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CLEVELAND — On a night where an old coaching rivalry was renewed, White County was looking for history in the form of a 4-0 start, its first since 1975.
The Warriors also were looking to see how far their program has come against a playoff-caliber team.
But Blessed Trinity ended the Warriors’ early win streak with a 21-19 win.
It was the first meeting between coaches Bill Ballard and Tim McFarlin since the Class AAAAA playoffs in 2007.
White County (3-1, 1-0) was led by seniors Will Brock and Andrew Bergin. The duo hooked up for two touchdowns in the loss. Bergin finished with 120 yards on three catches and three touchdowns.
“Really proud of the guys, how they fought. They fought all night,” Ballard said. “It could’ve gone either way. We lost tonight, but it’s going to help us in the future.”
Blessed Trinity (3-1, 0-0) was led by sophomore running back Shelton Milton, who rushed for a game-high 130 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Sam Roberts caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought Coach Ballard’s team played a great football game,” McFarlin said. “I have a lot of respect for Bill. It’s obvious what he’s doing here. He’s really taken this program and brought some life to it.”
The only scoring in the first quarter occurred on the Titans’ opening drive. Senior quarterback Spencer McManes led his offense 85 yards, completing two passes for 31 yards. Junior running back Carter McManes dashed in for the touchdown.
The Warriors’ defense held serve on the next drive. They forced the Titans into a fourth-and-7 on the Warriors’ 37-yard line, resulting in an incomplete pass and forcing a turnover on downs.
In the second quarter, the Warriors found their groove. With 7:41 left in the quarter, wide receiver Jeffery Scoggin threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Andrew Bergin on a halfback option pass.
The Warriors weren’t finished. Sophomore cornerback Maurice Sutton intercepted a McManes pass with 5:46 left in the quarter. A few plays later, Brock tossed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Bergin, giving the Warriors a 13-7 lead.
“I thought Will Brock played a wonderful ballgame,” Ballard said. “He read his options real well, threw the ball really well.”
The Titans responded with a touchdown pass of their own. With 48 seconds left in the quarter, and facing a fourth-and-9 on the Warriors’ 33-yard line, McManes rifled a 33-yard touchdown pass to Roberts. The score gave the Titans a 14-13 lead at halftime.
Like the first quarter, the third quarter saw one score. Like the first quarter it was Titans, this time Shelton on a 2-yard run. And just like the second quarter, the Warriors responded in the fourth quarter.
Brock connected with Bergin again, this time on for a 50-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Titans’ lead to 21-19.
“Our offense, we’d use the run, then go up with a play-action pass, and it kept working out real well for us,” Bergin said.
Then with 4:52 left in the game, the Warrior defense forced a three-and-out, giving the offense another chance.
However, the Titans’ defense smothered the Warriors’ offense, forcing a fourth-and-25 and not allowing a single yard on the final drive.
White County is host to East Hall next week. Blessed Trinity is on the road at Woodward Academy.