MELBOURNE – Holy Trinity football coach Nate Hooks knew what was ahead.
His Tigers team had just lost to John Carroll with the District 6-3A championship on the line, and, perhaps as importantly, a home playoff game. Having fallen, 26-21, Holy Trinity finished as the runner-up and will travel for the regional quarterfinals in two weeks to face one of 3A’s bullies this season, No. 2 Clearwater Central Catholic.
Holy Trinity will need a more productive offensive night to play beyond then. Tigers running back Jashaun Corbin broke the school’s single-season rushing record, but he was bottled up for more than a half at less than three yards a carry, running behind an offensive line starting an eighth-grader and ninth-grader with three seniors.
“Usually, the bigger dog is going to win,” Hooks said. “What I like about my guys is they played hard in the second half. We’ll hang our hat on that.”
They can hang it on a playoff spot, too. The Tigers earned a postseason trip for the first time since 2013 and just their eighth ever, though they’ve never advanced past the first round.
Holy Trinity’s Corbin is last-second success story
Corbin should put the school rushing record of Marcus Maye further in his rearview mirror with one more game to play. He ran for 153 on Friday, passing Maye’s 1,487 of the 2009 season. Corbin will enter Week 11 at 1,578.
His second-half explosion pushed his average for the night to 6.1, starting with a 16-yard run on a fake punt. The problem was that, even after converting that, the Tigers offense stalled.
Corbin scored twice in the final 3:14, first with a 46-yard scoring run, more his style this season, but by then the more diverse Rams offense had done all it needed to do.
He added a 25-yard scoring catch from Joc Perry with 1:32 to play. Perry had connected with Corbin in the first quarter for a 30-yard score, the first play after a John Carroll muffed punt.
Taking the optimistic view, Hooks congratulated his team on outscoring the bigger, more experienced visitors in the second half, 14-9.
Nicholas Celidonio had a big passing night for the Rams. He completed 17 passes in 26 attempts for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Brian_McCallum and at facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.
High school sports | floridatoday.com/sports/high-school-sports/
John Carroll 26, Holy Trinity 21
John Carroll 10 7 0 9 — 26
Holy Trinity 7 0 0 14 — 21
HOW THEY SCORED
JC — Will Summler 40 pass from Nicholas Celidonio (Austin Moll kick), 7:53
HT — Jashaun Corbin 30 pass from Joc Perry (Carlos Campinini kick), 6:22
JC — Moll 34 FG, 2:33
JC — Keenan Bryant 1 pass from Celidonio (Moll kick), 3:58
JC — Moll 31 FG, 8:25
JC — Mason Wilfong 4 run (kick failed), 5:10
Rushing: JC — Basil Bradshaw 5-48, Justin Fink 12-36, Brock Miller 2-21, Gordie Cheyne 3-12, Zakk Montoya 5-12, Wilfong 1-4, Andrew Laszewicki 1-1, Celidonio 1-(-3), Team 1-(-15); HT — Corbin 25-153, Perry 6-0, Latarious Hill 5-8, Preston Milo 2-(-7), Tay Griffin 2-(-6), Ryan Pishalski. Passing: JC — Celidonio , Bryant 1-1-0 7; HT — Perry 6-13-0 107. Receiving: JC — Bryant 7-40, Wilfong 4-79, Quentin Woody 3-26, Summler 1-40, Cheyne 1-18, Miller 1-8, Celidonio 1-7; HT — Corbin 2-55, Matt Austin 2-40, Griffin 1-0, Cortez Reid 1-12.