By Scott WomackTCNS Correspondent
TRINITY — The Tigers entered the 2020 season with one goal, to advance to the playoffs. A 34-28 victory over the Westwood Panthers made that goal a reality.
The victory was accomplished by a strong running game by Trey Goodman, who contributed 285 rushing yards and one passing touchdown; a defense that made timely stops and intercepted Panther passes three times, one resulting in a touchdown; and special teams that was able to recover an attempted onside kick that sealed the victory for the Tigers.
The Tigers struck early with a 66-yard touchdown run by Goodman on just the second play from scrimmage. However, the Panthers were able to control the ball on their opening possession for a 15-play touchdown drive to take a 7-6 lead into the second quarter.
Westwood scored early in the second quarter and take a 14-6 lead. With 2:24 left in the first half, Goodman was able to pick off a Panther pass and return it to the 24-yard line giving the Tigers a chance to even the score before halftime. Two plays later the Tigers gave up the ball on an interception.
A timely stop by the defense forced the Panthers to punt. With just 25 seconds left in the second quarter the Tigers had one last opportunity to score. The Tigers needed one play for Goodman to find the end zone from a 35-yard run. Adding the 2-point conversion, the Tigers and Panthers entered halftime tied at 14.
The Tigers took the lead for good on their opening possession of the third quarter when Goodman found Jamarian Hall for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Panthers next offensive possession resulting in a T.J. Jaramillo interception on the Tiger 14-yard line. On the Tigers third play, Goodman broke free for a 78-yard touchdown run giving the Tigers a 28-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Trinity then drove to the Panther 28 yard line, but turned the ball over to the Panthers on a fourth-down run that came up short. An incompletion, a Raymond Balli sack and an interception returned 21 yards for a score by Romero Lopez gave the Tigers a commanding 24-14 lead with 6:47 left in the game.
The Panthers made the game interesting by taking just over two minutes to score and another touchdown with just 1:09 left to play. Leading by 6 points, the Tigers lined up for a Panther onside kick, and with the recovery, the Tigers special team was able to seal the win.
The win puts Trinity into the 2020 playoffs. The Tigers will end the regular season on the road against the Crockett Bulldogs, the winner of which will enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. With a win the Tigers will own their first winning regular season and district winning record in several years.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.; once all the games become final, the Tigers will know their playoff opponent.