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  • Tyler Harden

Trinity Christian Academy rallies in the second half to win 3A State Championship

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TALLAHASSEE, FLORDA— Chaminade-Madonna Prep and Trinity Christian Academy are arguably the two best teams in Class 3A in the state of Florida. Chaminade-Madonna came into the 2020 football season not being entirely sure they’d have one due to the high COVID-19 numbers in Broward County. Fortunately, Trinity Christian Academy, which is in Jacksonville, was able to get a full regular season. Chaminade-Madonna had won three 3A state championships in a row, and they came into Wednesday night’s game looking to add to that streak, and make state history, being the only school to win four consecutive state championships. But Trinity Christian Academy came in with a different mindset, they wanted to be the ones to break the streak.

Chaminade-Madonna gave the ball to their star running back, Thad Franklin, right from their first play on offense. But Trinity Christian Academy stopped their rhythm on fourth down, forced a turnover, and took over at their own 36-yard line. However, when the Conquerors forced to punt on fourth down, a bad snap forced the punter to kick the ball out of bounds toward the opposite end zone for a safety. The Lions’ offense took advantage, as they marched down the field all the way to the Trinity Christian Academy 16-yard line. Franklin then walked in the end zone untouched on 2nd and goal for a touchdown (PAT good). After a three and out for Trinity Christian Academy, the first quarter ended with Chaminade-Madonna in the lead 9-0.

Chaminade-Madonna started the second quarter with a punt, but the Lions’ defense made an impact. Defensive end, Kenyatta Jackson Jr., came up with a big sack to push Trinity Christian Academy back 12 yards to their own 8-yard line. After both teams were forced to punt, Kaleb Killian picked up Trinity Christian Academy’s first 1st down of the game on 3rd and 1 for a 10-yard gain to the Chaminade-Madonna 49-yard line.

But Chaminade-Madonna didn’t flinch, as the defense forced a fumble on the next play, linebacker, Dylan Reid, recovered and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown (PAT good). The Conquerors didn’t let this get in the way of the spark they found on offense. Quarterback, Jacory Jordan, completed a pass on 2nd and 17 to Marcus Burke for a first down, and Jordan found room to run the ball himself for another first down at the Chaminade-Madonna 30-yard line. But just before halftime, Charles Williams intercepted a pass from Jordan. The Lions went into halftime with a 16-0 lead.

Trinity Christian Academy came into the second half looking for a fresh start, and the offense looked to provide that. The strong run game from Jacory Jordan and Kaleb Killian led the Conquerors all the way to the Chaminade-Madonna 5-yard line. Killian capped off the drive by taking the snap from wildcat formation, and running 2 yards into the end zone to make the score 16-7 (PAT good). After both teams punted, Trinity Christian Academy regained their momentum on offense. Marcus Burke caught a 29-yard pass for a great catch to bring the Conquerors to the Chaminade-Madonna 43-yard line. Shortly after, Christian Ellis ran for a 1st down to the 12-yard line, and the third quarter ended with Chaminade-Madonna still leading 16-7.

With Trinity Christian Academy in great field position to start the fourth quarter, the Chaminade-Madonna defense came up with a big stop to force 4th and goal. The Conquerors were forced to settle for a 19-yard field goal to make the score 16-10. After the Lions punted, Trinity Christian Academy kept their foot on the gas. Jacory Jordan found Marcus Burke on 2nd and 5 in the end zone for a deep pass and a touchdown (PAT good). Trinity Christian Academy took the lead 17-16.

Chaminade-Madonna wouldn’t go away, as the run game remained strong, and brought the Lions all the way to the Trinity Christian Academy 1-yard line. Thad Franklin took the snap from the wildcat formation once again, and ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown (2-point conversion no good).

Kaleb Killian began Trinity Christian Academy’s attempt to retake the lead and win the game with an 18-yard run to the 50-yard line. Jacory Jordan then completed a screen pass to Marcus Burke for a first down at the Chaminade-Madonna 39-yard line. However, the Conquerors were brought to 4th and 7. But Jacory Jordan found Marcus Burke in the end zone for a touchdown (2-point conversion good). Trinity Christian Academy led 25-22, and Chaminade-Madonna had once last chance to win the game. The Lions were brought to 4th and 13 with 8 seconds left in the game, Trinity Christian Academy came up with the sack, and the Conquerors had broken the Lions’ state championship streak.

Trinity Christian Academy ends their season 12-1, and as Class 3A State Champions. Chaminade-Madonna ends their season at 8-2.

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