It was easy to get out of breath last Friday night just watching Trinity Catholic and Williston play football.
Although the outcome was undesirable, it was a very entertaining game as Trinity outlasted Williston, 63-42, in a non-district contest at Williston.
The win left Trinity at 3-0, while Williston dropped to 2-1. The Red Devils play at Dixie County this week.
It didn't take long for the tone to be set. On the first play from scrimmage, Trinity's Kedrick Rhodes exploded around the left side for a 63-yard touchdown. Frankie Velez kicked the first of his nine extra points, and it was 7-0.
On the ensuing kickoff Trinity tried to catch the Devils napping with an onside kick, but Williston recovered at its own 45. Travis Evans gained one yard on the first play, and burst through the middle for a lot more on the next snap, and after Chris Priest booted the extra point, it was 7-7 with 10:58 showing on the clock. That's one minute and two seconds gone, and 14 points scored.
Trinity receiver Chris Johnson made a mistake on the next kickoff, taking it at his own 22, then reversing his field to try to get away before being tackled back at his own 10 by Desmond Holmes.
The defense held the Celtics to three incomplete passes, the last one a drop caused by a big hit by Tony James. But the Celtics, who were pulling out all the stops, ran a fake punt (remember, from their own 10) and quarterback Rob Henry threw to a wide open Zach Williams up the middle for a first down good for 40 yards. Later in the drive Rhodes had a 26-yard run to the 23, and on the next play Henry hit Kadron Boone for a touchdown after a perfect pump fake, and it was 14-7.
Williston took the kickoff and tried to answer. A 28-yard run by Evans followed by a 13-yard run by quarterback Courtney Days moved the ball to the 31. An interference penalty against Trinity produced a first down at the 15, and the Devils worked their way to a fourth down at the 11. Days tried a keeper but it didn't work and the drive stalled.
The defense held and Trinity got off a punt that only carried to the Celtic 39. From there the Devils collected a first down on a pass from Days to Brandon Scott at the 16, but again the defense stopped Williston, and a fourth-down direct snap to Deonte Welch only got the ball to the 11 and Trinity took over.
Two plays later the Celtics had apparently scored again, but a block in the back negated the TD. That didn't faze Henry who hit Boone for a 54-yard touchdown and it was 21-7.
Williston tried to drive as the first quarter ended but had to punt, and a short kick gave the Celtics the ball at their own 46. Four plays later they had a 30-yard touchdown, again Henry to Boone, and now it was 28-7, still with 10:40 left in the first half.
Back came Williston. Evans took the kickoff from the 5 to the 26, and Dalton Edwards, now in at quarterback, gained 19 to the 45. On the next play Evans broke through the middle again for a 55-yard touchdown run, and now it was 28-14.
Trinity came back and put on a solid drive that, for the first time, chewed up some clock. The touchdown came on a sneak by Henry, and with 4:22 left in the half it was 35-14.
Then came the kickoff. Welch took the ball on the 9, and no one came close to stopping him as he went 91 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was missed and it was 35-20.
Williston's defense, now fired up, held and forced a punt. Taking over at their own 37 with 2:12 to go, the Devils got a 13-yard run from Edwards, a 14-yarder from Evans, who then lost a yard to the 37. From there Days threw to Scott for a touchdown, and the home team got the extra point back with a two-point conversion, a run by Welch that made it 35-28 with 1:05 to go.
That proved to be too much time to give Henry and Trinity. One play after the kickoff a pressured Henry got a pass to Khiry McDonald for a 36-yard score, and it was 42-28 at halftime.
Williston couldn't move the ball to start the second half, and Trinity got it at its own 23. Five first downs later, Jeremiaha Gates ran in from the 3 and the extra point, although it was tipped, cleared the bar and it was 49-28.
Two plays later the Devils were guilty of a turnover, fumbling it over to Trinity. Despite a chop block penalty the Celtics moved it in quickly, with Rhodes scoring from the 16, making it 56-35.
Williston got the ball at its own 21 a little later, and Edwards kept for 19, picked up 17 more, then 33 more to the 10. Days fought his way through the defense to the 3 as the quarter ended, and on the first play of the final period, Edwards scored off the right side to make it 56-42. At this point, a 14-point deficit was minimal.
But then Trinity again used up time, driving all the way for a touchdown with 6:47 to go as Henry threw a quick pass to McDonald, who then ran into the end zone. The kick made the final 63-42.
Williston was forced to punt with 4:41 to go, and never got it back as Trinity kept it on the ground to bring an end to the game, taking a knee at the Williston 13 on the final play.
Evans rushed for 238 yards, while Edwards had 107. The 42 points the Devils scored was the most given up by Trinity in five years.