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McCreary, defense lead No. 2 Catholic to rout of No. 3 Trinity for Class 3A, Region 4 title

By Kamarri Darrington / Central Alabama Scoreboard Writer’s Club 

MONTGOMERY–There was a fever pitch at Catholic with not a seat to be had for a battle of undefeated top-five teams in Class 3A. No. 2 Montgomery Catholic hosted No. 3 Trinity bringing in a combined record of 15-0 before kickoff.

It didn’t take long to find out which side was superior as Catholic’s speed and intensity were too much for Trinity.

Caleb McCreary completed 11 of 16 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns while adding a four-yard touchdown run to lead Catholic in a 52-7 win, giving the Knights (9-0, 6-0) a region championship for the third straight season and fourth in the last five.

The Knights scored on six of their seven offensive possessions before kneeling away the final 1:22. McCreary finished the first drive with his touchdown run on fourth-and-goal, then hit Kylon Griffin on a 14-yard pass for a 14-0 lead.

After the Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) cut the lead to 14-7 on Chase Letner’s 67-yard touchdown run, McCreary hit Jaden Jones on a 65-yard pass for a 21-7 lead. The Knights closed the first half with an 11-yard scoring pass from McCreary to Jeremiah Cobb for a 28-7 halftime lead.

“Whenever you’re in a fight, you want to be the one to hit first,” McCreary said. “There was a lot of confidence from our coaching staff. Our offensive line blocked well. It was a big jump for me from previous weeks. I just believed in my wide receivers.”

Catholic was far from done as the second half was a showcase for Cobb and the final haymakers were provided by the defense.

Cobb started with a 62-yard touchdown run after the Knights defense earned a fourth-down stop to make it a 35-7 lead. 

Catholic’s Jourdan Thomas, who was just selected to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, then intercepted Trinity’s Coleman Stanley and returned it for a touchdown but it was called back because of a penalty.

“We just came out with the same mentality as always,” Thomas said. “As a defense, we don’t want anyone to get in our end zone. We just watch to see how we’re going to attack them. We just come out and try to play our best ball.”

Cobb finished the 14-yard drive with a six-yard run and a 42-7 lead. Gabe Russo added a 33-yard field goal, then TJ Dudley ended the night with a 35-yard interception return touchdown.

Cobb finished with 188 yards on 22 carries. Jamari Young caught three passes for 55 yards. The Catholic defense forced three punts and had stopped Trinity on fourth down twice.

All Catholic, all the time.

“We wanted to keep the pressure on them and not give them a chance to come back,” Dudley said. “We had the one missed defense on (Letner’s) run, but we set the tone early and keep making big statements.”

Stanley completed nine of 20 passes for 111 yards and two interceptions. Letner finished with 91 yards on 20 carries. Trinity was held to just 222 yards of total offense.

“They’re a well-coached football team and they’re fast,” Trinity head coach Granger Shook said. “We’re a step away from them. I thought we had a nice game plan against their defense early on. I thought our defense played well, but we missed a lot of tackles. We’ve got to get back to the drawing board and get better.”

Catholic earned another major distinction on Friday. Previously undefeated Fyffe’s 51-game winning streak was snapped by a 20-19 loss at Geraldine. 

Next week, it is expected that Catholic will host Goshen as the No. 1 team in the state.

“I’ve heard it said that it’s lonely at the top,” Catholic head coach Kirk Johnson said. “We’ve got to focus on us. That’s always been our biggest challenge. We have to worry about doing the little things correctly and if we’re coaching them consistently. The rest will take care of itself.”

Catholic 52, Trinity 7

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