War Eagles pull away from Tigers as Holy Trinity loses third straight


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Holy Trinity's Jadon Gowins (in blue) hauls in a pass from quarterback Davin Wydner despite having a hand literally in his face during Friday night's game against Astronaut. The Tigers were trailing 28-24 just fore the end of the first half when the War Eagles reeled off 41 unanswered points to win 69-24.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Holy Trinity Tigers got caught up in another numbers game Friday night.

With two players injured, the Tigers entered their game against the unbeaten Astronaut War Eagles with 18 healthy bodies. By the end of the night, that number was down to 16.

And since all four injured players were two-way players, that meant the Tigers were essentially down eight starters by the end of the night.

But given all that, those weren’t the numbers that really seemed to bother Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. following Astronaut’s 69-24 victory.

It was the fact that, with 1:47 remaining in the first half, Holy Trinity had cut what had been an 18-point Astronaut lead down to just four at 28-24  … only to see the War Eagles score twice before halftime, then add 27 more unanswered points.

“Sixteen people … down eight starters … all that stuff, I don’t want to hear that,” Hooks said. “That stuff are facts. But it was 28-24 with all of those facts.”

What the game essentially boiled down to was that the Tigers (1-3)_ simply couldn’t stop Astronaut’s running game … even when they knew what was coming.

Astronaut senior running back Abreon Torres ran all over the Holy Trinity defense, with a little work from War Eagles quarterback Antonio Caito thrown in.

After Holy Trinity turned the ball over on downs in its opening drive, the War Eagles (4-0) needed just three plays to move the ball 55 yards for the game’s opening touchdown.

Holy Trinity would get a big return from freshman Dayday Farmer to put the ball at the Astronaut 38, but the Tigers would have to settle for a 36-yard field goal try that was ultimately no good.

Back came Astronaut with a 35-yard touchdown run and all of a sudden, the Tigers were down by 14.

That’s when Holy Trinity started to put it together.

After Jackson Fain came on to kick a 33-yard field goal, Tigers quarterback Davin Wydner found Farmer over the middle and the freshman outran the Astronaut defense on his way to a 45-yard touchdown.

Trailing 28-10 with just under five minutes left in the half following another Astronaut touchdown, Holy Trinity’s Carlos Estronza picked up a squib kick, ran to his left, and sprinted 75 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

Estronza was injured on the play, putting him on the sidelines with teammate Jadon Gowins and two other Tigers who were already hurt – Ja’Lon Hudgins and Rico Frazier.

But Holy Trinity wasn’t done yet.

James BlackStrain recovered an Astronaut fumble at the War Eagles 25. A run by Wydner and another nice play by Farmer put the ball at the 2-yard line. From there, it was Wydner moving to his right and diving into the end zone for the touchdown that made it a 28-24 game.

With under two minutes left in the half, the Tigers had a chance to go into the break with the momentum on their side.

But just like that, Astronaut responded with a 73-yard touchdown run and then another score just before the half to push a seemingly precarious four-point lead back to a healthy 18.

The second half was all War Eagles.

Holy Trinity, which opened the season with a win over MCC, has now lost three in row as it heads into the second half of a schedule that figures to be decidedly easier than the first half.

The Tigers’ first four opponents have a combined record of 14-1. Their last three are 0-11, including next week’s opponent – Titusville (0-4).

With a Nov. 13 playoff game against Father Lopez looming, Holy Trinity has a chance to get healthy in more ways than one.

“That’s a serious game next week,” Hooks said.