, and see what happens,” said Blessed Trinity defensive lineman Raleigh Barden, who had a pair of sacks. “After last week, when the offensive line we played against was really big, it was a little bit easier to squeeze in there.”
In all, the Blessed Trinity defense sacked Mary Persons quarterback J.T. Hartage five times, and he was under pressure all night.
The Titans (12-2) have now claimed road wins over three of the 2016 final four teams, including both finalists (defending champion Cartersville and runner-up Thomson) in consecutive weeks, allowing a total of 37 points against three high-powered offenses.
“To do what they do and to have played who they’ve played, and to be on the road, I’m just so proud of the resilience of these kids,” Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin said.
The Titans outgained Mary Persons 393-167. Green rushed for 149 yards on 28 carries, amassing 91 yards on 11 carries in the fourth quarter, when his 15-yard touchdown run put the Titans up 21-7. Junior running back Steele Chambers rushed for 88 yards on 15 carries, scoring a pair of touchdowns via the run
and adding a 28-yard reception on a first-quarter screen pass.
Blessed Trinity quarterback Jake Smith finished with 137 passing yards and surpassed 2,000 for the season.
“We said in the fourth quarter we wanted to go out and we wanted to pound it down and keep getting yards,” said Green. “Our coach says if you keep getting three or four yards every play, you can win the game, and that’s kind of what we had in mind.”
Mary Persons (11-3) never mounted a serious threat, and the Bulldogs’ touchdown came after an interception by Bralen Harvey gave them the ball at the Blessed Trinity 27 in the final minute of the first half.
Six plays later, on third-and-22 from the Trinity 25, J.T. Hartage found Deadrick Alford open in the back left corner of the end zone. Alford, who had dropped two passes earlier in the half, came down with this one to cut Trinity’s lead in half.
“I told the kids at halftime, ‘you’ve been through enough tough times, that what just happened out there just before the half, that’s not going to set you back,’” said McFarlin who took blame for calling the
pass play that led to the interception.
After a scoreless third period, the Titans put it away with Green’s touchdown run and a 28-yard touchdown from Chambers.
Now, the Titans get a really short trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and a another chance at payback against Marist in the AAAA championship. Marist beat the Titans 25-24 in the regular season.
Blessed Trinity 14 0 0 14 – 28
Mary Persons 0 7 0 0 – 7
BT – Steele Chambers 9 run (Ethan Chauvin kick)
BT – Jake Smith 25 pass to Steele Chambers (Chauvin kick)
MP – J.T. Hartage 25 pass to Deadrick Alford (Alexander Rivera kick)
BT – Elijah Green 15 run (Chauvin kick)
BT – Chambers 28 run (Chauvin kick)