Trinity a tough place for Eagles to get healthy
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Forget the fact W.S. Neal will be trying to deal Trinity Presbyterian its first regular season loss in five years when it faces the Wildcats Friday at 7 p.m. in Montgomery.
The Blue Eagles are still trying to figure out how they dropped a 21-20 decision at Headland last Friday against a program that had lost 12 of its previous 13 games and had gone 8-35 since the start of the 2001 season.
Many point to a controversial finish where most, if not all in W.S. Neal Nation, felt Jacob Bailey had been incorrectly called short of the goal line on a two-point conversion with 59 seconds left.
Blue Eagles coach Blaine Hathcock prefers to look at the Headland loss with a much broader view.
If given a chance to do over, Hathcock said he probably would have again opted to go for two points and the lead instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game and set up possible overtime.
The Blue Eagles coach said his squad has fallen in the habit of playing to the level of its opponent.
Hathcock said the loss to Headland puts W.S. Neal (1-3 overall and 1-2 in Class 3A Region 1), in a precarious situation when it comes to making the playoffs.
Trinity Presbyterian figures to be a tough place for the Blue Eagles to get their ship headed in the right direction. The Wildcats (4-0 overall and 3-0 in Class 4A region 2) have outscored their four opponents (Montgomery Academy, Ashford, Bullock County and Daleville) by a combined margin of 113-27.
Much of the Wildcats offense centers around Zack Shaw (6-3, 190 lb. jr.). Shaw is used in a variety ways including quarterback (he threw a touchdown pass last week against Daleville), wide receiver (he also caught a touchdown pass in that Daleville game) and at running back where he leads the Wildcats in rushing at just under 400 yards.
Austin Morriss (6-3, 175 lb. soph.) has taken most of the snaps from center and has thrown for nearly 350 yards.
While Hathcock knows his squad has a big challenge ahead of it, his focus is not as much on Trinity as it is his own team.