Holy Trinity rolls past Pembroke Pines Charter with first quarter to remember


Holy Trinity players celebrate after Friday's 50-0 victory against Pembroke Pines Charter. The Tigers led 43-0 at the end of the first quarter, posting one of the most prolific opening quarters in the history of high school football in the state of Florida.


Running up the score used to be a way of life for high school football in the state of Florida.  That’s not the case as much anymore since a running clock is required for the second half in games where one team leads by 35 or more points.

Holy Trinity scored 43 points in the first quarter as it humbled Pembroke Pines Charter 50-0 Friday night. After the prolific first quarter, which was one of the highest-scoring quarters in state history, the game was shortened to a 1-minute second quarter, a 1-minute third quarter and a 1-minute fourth quarter.

A running clock was utilized for both the third quarter and the fourth quarter, limiting the second-half action to just four plays.

“We would have put up 100,’’ said Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr., whose squad improved to 2-3 overall and remained in the race for a postseason playoff berth. “They’re (Pines Charter) a bigger school than us. The difference is execution. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is. We put some nice stuff on film.’’

The Jaguars, who defeated Pompano Beach 36-13 on the road last week, fell to 2-4.

Dru Nickson threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to James BlackStrain on the first play from scrimmage after the opening kickoff. James Linnabary kicked the extra point as the Tigers took a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game.

After the ensuing kickoff, Sullivan Altman intercepted a pass from William Manuel and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to extend the Tigers’ lead to 13-0.

The Tigers forced the Jaguars to punt after three consecutive running plays netted just 5 yards and took over at their own 42 after a short punt.

Larry Hill ran to the left on first down, cut across the middle to the right side and scored on a 58-yard run with 8 minutes, 34 seconds to play in the first quarter. Linnabary kicked the PAT to make it 20-0.

In Holy Trinity’s three losses this season, the Tigers have struggled in the fourth quarter when all three games were winnable on the road. Holy Trinity lost to Merritt Island, American Heritage-Delray Beach and Orlando Christian Prep.

“We have to put it together in the fourth quarter and finish games,’’ Hooks said. “We’re only 2-3, but we’re a good football team. We need to win out. We’re probably in the playoffs right now, but that could change if we don’t win out. Yes, we can win out.’’

Holy Trinity will play Cambridge Christian in a road game next week before coming home to face Coral Springs Charter on Oct. 19. The Tigers will host Atlantic on Oct. 26 before finishing the regular season with an away game against Trinity Christian on Nov. 2.

Nickson scored a touchdown on a 20-yard quarterback keeper after his interception gave Holy Trinity possession of the football. Linnabary ran for the two-point conversion on a trick play to extend the margin to 28-0 with 8:06 to play in the opening quarter.

The Tigers needed just 3:54 to score those 28 points. High school football consists of 12-minute quarters.

Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Carlos Estronza intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. Preston Milo’s conversion pass to Tyrel Harris increased the margin to 36-0 with 6:22 remaining in the quarter.

Estronza ran 17 yards to the left for a touchdown with 2:25 to play in the quarter. Linnabary’s PAT made it 43-0.

Hill’s 47-yard run just 29 seconds into the 1-minute, second quarter completed the scoring as Linnabary kicked another PAT.

Holy Trinity limited Pines Charter to 15 yards on 16 carries. Ten of those yards came on the final play of the game on Ken Phipps’ run. It was the only first down Pines Charter recorded in the contest.

Three of Pines Charter’s four pass attempts led to interceptions. The other pass fell incomplete.

Hill rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns on three carries. The Tigers rushed for 143 yards on seven carries.

Nickson completed 2 of 3 passes for 72 yards and one touchdown.

University Christian of Jacksonville defeated Victory Christian 130-0 in 1973 to set a state record for most points in a regulation game and the largest margin of victory.

In what is considered the modern era, Crescent City defeated St. John of Ocala 98-14 in 1999 to establish the record for most points in a regulation game.

Statistics for most points in the first quarter or for any quarter are not listed in the state record book.

“The college coaches know about us,’’ Hooks said. “USF, Illinois, Virginia and Florida Tech were just here looking at our players. They know we’re good. They wouldn’t be flying over to see us if we weren’t good.’’