Nov 192022
 

BACK-TO-BACK!!!  

For the second year in a row, it was a sea of Green & White jerseys celebrating on the field of the Mitchel Athletic Complex, as one removed from earning the AA-2 crown, the Titans of Holy Trinity High School completed the bump in status by hoisting AA-1 hardware following a 20-14 victory over the Moore Catholic in a battle of our top-2 seeds….

Entering the game as the owners of both the top-ranked offense and the #1 rated defense in the division, Head Coach, Kahmal Roy received signature efforts from his superstars on both sides of the line, as they fought back from an early 7-0 deficit (15-play, nearly 8:00 opening drive punctuated by 1-yard QB keeper from Mav’s senior All-State signal caller, John Michalski) by issuing a response in the form of a 17-0 point streak between the 2nd and 3rd quarters…

Commencing their rally with approximately 7:29 remaining in the first half, the Hicksville based program turned the tides in a monumental manner when the duo of Christopher Bacon (stripped the ball) and Melan Williams (pounced on the pigskin) halted a promising MC drive by generating a turnover that handed possession back to HT on the opposing 42…

Aided by an untimely 15-yard personal foul penalty called against the #2 seeds from Staten Island [Moore Catholic] the Titans did not cash in fully, but were able to capitalize to a degree, as a 40-yard blast off the leg of Evan Glusic cut the hole to 7-3 with 5:12 to go in the 2nd quarter…

A defensive stand courtesy of Hopeton James & Irvin Briggs IV (gang tackle to stuff Moore Catholic on 3rd & 1 and induce a punt) put the ball back in control of junior QB, Rocco Rainone, and this time, Trinity did not leave points on the table, as 6’0, 190-pound dual-threat stud was spot-on with his precision, connecting with sophomore WR, Chase Cruz, on a 3rd &6 out route, which the 10th grader transformed into a home-run hitter when he broke away from a tackler and then sprinted the rest of the way to polish off the 54-yard pitch-and-catch that instantly vaulted HT to a 10-7 lead with 64 ticks before the break!  

A huge return on the ensuing kickoff, followed by a 25-yard connection to Omar Osman, enabled MC to come as close as the Trinity 29 in the waning moments, but again it was [Hopeton] James curbing any thoughts of a late score, as he registered his second sack of the afternoon to disrupt the match down field…

No longer in a prime spot to collect points, Moore Head Coach, Nick Giannatasio, tried to dig into his bag of tricks, having sophomore RB, RJ Pacheco, attempt a pass…The gamble did not pay off as Dre Kirton darn-near recorded a pick-6, as he intercepted the throw and then bolted down the sidelines with a wall of blockers before eventually being knocked out of bounds on the opposing 11 to conclude the first 24 minutes!

A well-executed, but not necessarily flawless display from either sideline, the two schools would take turns squandering solid scoring opportunities during the first 5:00+ minutes of the 3rd quarter as Rainone/Kirton tried to ignite the offense by hooking up on a 43-yard completion that moved the ball inside the Moore Catholic 13….However, a fumble resulting from a high snap was scooped up by the Mavs’ Giovanni Maniscalco to cease that threat…

Next it was MC’s turn to burn a bridge, as Michalski aired it up on 3rd &9, but instead of his own man coming down with it, it was Titan sophomore, Enoch Thomas, emerging with the interception on the HT 32 w:/6:46 remaining in 3Q!

Less than 1:00 after the Enoch pick, it was Jameer Reeder putting it an end to the back-and-forth errors, as he turned the corner and followed the blocks of Jayden Simpson and Devon Gonzalez all the way to paydirt for the 58-yard TD pilgrimage that increased the margin to 17-7 with 5:47 still left in the 3rd quarter….

The scoreboard unchanged (HT forced a punt; MC created a turnover on a Mario Ferraro INT to close out the 3rd) as we dipped below the 5:00 mark in the 4th quarter, all hope seemed lost for the Merrill Avenue machine (Moore) when their field goal attempt fell well short of the goalpost….But alas, a roughing the kicker call provided new life and Michalski made certain to reap the benefits as he punched in his second rushing TD of the day (12th of 2022) in from 8-yards away to make the score 17-14 with only 4:40 showing on the clock…

On their final possession of a brilliant collective campaign, a Kirton kick return to the MC 34, aided by Rainone to Simpson slant on 3rd & 8 to move the chains would both exhaust previous seconds and put Glusic well inside his comfort zone, as he improves to 2-for-2 on FG attempts behind a booming 35-yarder with 1:36 to go in regulation…

Down to their last prayer at an 11th hour comeback, the Mavericks received an amazing KO return from Pacheco (to their own 45)…But the “w” was not in the card as a few snaps later, Briggs and Williams stuffed Michalski one-yard short of the chains to create a turnover on downs and cue victory formation!!!

In recognition of his entire body of work more so than just what he did on offense, Kirton was named as the recipient of the Offensive MVP….James (3 sacks) took the top honor among individuals on defense!!!  

The Titans cap off 2022 with a 9-1 record (only loss to AAA semifinalists, Chaminade)….Moore Catholic, who fell in the AA-1 finale was the second year in a row, should hope their chins high with a 9-3 resume (two of the losses to HT; the other to AAA semifinalist, Archbishop Stepinac)!

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