Updated: Apr 27
The 2019 Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors varsity football team played a schedule that many in the Jacksonville area media called the toughest in the state -- with some even saying the schedule was among the hardest in the entire country. Even so, the Conquerors showed themselves up to the task of playing 10 games against the Southeast's best competition. The Conquerors finished the regular season at 5-5 -- defeating perennial powerhouses such as Godby, Raines, and Carol City -- but, unfortunately, fell 23-21 to Ocala Trinity Catholic in the opening round of the 3A, Region 1 playoffs.
With Conquerors down 23 to 7 late in the fourth quarter, the pressure was on for TCA to score two touchdowns and two two-point conversions. The Conquerors defense forced Trinity Catholic to punt with 3:52 left in the game.
On first down at the Trinity Catholic 34 following a short punt, quarterback Jacory Jordan hit Marcus Burke for a 34-yard touchdown pass as Burke caught the ball on the run in the end zone. Kyjuan Herndon scored the two-point conversion on a run straight up the middle. The conversion made the score 23-15 with Trinity Catholic ahead and 3:45 left on the clock.
Kicker Caleb Stevenson performed a successful onside kick, and Harold Stubbs recovered the ball to give Trinity Christian a first down at the Conquerors 40. The offense marched the ball to the 28 but could not get the first down and turned the ball over on downs.
The defense, however, forced three-and-out and another Trinity Catholic punt.
The snap sailed over the punter's head. The punter chased it down deep in Celtics territory and got off the kick. Burke caught the ball at the TCA 47, zig-zagged past the coverage, swept to the left sideline, and stormed toward the end zone. Burke dove for the touchdown in the front corner of the end zone. The play made the score 23-21 with 53 seconds left.
Trinity went for two but came up short. Herndon was stopped at the line of scrimmage trying to sweep left. The onside attempt kick failed. Trinity Catholic won the game 23-21.
Season in Review
Although the season did not end the way Trinity Christian wanted, the team put up countless terrific moments, beginning with Kaleb Killian's 42-yard touchdown run on the offense's first play from scrimmage at Columbia in the season opener.
Treyaun Webb and Clayton Roreig had their biggest moments in Week 2 at Godby. Webb returned a punt 75 yards for the touchdown to help Trinity forge a tie at the end of regulation. Roerig booted a 38-yard filed goal on the second extra possession to give Trinity a 45-42 victory. Roerig would later repeat the task in the team's final game at Raines to give the Conquerors a 17-14 overtime win and secure a playoff berth.
Unfortunately, both Killian and Webb missed nearly the full season to injury, but both will return to become offensive forces in 2020. In fact, Webb has given his verbal commitment to the University of Georgia in only his freshman year.
The regular season ended in dramatic fashion two plays after Roerig's field goal at Raines. Linebacker Tristan Herndon batted the 2nd-and-goal pass high into the air, beat the quarterback to the ball, and completed the interception to win it.
In between, the Conquerors battled Venice -- in a surprise match-up that replaced the game with Ribault, cancelled because of Hurricane Dorian -- to a 50-49 double-overtime thriller. Trinity put up a running clock on Carol City and Pahokee in successive weeks at home and then played Georgia's nationally-ranked 7A Colquitt County on the road. In Week 9, the Conquerors held off a comeback effort from Robert E. Lee on Homecoming/Senior Night just before ending the regular season at The Graveyard.
The season included the two longest-possible plays from scrimmage: a 99-yard touchdown pass from Jordan to Burke and a 99-yarder from Jordan to Jaylen Fowler.
Kyjuan Herndon had an 85-yard touchdown run against Venice and and 80-yarder at Godby. That 80-yarder was one of five touchdowns Herndon scored in Week 2. The senior and Colorado State commit finished with 1,836 rushing yards -- 10th in the state of Florida -- and 15 touchdowns.
Burke led the team in receiving with 831 yards and 9 touchdowns. Three of those scores came against Venice, and his heroics at the end of the playoff game at Trinity Catholic nearly competed a miraculous comeback. Burke, a junior, will return for one more huge season in 2020.
Quarterback Jacory Jordan had his season interrupted with injury but returned to put up the following total line: 9 games, 69 completions, 1,190 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. The junior has many college offers and one more year to put up more big numbers for the Conquerors.
Defensively, junior C.J. Ross and senior William Tippens led the team with 59 and 50 tackles, respectively. Senior Latrell Wade returned to the field midway through the season after recovering from a devastating spring injury to help lead the late-season surge that saw the Conquerors win 4 of their last 6 regular-season games. Sophomore Caden Morrell showed what he will bring to the defense in the near future with 40 tackles and a large number of very heavy hits on opposing ball carriers. Junior Terrell Jackson became a leader on the field regardless of where he played.
Most notably, senior cornerbacks Miles Brooks (Georgia Tech) and Fred Davis (Clemson) continued to show why they were two of the most highly-sought-after defenders in the country. Davis defended 11 passes, and Brooks defended 7. Normally, opposing quarterback stayed away from the dynamic duo as much as possible. Davis even played two games at quarterback and threw for 218 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 240 yards and 1 score, a 35-yard scamper at Miami Booker T. Washington.
Davis earned his way onto January's All-American Bowl roster, an honor that a number of recent TCA players have earned.
The entire team contributed in many ways -- too numerous to mention them all. Credit also goes to the vaulted offensive line.
Congratulations to the 2019 varsity football Conquerors on a strong season. We wish our seniors well as they move on to their colleges and careers. The returning players and additions will make another successful playoff run in 2020.
2019 SENIOR CONQUERORS
#2 Fred Davis, CB, QB, KR
#3 Kyjuan Herndon, RB
#7 Miles Brooks, CB, KR
#8 Tristan Herndon, LB
#12 D.J. Clea, LB
#18 George Hawkins, LB
#19 Jerome Jordan, DB
#20 Sabion Wade, DB
#22 Tyler Thomson, DB
#23 Latrell Wade, DL
#26 Pedro Velez, RB
#32 Kobe Brown, RB
#43 Devan Banks, DB
#44 Jahkari Smothers, LB
#50 Mitchell Bishop, DL
#51 Josh Luxenberg, C, LS
#54 Clayton Thomas, OL, DL
#56 Kanyan James, OL
#79 Dylan Masters, OL
#81 Clayton Roerig, K
#88, Jaylen Fowler, WR
#99 William Tippens, DL
2019 Coaches and Staff
Verlon Dorminey, Head Coach, 29th season
Gerard Ross, Offensive Coordinator
Dave Burdetsky, Offensive Line
Chase Owens, Assistant Offensive Line
Lamar Lewis, Running Backs
Fred Highsmith, Defensive Line
Willie Green, Outside Linebackers
Briyan Eady, Inside Linebackers
Matt Hardy, Defensive Backs
Carl Ross, Defensive Assistant
Sherie Cox, Football Operations
Jalen Hall, Manager
Conner Anderson, Manager
Haley Fraser, Athletic Trainer
Larry & Jenny Withers, Statisticians
Cliff Willis, Video
Raymond Bureau & Joel Milligan, Radio Announcers
Beth Bureau, Twitter
Dan Worley, Principal