DARLINGTON – It was a sluggish start Friday to Trinity Collegiate School’s season opener, even with a near 40-minute lightning delay to regroup.
With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, the Titans had more turnovers (3) than first downs (1) and were trailing perennial N.C. power Charlotte Country Day 10-0.
Cue Reggion Bennett – whose 70-yard touchdown run marked a turning point as Trinity took control and never looked back in a 28-10 victory over the Buccaneers at Kraikit Field.
“I mean, that’s what Reggie does, right?” Trinity coach Jared Amell said after the game. “That’s who he is. We get down 10-0 and he puts us on his back and goes 70 yards and gets us right back in the game.”
The running game started to click afterward and the Titans’ defense bowed up as well. Both CCD scores came following Trinity turnovers, but aside from that, the Bucs were held off the scoreboard – including being shut out in the second half.
“The defense mounts up to stop them before the half, and first possession of the second half, defense stops them again,” Amell said. “Two really big stops, and then we go to moving the ball on them.”
It wound up being 28 unanswered points for the Titans, whose ground game churned up more than 340 yards on the night. Quarterback Carter Hardee, Tre’ McLeod and Shannon Jackson all found the end zone – with Jackson’s 51-yard TD run sealing the victory with 5:19 left in the game.
Bennett led the way with 197 yards on 17 carries, five of which went for 10 yards or more.
It was a far cry from how the game started offensively for Trinity. The first drive ended deep in Bucs territory on an interception on a screen pass, and the Titans had three fumbled snaps in the first half – two of which wound up being turnovers.
“They were beating us up front in the first half,” Amell said. “That’s a good, quality team. They play really good teams, and you’ve got to execute.”
The Trinity defense was able to execute most of the night. The Titans registered five sacks and recovered two fumbles. Jackson had two of the sacks and pounced on one of the fumbles.
“He struggled last week in our scrimmage a little bit, but he came (up big) on both sides of the ball,” Amell said. “He had the long touchdown run, he had some sacks, he had the fumble and the fumble recovery on the big pass play they had.
“Daishone Small, our nose (tackle), was in the backfield all night. So a lot of effort to be proud of on that side.”
The Titans (1-0) will be on the road the next four weeks, starting Friday at Wilson Hall in Sumter.
TRINITY COLLEGIATE 28, CHARLOTTE COUNTRY DAY 10
CCD 0 10 0 0 – 10
TC 0 8 6 14 – 28
CCD – Mason Hudson 26 pass from Josh Boinger (Quinn Kennedy kick), 8:55.
CCD – Kennedy 29 FG, 4:50.
TC – Reggion Bennett 70 run (Bennett run), 4:39.
TC – Carter Hardee 2 run (run failed), 1:08.
TC – Tre’ McLeod 12 run (Bennett run), 8:18.
TC – Shannon Jackson 51 run (run failed), 5:19.