Story by Bennett Solomon and Kaitlyn Wadulack
The Class 3A Trinity Catholic Celtics (2–0) cruised past the Class 6A Gainesville Hurricanes (1–2) Thursday night behind four total touchdowns from Celtics running back Jamarian Samuel.
After coming off a tough loss to Seminole last Friday, the Hurricanes looked to get back into the win column against the Celtics.
A game of opportunity in the first half
The game began with the Celtics receiving the ball. On their first drive, the Celtics suffered a total of 25 penalty yards. However, the fourth-down late penalty to the Hurricanes for a personal foul allowed the Celtics to drive for a field goal attempt. The kick was no good. But, on Gainesville’s first play of the game, quarterback Shamon Coleman threw a costly interception that led to Daijhae Abate scoring a 24-yard touchdown. The Celtics led 7-0.
Towards the end of the first, the Celtics were at third down and nine, about to punt. During the punt, the Celtics fumbled, and Tavaris Williams scored the Hurricanes their first and only touchdown of the game. At the end of the first quarter, the game was knotted at seven apiece.
Trinity Catholic fumbles a punt and Tavaris Williams pick it up for the Hurricanes and returns it for a touchdown. @Canesville1900 and @TCFootballOcala now tied at seven apiece with one minute left in the first quarter.
— Bennett Solomon (@B_soly11) September 24, 2020
At the start of the second quarter, Gainesville struggled to make any offensive plays. Once the Celtics got the ball back, they ran a 69-yard return to a touchdown. However, at mid-field, a penalty was called for a personal foul against the Celtics. Luckily for the Hurricanes, this Celtics touchdown was called back. The Celtics response to this call back was strong, as they came back and scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, both by Jamarian Samuel. The score now was 21-7 with 3:32 left in the half. The Hurricanes had a strong effort to try and catch up to the Celtics lead, with an 80-yard punt return by Arnold Strachan. This led to a 37-yard field goal opportunity for the Hurricanes, but they couldn’t convert.
Within the last five seconds of the half, the Celtics scored a field goal to increase their advantage even more. The score at halftime was 24-7 Celtics.
Celtics dominate defensively in second half
Both teams came out of the locker room struggling to find the end-zone. Strong defense from both teams throughout the third quarter led to multiple punts. Near the end of the third quarter, Hurricanes quarterback Shamon Coleman threw his third interception of the game. This allowed the Celtics to start the third quarter in Gainesville territory.
The Celtics capitalized when Jamarian Samuel ran in for his third touchdown of the game to extend the Celtics lead to 31–7 with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Just four minutes later, Celtics quarterback Cole Gonzales threw a backward pass to Samuel, making the Hurricanes defense think it was a running back screen. But Samuel fooled the defense. He threw to an open Celtic receiver for a 25-yard touchdown pass, allowing the Celtics to extend their lead to 38–7 with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes couldn’t find the end-zone for the rest of the game, suffering their second straight loss.
The Hurricanes will next travel to play the Columbia Tigers in their first conference game of the season next Friday, Oct. 2nd. Trinity Catholic will also play next Friday against the Villages Charter at home.