FOOTBALL: Conquerors Fall in Season Opener at Columbia


Conquerors open the season at Columbia (PHOTO: Cliff Willis, TCA)

Kaleb Killian started the game with a bang, but the Tigers' defense would not allow much more as Trinity Christian fell to Columbia High School 38-7 in the season opener on August 23 in Lake City.


On Trinity's first play from scrimmage in the 2019 regular season, Killian took the hand-off and scurried around the left end before storming his way 42 yards for the touchdown to give the Conquerors an early lead only 1:28 into the game. The touchdown immediately followed a 3-and-out forced by the Conquerors' defense, which resulted in a 22-yard punt that gave Trinity a short field at the Columbia 42.


Kaleb Killian scores on the first play from scrimmage (PHOTO: Cliff Willis, TCA)

Clayton Roerig's extra point made the score 7-0. Columbia's defense, however, would not allow any further scoring from the Conquerors.


Columbia responded with a 72-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard field goal from Bryant Brigdon to make the score 7-3. Brigdon was 1 for 2 in field goal attempts and 3 for 3 in extra points.


The Tigers took the lead for good early in the second quarter with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Smith to Kylen Callum, and Smith took the two-point conversion in himself to put the Tigers up by four.


Columbia's Lanadrick Bradley rushed into the end zone from 12 yards out with 3:04 left until halftime. Trinity stopped the two-point attempt, but Columbia took a 17-7 lead into the intermission.


The score remained that way until Smith called his own number and scored on a 20-yard touchdown run that capped a 6-play, 80-yard drive late in the third quarter. Another touchdown ensued (Jailen Brown 20-yard run) before the clock ran out.


In the fourth, new quarterback Kade Jackson took over, and on his first snap the sophomore connected with Bradley for a 66-yard catch-and-run to put up the game's final score.


Trinity's Jacory Jordan threw for 83 yards on 6 completions and 1 interception. Senior receiver Marcus Burke caught two of those passes for 57 yards. Trinity had 182 total rushing yards with Kyjuan Herndon leading the way with 79 yards on 19 carries. Killian amassed 52 yards and a touchdown on five carries while Treyaun Webb (40 yards) and Pedro Velez (25) led six more Conquerors in rushing. Trinity's Devin Johnson picked off a pass that stopped a Tiger drive.


Smith completed 14 of 22 passes for 298 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and an interception for Columbia while leading the Tigers in rushing with 71 yards and a score on 8 carries. Bradley led the receivers with 125 yards and a score on five catches in addition to his rushing touchdown.


Next week, the Conquerors will travel to Tallahassee for a Thursday night battle with the Cougars of Amos P. Godby High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The first home game will then take place on Friday, September 6, when the Conquerors host Jacksonville's Ribault High School in the first of four consecutive games at Trinity.


STATISTICS courtesy of Larry Withers, TCA Football statistician

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