Perry, Trenton sprint past Holy Trinity in second half


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Holy Trinity's Kevin Chandler, shown here against Space Coast, caught 10 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns Friday night in a 37-27 loss at home to Trenton.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Tyler Perry had a night to remember as Trenton handed Holy Trinity its third consecutive loss with a 37-27 victory Friday night at the Tiger Athletic Complex.

Perry, a 6-foot sophomore, rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He completed 5 of 9 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.  Perry also intercepted four passes, including a pick six on a 62-yard return with 3.6 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

That interception return for a touchdown gave the Trenton Tigers a 13-12 advantage after Caleb Morgan kicked the extra point.

Two Holy Trinity wide receivers were in the vicinity for the pass by Ja’Lon Hudgins on the right side. It appeared to be tipped by one of those receivers as Perry caught the pass and sprinted down the left sideline untouched for a touchdown.

As improbable as that touchdown was, it was duplicated moments later. It can be debated that Holy Trinity could have taken a knee on that third-down pass and gone into halftime with a 12-6 lead.

There’s no debate that Trenton misplayed the final 3.6 seconds after taking the lead. The Tigers from North Florida attempted an onside kick, which the Tigers recovered at their own 45-yard line with 1.2 seconds to play in the first half.

Hudgins found Kevin Chandler open on the left side. Chandler broke one tackle, backed up a couple of steps to avoid another would-be tackler and then sprinted to the left as he outran the Trenton defense for a 55-yard score. The conversion run failed as Holy Trinity led 18-13 at halftime.

Chandler finished with 10 receptions for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Hudgins completed 13 of 27 passes for 289 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Any momentum Holy Trinity had entering the second half quickly dissipated as Trenton wore out Holy Trinity with its powerful running game. Perry ran up the middle for 20 yards on the first play from scrimmage after the second-half kickoff to the Holy Trinity 42.

That was the first of six consecutive carries as Trenton (3-2) moved from the Trenton 38 to the Holy Trinity 12. There were no secrets; it was basically the same running play up the middle. Some of those runs were by Perry and others were by Morgan, who finished with 96 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. Morgan often lined up as the quarterback in a wildcat formation to give Perry a rest.

After six consecutive runs, Perry threw one incomplete pass before running 11 yards up the middle for a first down at the Holy Trinity 1. He scored on the next play -- another run up the middle -- to give Trenton the lead.

Morgan scored on the conversion run to give Trenton a 21-18 lead with 8 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

“This was smash-mouth, tough-man, being-in-a-fight football,’’ Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. said. “There was nothing fancy about what Trenton did. It’s hard to win when seven of your players are on the sidelines hurt.

“We don’t have the kind of team or numbers where we can afford to have seven players out hurt. It was the same as last week (a 33-7 loss to Eau Gallie in which the Commodores led 13-7 at halftime).”

Holy Trinity, which fell to 3-3 after beginning the season 3-0, battled back to tie the game at 21 on James Linnabary’s 28-yard field goal with 2:19 to play in the third quarter.

Larry Hill rushed for 38 yards on four carries during the 11-play, 54-yard drive, which stalled at the Trenton 11.

Hill, who hurt his hamstring last week in the loss to Eau Gallie, never carried the ball again after that drive. He finished with 43 yards on five carries.

When it appeared that Holy Trinity’s defense might get some much-needed rest after Trenton was assessed a 5-yard penalty on third down and 1, Perry found Tyrese Jackson wide open in the middle of the field. Jackson cut to the left and scored on the 76-yard reception. Perry ran for the two-point conversion as Trenton took a 29-21 lead with 40.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Morgan sacked Hudgins for a 7-yard loss on third down, forcing Holy Trinity to punt on the ensuing possession.

Taking over at the Holy Trinity 44, Trenton ran seven consecutive times and eventually scored on Morgan’s 2-yard run. Jamari Chism ran for the two-point conversion as Trenton extended its lead to 37-21 with 6:33 remaining.

Just 28 seconds later, Holy Trinity whittled the deficit to 37-27 as Chandler took an interception away from Dylan James as he outmuscled the junior for the ball on a pass by Hudgins to the right side. After grabbing the football, Chandler powered down the field for a 62-yard touchdown.

The conversion pass failed as Holy Trinity trailed 37-27.

Holy Trinity forced a fumble and recovered the ball at its own 18 to stymie another potential score.

Hudgins and Chandler connected for a 52-yard pass on first down to the Trenton 30. But, Perry intercepted a pass on the ensuing play as Trenton took possession at its own 7 with 3:25 to play.

Holy Trinity stopped Trenton on downs and took over at the Trenton 39. Jacob Morgan sacked Hudgins for a 20-yard loss after a bad snap, and another bad snap led to a fumble recovery by Trenton.

Trenton came to Melbourne boasting a rich tradition in football. The Tigers won Class 1A state championships in 2013 and 2015. They were a state runner-up in 2012.

Hudgins threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Chandler with 4:49 to play in the first quarter to give Holy Trinity a 6-0 lead.

Perry scored on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter to tie the game at 6.

Hill, who played sparingly because of the hamstring injury, stripped the ball from a Trenton runner at the line of scrimmage and kept running for a 33-yard touchdown with 4:26 to play in the second quarter. That gave Holy Trinity a 12-6 advantage.

Trenton finished with 203 yards rushing on 52 carries. It racked up 314 yards of total offense.

Without Hill at full strength, Holy Trinity totaled just 8 yards rushing on 21 attempts. It had 297 yards of total offense.

Holy Trinity will travel to Orlando next Friday to face Lake Highland Prep in a 7 p.m. contest.