Missed opportunities cost Holy Trinity in overtime loss to Space Coast


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Holy Trinity's Carlos Estronza (left) stiff arms a Space Coast defender as he turns the corner during Friday night's game. The Tigers opened up their new Tiger Athletic Complex, but it was Space Coast that came away with a 14-7 win in overtime.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

It turned out to be a night of missed opportunities for the Holy Trinity football team.

Unable to convert on several scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter, and missing out on a potential touchdown pass in the third, the Tigers found themselves going to overtime against Space Coast Friday night.

And after the Vipers scored on their first possession, the Tigers saw their hopes of forcing a second OT end when a fourth-down pass was batted down.

That gave Space Coast a 14-7 overtime victory in the first game at the new Tiger Athletic Complex.

“In games like this, you’ve got to capitalize on opportunities, because they’re not going to come that often,” Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. said. “This is standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring.

“We had a few opportunities, didn’t capitalize on them.”

Neither the Tigers (3-1) or the Vipers (2-1) could generate much offense as both defenses did a good job of shutting down the opposition’s running game.

Holy Trinity would strike first.

Quarterback Ja’Lon Hudgins threw a pass to Kevin Chandler, who made a great catch in between two Space Coast defenders to complete the 40-yard touchdown with 6:21 left in the second quarter.

The Vipers would answer just before the half to tie things up at 7-7 and set up a second half that was largely dominated by Holy Trinity’s defense.

The Tigers, meanwhile, missed what they thought would have been a sure touchdown pass when the quarterback was pressured, forcing the ball to be thrown short.

Holy Trinity would drive to the Space Coast 26-yard line with just over nine minutes left in regulation, but on fourth-and-6, the Tigers were stopped two yards short and had to turn the ball over on downs.

The Tigers would again get into Space Coast territory in the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over on downs after facing a fourth-and-5 at the Vipers’ 40-yard line.

“I knew a (Space Coast coach Matt) Diesel team would be tough on defense,” Hooks said. “The game went pretty much just like we thought it would – a toe-to-toe battle.”

Space Coast would get the ball first at the 10-yard line in overtime and on the first play, the Vipers gained nine yards to the Holy Trinity 1-yard line despite screams from the Tigers’ sidelines for a holding penalty to be called.

The Vipers would score on the next play to take their first lead of the game.

Holy Trinity would net just three yards on its first three plays of overtime and on fourth-and-7, Space Coast batted down a pass to end the hard-fought contest.

It was the first loss of the season for Holy Trinity, which will host another Brevard County opponent next week at the Tiger Athletic Complex.

“We can’t cry over spilled milk,” Hooks said. “Eau Gallie is coming next week.”