The fall air was frigid in Roswell Friday, but the Titans of (7-4) were on fire as they demolished the visiting Heard County Braves 44-19 in the opening round of the Georgia High School Association Class AA playoffs.
The Titans dominated the game on both sides of the ball as the Braves struggled all evening.
The Titans received the opening kick off and got things rolling straight out of the gate. The stellar combination of junior quarterback Spencer McManes and classmate running back Jordan Denson led Blessed Trinity to the first score of the game, less than two minutes after kickoff. After a missed extra point, the Titans took an early lead of 6-0. Denson broke 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the game.
After a quick three-and-out by the Braves, the Titans regained possession and McManes led his team on another well-executed drive. With big passes to junior Sam Roberts, senior Chris Dore and senior Thomas McCormick, McManes had his team ready to strike for another touchdown. Poised for the score on the 6-yard line, McManes hustled into the end zone for the touchdown. The Titans elected to go for two, but failed to convert and led 12-0 with less than six minutes left in the first quarter.
The Titans' defense held Heard County to another three-and-out.
A short punt put the Titans in Heard County territory and McManes was ready to put more points on the board. Following his own 28-yard run, McManes put the Titans back in the red zone. He found a new target in the end zone in junior running back John Davis on a 9-yard pass, and the Titans found themselves leading 19-0 with a minute still remaining in the first quarter.
Heard County scored midway through the second quarter, putting together a nice drive that was capped off by senior running back Tyler Wynn. The Braves missed the extra point, cutting the Titans' lead to 19-6 with six minutes remaining in the first half.
McManes again orchestrated a beautiful drive that ate much of the time remaining in the second quarter. He capped the drive with a TD pass to sophomore running back Colin Bradley. The Titans converted the two-point conversion and increased their lead to 27-6 with just over two minutes left in the first half.
Heard County, looking to capitalize on their offensive poise they demonstrated on the previous possession, started a nice drive as time winded down in the first half. However, the Titans' defense forced the Braves into a fourth-down situation. Heard County attempted a fake punt, but missed the first down by the length of football, handing the ball back to the dominating Titans with a minute left in the half.
Again, the Titans were unrelenting and found themselves in on the goal line after a 30-yard run by Denson. However, the end zone proved elusive and Blessed Trinity settled for the field goal and a 30-6 halftime lead.
As the teams headed out to the field for the second half, the temperatures continued to plummet, but the Titans remained on fire. Heard County put together a nice drive in the third quarter that was squashed by a fumble recovered by Blessed Trinity. On the ensuing possession, McManes found Dore for a 35-yard touchdown pass, putting the Titans up 37-6.
Dore then had one of his three interception on Heard County's next possession.
The interception led to Blessed Trinity's final score of the game, another rushing touchdown by Denson. With four and a half minutes left in the third quarter, the Titans had a commanding 44-6 lead and many starters began exiting the game.
The clock was against the visiting Braves, but they did manage to put together two final touchdown drives late in the game to make the score 44-19.
The victorious Titans will take their momentum on the road to face undefeated Lamar County in the second round of the playoffs next week.