Throughout the week in practice, Steele Chambers was a focal point of Blessed Trinity’s offensive gameplan. This keen strategy worked to perfection in live action as the sophomore running back carved up host-squad Marist’s defense for three touchdowns to pace the Titans to a 28-26 victory.
With the win, Blessed Trinity improves to 7-2 and takes sole possession of first place in Region 7-AAAA with an unbeaten mark of 3-0.
“It was a hard-fought game. We definitely prepared well for this,” said Chambers. “Even though we were down at halftime, we came back in the second half and played our butts off. We proved that we’re a tough team. We had a few losses this year that we weren’t expected. We battled tonight and proved that we’re a contender for the state championship.”
Chambers’ power moves, both between the tackles and on the outside, gave Marist fits all evening.
His first trip to the end zone came in the second quarter with Blessed Trinity trailing 7-0. After struggling to find some level of consistency on offense, the Titans managed to string along a successful run of plays. Facing third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Chambers sprinted through a hole for a touchdown. However, the ensuing extra point was blocked making the score 7-6 in favor of Marist.
The War Eagles took this one-point lead to the locker room at halftime.
Marist made some critical errors in the second half. The first occurred on its opening drive of the third quarter when Jack Dinges fumbled on an option run. This turnover swung the momentum pendulum to the Titans’ sideline. Two plays later, Chambers was busy at work, slicing through the defense for a 16-yard touchdown. Blessed Trinity scored on a two-point conversion and led 14-7.
The Titans added to their point total after Jake Smith hit a wide open J.D. Bertrand for a 49-yard touchdown pass. Bertrand dragged across the middle and then exploited a blown coverage in the secondary which allowed him to cruise freely by the opposition.
Marist had an uphill climb after falling behind 21-7. It appeared as if things would go from bad to worse after failing to convert on third-and-10 on the next possession. The War Eagles caught a break when Blessed Trinity was flagged for a personal foul. This penalty extended the drive and brought the crowd back to life. Marist capitalized on its opportunity and began to move the chains. Once deep inside scoring range, Michael Addicks powered his way across the goal line, cutting the deficit to 21-14.
Blessed Trinity closed out the third quarter with a 17-yard touchdown scamper by Chambers and led 28-14.
Marist mounted a rally in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns. After completing a pass to Danny deQuesada on fourth-and-five, Dinges later dove in on a quarterback sneak to make the score 28-20. Unfortunately, the extra point was no good.
The War Eagles needed a touchdown and two-point conversion just to draw even on the scoreboard. They got half of the equation when Addicks ran in for a four-yard touchdown. Marist lined up for the tying two-point play, but a halfback pitch was quickly devoured by Blessed Trinity’s defense.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t finish better than we did,” said Marist head coach Alan Chadwick. “I thought the last two possessions of the first half really hurt us. Then we come out in the second half and they scored and scored again. We pride ourselves on snapping the kick and holding the ball well. It didn’t come through for us tonight.”
This setback snaps a three-game winning streak and drops Marists’ record to 4-3 and 1-1 in Region 7-AAAA.