Blessed Trinity 21, Cedar Grove 14

Blessed Trinity wasn’t going to be able to run with Cedar Grove. So the Titans decided to run through them.

Blessed Trinity ran the ball on 37 of its 44 plays, led by Milton Shelton’s 31 carries and 132 yards, to hold off Cedar Grove and win Region 6-AAA with a 21-14 win.

Shelton’s 132 yards were anything but flashy, as he didn’t notch a touchdown and 18 of his carries went for 4 or fewer yards.

But it was his running that set up the winning score in the third quarter, carrying the ball 6 times for 46 yards on an 8-play, 65-yard drive that finished with Chad Manthey cleaning up the final 4 yards for the score.

These were not massive running lanes Shelton was hitting, but he kept finding what yards he could, and the clock kept churning as he did.

“We just had to fight through it,” Shelton said. “It was hard to get through the hole, but every time we did, we would get 3 yards, 4 yards. It was just amazing.”

For the Titans (7-3, 5-1), the game plan was simple – run it as many times as Cedar Grove will let you, and you can’t give up big plays with the Saints offense standing on the sideline.

“We felt like we needed to run the clock and make first downs, because it’s really hard for us to run with them when they’re on offense,” Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin said. “That’s what we do.”

What Cedar Grove (6-4, 3-3) did was turn the ball over three times – all in Blessed Trinity territory – to kill multiple promising drives.

When the Saints maintained control of the ball, they moved it reasonably well, amassing nearly 350 yards of total offense, with both a 100-yard rusher (Deion Sellers) and a 100-yard receiver (Brandon Norwood).

But Norwood got 116 of his 118 yards in the first half, as he caught 8 balls and scored on a 57-yard toss. McFarlin said his team adjusted some coverages and made an effort to put more pressure on the quarterback in the second half, and it showed.

Cedar Grove quarterback James Hartsfield was 12 of 14 for 135 yards and a touchdown in the first half, then 6 of 10 for 55 yards in the second.

It’s the second region title in school history for Blessed Trinity, and the first since 2005, when the Titans started 1-4 but won their final five games to take Region 5-AAA.

BT       7          7          7          0 – 21

CG       0          14       0          0 – 14

B – Colin Bradley 41 pass from Conor Davis (Marc Nolan kick)

C – Labron Morris 2 run (Omulolu Daniel kick)

C – Brandon Norwood 57 pass from James Hartsfield (Daniel kick)

B – Patrick Jasinski 16 pass from Davis (Nolan kick)

B – Chad Manthey 4 run (Nolan kick)

10 comments Add your comment

Michael J

November 8th, 2013
9:43 pm

Congratulations to Blessed Trinity. One loss in Region Play (in O.T.) is quite an achievement with such quality teams as Woodward Academy, St. Pius, Decatur and Cedar Grove. Good Luck in the Playoffs

Lil Brother

November 8th, 2013
10:29 pm

Coffee over Valdosta 38-17…no error thats a fact with. How about Coffee pulling a great upset.


November 8th, 2013
11:36 pm

SPX Fan here and glad you guys won. Congrats!


November 9th, 2013
12:13 am

Another great BT Season! Coach McFarlin is Coach of the Year! Replacing 17 starters and winning the Region Championship is all about “coaching,” BT will own this region for years to come!

The Scout

November 10th, 2013
10:32 am

Congrats to Blessed Trinity, Woodward Academy, St. Pius, and Cedar Grove… Good luck in the playoffs!!!


November 10th, 2013
12:14 pm

Thats truly amazing to replace 17 starters and still win a region championship. BT is buliding up there. We will get it back @ Pius next year..we just have to find the right peaces to fit our style of play. Towers McNair Decatur Cedar Grove good luck competing with 3 of the states best athletic programs.
In this region 1 of our private schools should win it every year..overall coaching is just better..Higher IQ’s


November 11th, 2013
8:34 am

LionsGate- I don’t know who you are, but I doubt you are with SPX since no one at SPX makes statements like that. Decatur is a contender and constantly improving, CG is in the playoffs, yes not all schools are equal and SPX and BT are very fortunate to have their coaches, staff and support, but keep your arrogant comments to yourself.


November 11th, 2013
1:35 pm

kidsballcoach- Dont doubt and lets keep it that way. I have children @ SPX and I can say what I want. Who are you?

The Scout

November 11th, 2013
8:25 pm

Like it or not LionsGate has a point. To replace 17 starters and still win the region is a great accomplishment. I guess it’s a combination of great coaching and kids willing to listen. But, if you read between the lines he’s telling you, (Dekalb County Coaches), that talent, speed, and stats aren’t anything without being fundamentally sound and having a coaches who can coach… I guess the private schools will win the region and title every year from now on… Cedar Grove… What you got to say about that?? Sounds like Bulletin board material to me!!!!

The Scout

November 11th, 2013
10:22 pm

Letter to Cedar Grove.

Coach Jimmy,
I’m asking you as a supporter of Cedar Grove Football to make Coach Nicholas your Offensive Coordinator. I’m pleading with you to step back so you can be more objective about other problems that arise. You can fix them better from this perspective as a Head Football Coach.
These private schools feel like we have all the talent and speed but don’t have coaches with the Football IQ it takes to beat them. I know Coach Nicholas’ Football IQ has to be one of the highest in the county. The guy is a football junkie. You know it and we know it!!! Whatever problems you guys have with one another, I’m sure that you can work them out. Coach Nicholas just wants to win!!! You want to win!!!! Let’s do this!!! We’re tired of the Private schools looking down on us… We all know that you and Coach Nicholas are different but a highly respected coach once told me, “When it comes to the coaches staff, not everyone should be the same personality or talent. You need different personalities, different strengths, but all on the same page from what you as Head Football Coach want to accomplish. You are only as good as those around you.” Coaching high school football is not an easy job. If you all got paid by the hour, you’d be very wealthy men. With that said, coaching is an extremely rewarding and honorable profession. The game of football is so special on so many fronts. Winning is the ultimate goal and there are few things more fun than being in that locker room after a hard fought victory. I never remember scores of games, but I do remember locker rooms after we won- faces of players and coaches all huddled together yelling, screaming, smiling and laughing, acting totally emotional and truthful- devoid of any apprehensiveness or inhibitions, just enjoying the moment. There is no doubt that it’s the competition week in and week out that keeps us going- wanting to relive that experience again. Do all of us a favor and make Coach Nicholas your Offensive Coordinator!!! Don’t let your pride hold Cedar Grove Football back. These kids and coaches are working too hard… Let’s make these private schools FEAR CEDAR GROVE!!! TALENT, TECHNIQUE, SPEED, DISCIPLINE, FUNDAMENTALS and A COACHING STAFF WITH THAT HIGH IQ!!!