All Hail the Conquerors; Lewis, Defense Power Trinity

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread, Times-Union sports writer

Trinity Christian's football team made one big mistake yesterday.

Fortunately for the Conquerors, they got it out of the way before the game even started.

Trinity had to kickoff to start both halves when a captain misspoke after winning the pre-game coin toss. With a nearly flawless performance otherwise, the Conquerors took home the first state championship in school history with a 42-7 win against Delray Beach American Heritage at Tallahassee's Doak Campbell Stadium.

"The kid kind of froze, I guess, and he said kick, and I said, 'No, no, defer, defer', but they wouldn't let us take it back," Dorminey said. "Fortunately, we played well enough that it didn't matter."

With all of Trinity's scoring, it was a busy day for Conquerors' kickoff man Kyle Murray anyway.

The backbreaker for American Heritage (13-2) came on a fake punt that allowed Trinity (13-1) to increase a 15-7 lead to 22-7 just before halftime. Bernie Hurley threw a 19-yard completion to Bubba Motes on the fourth-down play, giving Trinity a first down on the Stallions' 24 with 51 seconds left in the half. Lamar Lewis carried for 19 on the next play, and Drew Steinmetz scored from the 5 to push Trinity's lead out of reach.

"That was just a great call by coach [Storm] Davis," Dorminey said. "He said, 'Watch for red', which is one of our fake calls when the other team isn't covering the split like they should, and it was there."

Trinity's offense handled the Stallions with ease. Lamar Lewis rushed for 154 rushing yards, his fifth 100-yard effort in as many playoff games. He reached the 100-yard mark in the first half. Lewis mostly ran wide for an 8.1-yard average, and fullback Drew Steinmetz added 93 yards between the tackles.

Kyle Murray connected on a state finals record four field goals -- two in each half -- from distances of 22, 29, 36 and 30 yards.

Defensively, the Conquerors recovered four fumbles, which the offense converted into 20 points. Linebacker Scott Saling recovered two of those and forced another while leading the team in tackles with seven. Alex Lovett made three tackles in the backfield as Heritage managed 18 rushing yards.

Delray was also hampered by 13 penalties, most against the offense.

"Just a great effort on both sides," Dorminey said. "When we first got here [to Trinity], we were everyone's homecoming opponent. Now we can say we've really come a long way."

American Heritage took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter on an 87-yard pass from Danny Meszaros to Jerome Bryant. The junior receiver came open on a deep post route, but it was the only offensive play of more than 15 yards for the Stallions all day. …