Three lost fumbles and two interceptions hindered the Eagles’ ability to generate any offense on Friday night, and Trion (3-0, 1-0 in Region 6A) managed to control the football on the way to a 10-0 victory in what was the first region matchup of the season for both teams.
“We’ve got a lot of kids playing both ways and maybe getting tired, but we’ve got to do a better job of securing the football,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “You can’t beat anybody turning the ball over five times.”
Trion quarterback Cory Bethune put the game out-of-reach at the start of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were holding onto a slim 3-0 lead, following an interception that put them on the Eagles’ 33-yard line, when Bethune successfully pushed the pile to convert a fourth-and-2.
On the next snap, Bethune elected to keep the ball again, this time finding a crease and eluding two Eagles defenders for a 23-yard touchdown to give Trion a 10-0 advantage it would not surrender.
Bethune facilitated the Bulldogs’ wing-T offense with poise and patience. Mount Paran Christian’s offense didn’t fare as well despite settling into a more pass oriented attack in the second half.
Trailing 3-0, Mount Paran Christian’s quarterback Ian Berryman led the Eagles to the Trion seven-yard line in the final minute of the third-quarter. But, his pitch on first down fell to the turf and was picked up by a Bulldog defender.
Trion’s 3-0 lead was set up by a turnover on the third play of the quarter, when Mount Paran’s Kyle Trammell fumbled away an impressive run on third-and-6.
The Bulldogs capitalized on Trammell’s mistake, as running back Kingston Lanier had the games’ longest run, a 43-yarder, that led to a field goal for Trion.
Neither team mustered much offense, even with the Bulldogs feared offensive line, as Trion and Mount Paran Christian gained 185 and 181 yards, respectively.
“I think we were ready,” Jordan said. “I think defensively the kids played hard. We probably had seven straight three-and-outs, defensively. We just have got to do a better job of finishing drives.”