Pratt, Trinity excel in opener
Clayton Trivett was confident that he had his Trinity team prepared to play its first game under his direction as head coach.
He was pleasantly surprised how well as the Bulldogs took advantage of North Moore’s miscues from the start and rolled to a 46-14 victory on Friday night at the Dog Pit.
“I knew we were going to come out and play,” Trivett said. “We’ve done well in practice and scrimmages. We’ve been working hard. But I didn’t know it was going to be that good. I knew they were going to be ready to play.”
How ready? The Bulldogs scored four touchdowns and a a safety in the first quarter before the Mustangs got any sort of footing.
D.J. Pratt and Justin McCall each scored twice in the early surge.
“We wanted to make the first move,” Pratt said. “We wanted to hit them early.”
Pratt turned out to be the Bulldogs’ workhorse, finishing with 209 yards that included touchdown carries of 3, 42 and 5 yards.
McCall scored on pass plays, one on a 2-yard throw from his quarterback Aaron Cox and the other on an interception return of 42 yards. The safety came at the end of a sequence in which Trinity gave up the ball on downs at the North 1 after getting it when a snap on a Mustang punt attempt sailed over the kicker’s head.
Cox, who threw for a total of 83 yards, also ran 21 yards for a score in the third quarter.
With the win, the Bulldogs equaled the number of victories in each of their past three seasons. The 46 points was the most for Trinity in a game since rolling up 76 against Wheatmore in 2009, equals the number scored in the 2011 season and was just eight short of the number scored last year.
“A big thing for us was getting rid of that (losing) mentality,” Trivett said. “They put in the work and deserved it.”
Pratt said that Trivett has been more demanding as a coach.
“There’s a big difference,” Pratt said. “He’s harder on us. We work harder in practice. We lift weights more. There’s more rules. It’s all about sticking together on the field and in school.”
North Moore, which now hasn’t beaten a team on the field of play in 33 games, helped with a couple of fumbles that were recovered by John Wagner and helped set up two of Pratt’s scores.
But the Bulldogs couldn’t fully take advantage of getting the ball in North territory after a string of poor punts.
One touchdown was called back by penalty, another potential touchdown pass was dropped in the end zone and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs inside the North 20 on at least three occasions. That is something they will work on getting ready for Friday’s game against Bishop McGuinness.
“We’ve got to finish,” Trivett said. “That’s what we are going to stress this week — finishing off drives.”