Tigers threaten late, but can’t overcome Commodores


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Holy Trinity freshman running back LaAnthony Valentine finds room to run against Eau Gallie's defense during Monday night's game. The Commodores won 23-15.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

There was frustration, of course.

Losing a game is always frustrating.

But considering what they had been through the past three days, the Holy Trinity Tigers had reasons to be proud of the way they played during Monday night’s 23-15 loss to the host Eau Gallie Commodores.

Just three days earlier, Holy Trinity defeated Village Academy 21-20 in a tough, physical game.

Now, here they were, playing in a game that had been postponed because of Hurricane Matthew against an Eau Gallie team that … just like Village Academy … was bigger on both the offensive and defensive lines. And with only 22 players on the roster, a number of Holy Trinity players have to play on both sides of the ball.

After falling behind 17-0 in the first half on the strength of two long TD passes, the Tigers put on a rally that had them a touchdown and two-point conversion away from tying the game twice in the game’s final minutes.

But both times, Eau Gallie’s defense came up with the goods when it had to.

The Tigers drove to the Eau Gallie 25-yard line with 3:06 remaining, but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-6 and turned the ball over on downs only to get the ball back 14 seconds later

Faced with a fourth-and-14 at the Eau Gallie 16-yard line and less than 30 seconds to play, the Tigers tried a toss sweep that the Commodores’ defense closed in on and stopped well short to preserve the victory.

Coming up short, that’s the frustrating part for Holy Trinity.

For Eau Gallie, which was playing its second game in four days, it was a well-deserved win that pushed its record to 5-2. For the 4-2 Tigers, it was a missed opportunity.

“Yeah (it was a chance to) beat a team that’s bigger and stronger, that’s Class 6A (Holy Trinity is 3A),” Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. said. “You couldn’t ask for anything but a chance.”

The Tigers got that chance because of the way their players stuck together.

Jashaun Corbin scored on a 47-yard run just before the end of the first half and then turned a short pass from quarterback Joc Perry into a 24-yard touchdown. Perry scored on a two-point conversion.

Running backs LaAnthony Valentine and Larry Hill ran hard. Tay Griffin made several key receptions and also applied pressure defensively.

Sully Altman had a strong defensive game and Tyler Forde made two key plays – knocking the ball from an Eau Gallie receiver just before he crossed the goal line, turning a potential touchdown into a touchback and recovering a fumble to set up the Tigers’ final drive.

As he walked off the field, Hooks was asked about how well his team played under the circumstances.

“Second game in three days against a team that’s big (like Eau Gallie),” Hooks said “Actually, I can’t ask for any more than that effort.”