Every time Marist and Blessed Trinity get together on a Friday Night, the game usually ends in dramatic fashion; the latest edition of this rivalry was no exception. With the Region 7-AAAA title and a #1 seed in the AAAA State Playoff on the line, it would take three overtimes for the outcome to be decided with Blessed Trinity defeating Marist 33-30.
The War Eagles (9-1 overall, 5-1 region) looked like they would continue their early offensive success as Cigelske would run 77-yards on Marist’s first offensive play, taking the ball all the way down to the Blessed Trinity 2 yard-line. Lincoln Parker would follow that with a 2-yard touchdown run for the game’s first score less than a minute after kickoff. However, Blessed Trinity would go 81-yards down the field on their first offensive series and tie the score on an Elijah Green 8-yard touchdown run.
The Titans would force Marist to punt and Richard Bowen’s kick backed Blessed Trinity up to their own 6-yard line. However, on 3rd down from the 14-yard line, Justice Haynes took a toss sweep and outraced the Marist secondary for an 86-yard touchdown for a 14-7 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Blessed Trinity intercepted a Connor Cigelske pass and returned it deep into Marist territory midway in the 2nd quarter but War Eagle defense held, and the Titans kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead. Marist would cut the lead to 17-10 on a 31-yard Bowen field goal with only seconds left before halftime.
The 3rd quarter saw both teams adding field goals to the scoreboard, Aaron Werkheiser kicking a 40-yarder early and Richard Bowen’s 45-yarder under 2 minutes and the quarter ended with Blessed Trinity ahead 20-13.
A Marist interception from linebacker Tyler Hare late in the 3rd quarter would lead to a Connor Cigelske 1-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the final quarter to tie the score at 20-20. The defense dominated the rest of the 4th quarter and the game was sent to overtime to determine the outcome.
The teams traded field goals in the first overtime period, Werkheiser kicking a 25-yarder for Blessed Trinity and Bowen a 26-yarder for Marist. In the second overtime, the teams matched touchdowns, Cigelske scoring from 1-yard out and Reavis hitting James Bryant on a 17-yard score.
The Marist defense made plays in the third overtime period as they backed up the Titans w11-yards in three plays, but Aaron Werkheiser was clutch, hitting a 43-yard field goal that proved to be the winning difference. Titan defensive back Quinton Reese would step in front of a Cigelske-to-Matthew Houghton pass for the interception and seal the victory and the Titans’ second consecutive 7-AAAA Region Championship.
Marist will have a bye-week to rest after 10 consecutive weeks football to prepare for the Class AAAA State Playoffs as the #2-Seed from Region 7-AAAA against the #3-Seed from Region 5-AAAA, that opponent to be announced next week. First Round action will be at Hughes Spalding Stadium on Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Additional War Eagle “Aerial Coverage”
The Lady War Eagles finished the season as the 2nd ranked team in Class AAAA after a resilient run in Columbus, Georgia and the Elite 8 double elimination tournament. After losing their first game, 4-3 to Oconee County, the team reeled off four wins in a 24-hour span to reach the Championship Series against Heritage-Catoosa. Weather would force the series to Ringgold, Georgia, home of Heritage Catoosa, where the Lady Generals would claim their second straight State Title.
The War Eagles finished the season 28-6, 11-1 in the region and won their 20th region championship in 21 years under head Coach Mike Trapani in his final year at the helm of the Marist softball program.
The Lady War Eagles’ bid for a second state championship in three years would come up short in the “Sweet 16” this season. After clinching region runner-up and the #2 seed out of region 7-AAAA the team would sweep Central-Carrollton in the 1st round but lose to Northside-Columbus 3-0 in the following round.
The girls would finish the season at 27-15 overall and 6-2 in region play.
On the trails, the Marist runners completed their season in Carrollton high school where the girls would finish 3rd and the boys 8th at this year’s state meet. Prior to the state meet, the girl’s team would go on to win their 22nd consecutive region championship.
Follow all the action of all the Marist teams (varsity, junior varsity, 9th grade and middle school) at https://www.marist.com/athletics/schedules--scores