Tommy Ryan exemplified what coaches preach about not giving up and making that second effort.
Ryan had just been beaten at defensive back on an 84-yard pass play that had Ell-Saline poised to tie the game in the fourth quarter. But the Trinity Catholic senior swatted down the next pass to prevent the two-point conversion and preserve an 8-6 homecoming high school football victory for the Celtics Friday night.
“We tell them, don’t worry about what happened on the last play and just be ready for the next play, and that’s exactly what Tommy did,” Trinity head coach Jordan Bell said. “He came back and stepped up and made a big-time play.”
Ell-Saline’s Nick Davenport connected with Treyton Peterson on the long TD strike with 7:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Big defensive plays marked the night.
The Cardinals erupted after recovering a Trinity fumble on the next series. But Zane Schroeder intercepted a Davenport pass, and Aaron Guerrero came up with a fourth-down sack with less than two minutes left to seal the victory.
“This was a really talented Ell-Saline team and they’re going to do some good things this season,” Bell said. “But we were able to handle adversity, and we needed this kind of tough game going into district play next week.”
Defenses came out strong for both teams, until the Celtics started a 66-yard march at the end of the first period.
Celtics quarterback Kaleb Hammeke, who passed for 154 yards, hit Nolan Clarke for 25 yards and Issac Miller added a 10-yard run to help push the ball to the Ell-Saline 23.
Trinity hammered the ball on the ground with two rushes by Guerrero and a keeper by Hammeke to set up Miller’s 5-yard touchdown run with 10:31 left in the second quarter. Hammeke ran into the end zone untouched for the conversion that proved to be the difference in the game.
Trinity (3-0) travels to Conway Springs to open up district play next Friday. Ell-Saline (2-1) visits Sedgwick.
Guerrero also was named king at halftime, and Caeli Clennan was crowned homecoming queen.
Ell-Saline 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Trinity Catholic 0 8 0 0 -- 8
Trinity – Issac Miller 5 run (Kaleb Hammeke run)
Ell-Saline – Treyton Peterson 84 pass from Nick Davenport (pass failed)