Three long touchdown runs from Marcus Crowley highlighted an otherwise closely-matched contest between two of Florida’s best, and the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors defeated the Bolles Bulldogs 34-7 in the 5A Region 1 Final to advance to the state semifinal for the sixth consecutive year.
Crowley scored from 60, 39, and 90 yards, respectively, to compile 189 yards on those three carries alone and account for 70.5% of his 268 rushing yards. Crowley carried the ball 18 times. His 60-yarder tied the score at 7-7 in the first and continued his streak of scoring at least once in every game this season. His 39-yarder with 10:57 left in the third quarter gave the Conquerors the lead they would never relinquish.
Bolles started the scoring with a very impressive 66-yard opening drive. Trinity received the kickoff and picked up two first downs. However, the Bolles defense forced a turnover on downs inside Bolles territory. The Bulldogs used three running backs and a receiver to advance the ball downfield. They also took advantage of a 15-yard penalty that turned a would-be 4th and 9 at the Trinity 48 into 1st and 10 at the 33. A 23-yard pass to Chris Sanders, who caught the ball with one hand while leaping for it, set up 1st and goal at the 4, and Kel McCloud used two plays to cross the goal line. Bolles led 7-0 with 3:11 left in the quarter, but that lead vanished on the ensuing three-play, 69-yard Trinity drive. Each team had a chance to take the lead with field-goal attempts in the second quarter but failed. Trinity’s Stephen Williams blocked Jack Brady’s 34-yard attempt midway through the period, and Clayton Roerig missed wide right just before halftime. The game remained tied 7-7 at the half. Crowley took over early in the third quarter after Jonathan Ealey forced a Bolles fumble and William Tippens fell on top of it. Crowley ran the first play into the end zone from the Bolles 39 to give the Conquerors a 14-7 lead. Near the end of the quarter, Brady pinned the Conquerors back at the 10 with a beautiful 42-yard punt. Crowley, though, took the hand-off on first down and flew the distance for a 90-yard touchdown. Trinity added two more scores in the fourth thanks to a 31-yard scoop-and-score from Williams, his third defensive touchdown of the postseason and the second big play of the night for the senior. Treyaun Webb – on 3rd and 50 -- performed the sweep to the right side to perfection and drove 94 yards untouched for the score. Four penalties and two tackles for loss backed up the offense 40 yards to their own 6. Webb got great blocking from the offensive line, went into overdrive, and turned a grim situation into glory. The two-point attempt failed, but at that point, Trinity led 34-7, the game’s final score.
Webb totaled 105 yards and one touchdown on five carries while Jacory Jordan was 6 for 9 for 72 yards passing. Trinity’s defense held Bolles to 161 total yards and made a huge stop on 4th and goal at the 1 to give the Conquerors new life by stopping the potential game-tying touchdown in the third quarter shortly before Crowley’s long go-ahead scoring play.
The Conquerors (13-0) will host North Marion High School (12-2) in the Class 5A State Semifinal round at 7:30 on Friday, November 30. The Colts defeated Nature Coast Tech 29-22 in the Region 2 Final on Friday. North Marion never trailed in that game and won it on a blocked field goal scoop-and-score as time expired. The winner will advance to the state championship game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7. --Raymond Bureau, TCA Conquerors Athletics PHOTOS: Trinity Christian Academy Football on Facebook