Although the final score would not indicate it, Trinity had multiple chances to make some serious noise in Friday night’s game against West Mifflin at Hiller Field.
Unfortunately, the Hillers could not capitalize on any of them and fell 40-0 to a talented West Mifflin team that is expected to contend in Class 4A Big Eight Conference.
Trinity (0-1, 0-2) had the ball three times inside the West Mifflin 10-yard line and came away with no points when the contest was competitive. Hillers coach Jon Miller added that was what ultimately did his squad in.
“Can’t have the ball inside their 20 four times and inside their 10 three times and get nothing,” Miller noted. “We have to get points there. We actually should have had the lead at the half.”
Trinity appeared poised to score first early in the game after the Hillers’ defense forced a three-and-out on West Mifflin’s first possession. Peyton Thompson broke through to block the punt, setting the Hillers up at the West Mifflin 24.
The Hillers eventually reached the West Mifflin five, where they faced a fourth-and-one. Drew Cain was stopped for a five-yard loss by a host of West Mifflin tacklers led by Nahki Johnson.
Later in the second quarter, a bad snap eluded West Mifflin’s Dennis Goodwine who was back to punt deep in Titans territory. Goodwine attempted to advance the ball but was tackled at the West Mifflin 17, giving the Hillers a second strong chance to dent the scoreboard in the first half.
Trinity eventually moved the ball to the West Mifflin one, where it appeared Tysean Lacks scored on a quarterback sneak. But the officials waved off the score because of a dead-ball infraction against the Titans (2-0, 2-1). Two fumbled snaps that were recovered by Lacks pushed the Hillers back to the eight.
“We’re down to our third quarterback because of injury, so we’re a bit shorthanded when it comes to throwing the ball,” Jones noted.
An 83-yard Jacob Davis to Ni-Keese Hodges-Demery touchdown connection gave the Titans a 20-0 lead that ended the competitive phase of the game early in the third quarter.
For the third time in the contest, Trinity penetrated the West Mifflin 10-yard line on their second possession of the second half. They faced a fourth-and-two at the Titans’ seven with a chance to cut into the deficit, but Cain was stopped a yard short of the lead stick, giving the ball back to West Mifflin with 3:20 left in the third.
“To hold them twice inside our five without any points allowed was huge,” Titans coach Rod Steele said. “That took the wind out of their sails.”
After the fourth down stop, West Mifflin took over on their two following an illegal procedure call. The penalty made no difference as Davis found Hodges-Demery for a 98-yard scoring toss that gave the Titans a 27-0 lead.
A short punt put the Titans on the Hillers’ 28 early in the fourth. Mondale King scored on the drive’s first play to push the advantage to 33-0.
West Mifflin enacted the continuous running clock when Davis, after colliding with two of his backfield mates, weaved past some pursuit and went 75 yards through the Hillers’ defense, giving the visitors their final points on the evening.
West Mifflin began the scoring with a 90-yard drive that culminated in a Davis 15-yard fade to Hodges Demery late in the first quarter.
The Titans struck again in the early stages of the second quarter when DaSani Green took a reverse 41 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0.
West Mifflin’s defense withstood two Trinity pushes to score in the second quarter when they stopped the Hillers on fourth and 15 from their 36. An 18-yard Maurice Lacks toss to Davon Fuse gave the Hillers a first down at the West Mifflin 36, but the Titans eventually forced a turnover on downs.
Davis, making his first start for Jaylen Dukes who was injured in a shooting incident last week, finished with 270 yards passing on seven completions. Hodges-Demery compiled 254 yards receiving on six receptions.