Umari Taylor motioned to his Holy Trinity teammates and coaches: Feed me the ball.
“I’m hungry,” yelled Taylor with a smile, early in the fourth quarter. “I had lunch, but I need some dinner.”
Taylor had accounted for more than 200 yards, three touchdowns, and had helped the Titans tie the score against host St. John the Baptist Saturday. However, the senior running back was more than happy to watch teammate and fellow senior William Corchado enjoy a tasty final dish.
Corchado took a short swing pass, made two Cougars defenders miss, and raced down the St. John the Baptist sideline 26 yards for the winning score as visiting Holy Trinity surprised St. John the Baptist, 32-25, in both teams’ CHSFL opener.
Holy Trinity — which went 3-6 last season — rallied from 18-6 down in the first half and knotted the score at 18 by halftime. It rebounded from a 25-17 deficit early in the third quarter and scored 14 points all in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we seemed down at halftime,” said Taylor, who had 230 yards of total offense. “I kept telling the guys, ‘Don’t have your heads down. If I get the ball, I’ll take it to the house.’ ”
Taylor proved prophetic, but he and the Titans had to wait until the fourth quarter. St. John the Baptist’s Christian Legagneur, who had a 12-yard fumble return for a score in the first half, added a 3-yard scoring run with 9:56 left in the third quarter as the Cougars led, 25-17.
After a Holy Trinity drive stalled, St. John the Baptist marched to the Titans’ 5, but could not convert a fourth-and-1 play that was stopped by the middle of the Titans’ defense. Cougars coach Ralph Carusillo had thought about kicking a field goal right before the run. “We wanted to make a statement,” Carusillo said. “We’re a power running team.”
The Titans utilized Taylor’s speed on the very next play. The 5-9 senior popped around the left side and raced 94 yards down the Cougars sideline with 11:13 remaining in the game.
“When we put the ball in Umari’s hands,” Titans coach Tony Mascia said, “good things are going to happen.”
Taylor wasn’t the only one who made things happen for the Titans. Quarterback Matthew Ragno was 11 of 13 passing for 93 yards and two touchdowns both to Corchado, who had five catches for 66 yards.
Alexander Parciak led the Titans defense with 10 tackles. Jordan Miller had an interception and a fumble recovery, the latter which came with 6:01 in the fourth quarter that set up Corchado’s heroics. The winning drive featured five of six plays going to Corchado, four of them receptions.
“We’ve got to build off of this,” Corchado said. “We have to come back Monday and get ready for Fordham Prep on Friday.”
Another chance for he and Taylor to enjoy a tasty CHSFL menu.