Trinity edges Wheatmore in close rivalry clash
It would have been the perfect setting for Wheatmore to get its first win of the season — a packed house on home turf, under the lights and against its old cross-town, PAC-6 rival, Trinity.
The Bulldogs weren’t going to allow it.
With an opportunity to extend its winning streak against Trinity another year, the Warriors were stopped short on their final drive to lose 14-12 Friday night, remaining winless on the season.
“Any time we beat a rival like this, it’s big. Records don’t matter in these games.” Trinity head coach Clayton Trivett said.
Down only two points, two points that the Warriors failed to obtain on extra point attempts, Wheatmore had the ball with 3:30 left in the game. Quarterback Paul Walker, who finished with 201 yards passing and two touchdowns, led his offense deep into Trinity territory before being stopped on fourth down to end the game. Walker, a sophomore, anchored the Warrior offense, completing 11 of his 24 attempts.
“We started getting into a rhythm there in the second half.” Walker said. “I guess we were just going to have to keep on fighting.”
Trinity countered Walker’s stellar performance with running back D.J. Pratt. Pratt finished the game with 62 yards rushing and two touchdowns, including an 84 yard touchdown return on the opening second half kickoff.
“We expect that kind of stuff from him,” Trivett said of Pratt.
Trinity’s offense stalled in the second half. The Bulldogs managed only 17 total yards and two first downs from the line of scrimmage, and their lone score came on special teams.
Wheatmore struggled to take advantage of the lackluster Bulldog offense.
“Obviously it’s difficult to lose to those guys, but I thought we played well in the second half,” Wheatmore tailback Brayton Hardin said. Hardin ran the wildcat several times picking up yards when needed, and caught a pass for 15 yards.
The cross-town rivals, who square off annually, both showed signs of improvement from last week’s losses.
Trinity quarterback Aaron Cox threw for 72 yards on 6 of 8 passing, positioning the Bulldogs (4-4, 1-1) to get a win and pull to .500 with three regular season games remaining.
Wheatmore (0-8, 0-2) gained 283 yards of total offense, and looked solid in its passing game. Walker found 6-3 receiver Wyatt Rains twice on a fade route in the corner of the end zone for two touchdowns.
“We’re just going to have to keep working, keep practicing.” Hardin said.
Wheatmore has an opportunity this week at Providence Grove to get its first win, before finishing the regular season with T.W Andrews and Eastern Randolph.
Trinity travels to Randleman (6-2, 1-1) Friday night in a battle for second place in the conference.
Trinity 14, Wheatmore 12
Trinity 7 0 7 0 14
Wheatmore 0 6 0 6 12
THS- Pratt 3 yard run (Wooley kick) 0:27
WHS- Rains 15 yard pass from Walker (Kick failed) 10:02
THS – Pratt 84 yard kickoff return (Wooley kick) 11:46
WHS – Rains 13 yard pass from Walker (Conversion failed) 11:18