Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Things First for Conquerors; Trinity Christian Knows: You Have to Win 1 State Title to Go for 2 in a Row

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Things First for Conquerors; Trinity Christian Knows: You Have to Win 1 State Title to Go for 2 in a Row

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

Trinity Christian might be the best football team in the state this year.

The scary part is that bigger things await in 2014, when nearly its entire defense returns for what should be the most heavily recruited team in area history.

Before the Conquerors (11-1)alook down the road, they'll look across the field Saturday in the Class 3A state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando and see Clearwater Central Catholic (11-2) staring back. It's the first title game appearance for Trinity since 2010 against a defensive-minded team of its own.

And before anyone anoints Trinity as the next dynasty in town, coach Verlon Dorminey says not so fast.

"You just never know how these games are going to go. Look at us in 1999," he said. "It took me a long time to get over that one."

The Conquerors that season set a state record for points scored in the regular season with 528, a mark finally eclipsed this year by Apopka (529). When Trinity reached the state championship game against unranked Frostproof averaging better than 50 points per game in the playoffs, it wasn't if it would win, it was by how much.

Ten penalties and seven fumbles later, Trinity had a 6-0 loss in a game that remains one of the biggest upsets in finals history. That's why when Dorminey looks across the field and sees a defense that can keep teams out of the end zone just as much as his can, he's not as quick to dub Trinity a state champion as everyone else is.

Both teams' offenses are capable of delivering big games, defense has led the way for both Trinity and Clearwater Central. The Conquerors allowed 133 points this season; the Marauders gave up 129.

"We knew going into the season that's where we were going to hang our hat, on the defensive side of the ball," Dorminey said.

Trinity's defense is the envy of college football programs across the country, why the Conquerors are the nation's top-ranked small school in America by MaxPreps. …

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