Chase Cruz of Holy Trinity celebrates his touchdown with Josiah...

Chase Cruz of Holy Trinity celebrates his touchdown with Josiah Brown during the CHSFL final on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Holy Trinity’s defense needed one more stop to claim a second straight CHSFL title. The Titans had stepped up in competition from Class AA-2 and were one play away from sealing the crown in Class AA-1.

Moore Catholic quarterback John Michalski had gashed the Titans’ defense all game on Saturday. The Mavericks trailed by six points and Michalski needed seven yards to prolong the last-minute drive.

And then senior Christopher Bacon delivered the big stop.

Bacon tackled Michalski a yard shy of the first down at the Titans’ 45 and the celebration was on. Holy Trinity held on for a 20-14 win to claim the CHSFL Class AA-1 crown at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

“The defensive unit really held us together this season. They’ve been the glue,” Holy Trinity coach Kahmal Roy said. “And they played a great game today against a Moore Catholic team that came in with a genius game plan.”

Holy Trinity (9-1) won for the 19th time in the past 20 games, but Moore Catholic gave the Titans everything they could handle.

The Mavericks opened the game with a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive that consumed 7:41 of the first quarter. They ran the ball on all 14 plays and capped the march with Michalski’s 1-yard quarterback sneak. Shane DeLacy added the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead with 4:19 left.

Holy Trinity struggled to move the ball on its first two possessions. The Titans totaled six yards on six plays and were forced to punt twice.

Holy Trinity then forced a second- quarter fumble that was recovered by outside linebacker Melan Williams at the Moore Catholic 42. That set up Evan Glusic’s 40-yard field goal into a strong wind to get the Titans within 7-3 with 5:12 left in the half.

The Titans forced a quick three-and-out and a Moore Catholic punt to take over at the Mavericks’ 43. On third-and-6, quarterback Rocco Rainone threw into the flat to Chase Cruz, who shed a tackler against man coverage and raced 39 yards for the go-ahead score. Glusic added the kick and the Titans led 10-7 with 1:04 left in the half.

Defensive back Andre Kirton came up with a big interception just before time expired to end the half. “This was our best defensive effort of the season,” Bacon said.

The defense set up the Titans’ third-quarter touchdown. Safety Enoch Thomas jumped a short pass route and grabbed the interception at the Titans’ 33. Two plays later, halfback Jameer Reeder got outside for a 61-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead with 5:47 left in the third quarter. Reeder picked up a timely block on the edge by Devin Gonzalez and went untouched for the score.

“They shut down our run game and we looked at the data and why and our coaches came up with the right play call,” Roy said. “It was a nice adjustment. We continue to climb and we’re headed in the right direction with the program.”

Glusic kicked a 35-yard field goal with 1:36 left for the final margin.

“Huge win for the program,” Bacon said.

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