It only took the Trinity Trojans a little over a quarter of the game Friday night to get into prime post-season form as starters headed to the bench before halftime in a 48-3 romp over Richland in the District 3-6A finale for both teams at the Birdville FAAC.
The Trojans (8-1, 5-1 District 3-6A) wrapped up their 21st consecutive post-season berth, jumping out to a commanding 34-3 halftime lead over the Rebels (4-6, 2-3), and will host Arlington Martin in the opening round of the 6A Division I playoffs next Friday at 7 pm at Pennington Field.
Quarterback Laki Ellis, who called it a night midway through the second quarter, threw for 240 yards and tossed four touchdown passes while Colby Parton caught a pair as the Trojans rolled up 317 yards of offense before halftime. Two of the scores were set up by a pair of five Richland turnovers, forced by a dominating Trojan defense as Trinity held the Rebels to just 146 yards on the night. Trinity finished the game with 498 yards of offense.
The Rebels pulled out all the stops early, recovering an onside kick to open the game, and hitting a 51-yard pass to Brady Boyd to set up their only score – a 30-yard Connor O’Neal field goal. But Trinity answered with a 68-yard scoring drive of its own, then Nigel Blount started the runaway by returning an interception 39 yards for a score.
Fellow Trojan defensive back Shamar Morton opened the second half with a similar play, stepping in front of a Richland pass for a 37-yard interception return for another score. A.J. Barnett capped the scoring with a 77-yard rumble before he too took a seat.
UNSUNG HERO OF THE GAME: Richland running backs Brandon Johnson and Chris Mayo accounted for much of the offense the Rebels could muster, running head on into the Trojan defense 25 times for 75 yards.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Both teams struggled to keep any kind of sustained drives going, as the officials dropped 20 penalty flags for 144 yards.
UP NEXT: Trinity opens the Class 6A Division I playoffs at Pennington Field next Friday against Arlington Martin. Richland’s season ends just missing the final District 3-6A playoff spot.