ADAMSVILLE – Andrew Goldsmith made play after play while leading Trinity Christian’s football team to a 35-21 win over Adamsville Friday night in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
But the two final plays he made were probably the most memorable.
“I knew they were going for the end zone, so I got back there to try to make sure they didn’t get in,” Goldsmith said.
Down 28-21 with less than a minute remaining, Adamsville went for a long touchdown pass into the end zone. Goldsmith was there to intercept on the Lions’ 1-yard line.
While that might’ve been enough to seal the win, it was Goldsmith’s next play that put the exclamation point on the sentence that was the game.
On first down in the shadow of his own goal post, Goldsmith broke through the line and broke away from the defense to run 99 yards for the final score with 33 seconds remaining.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen on the play, but I knew I needed to keep running as far as I could to run the time out,” Goldsmith said.
He didn’t run the time out, but the 14-point advantage TCA had after the score was enough to exorcise some old demons that had frustrated the program the past couple years.
“We came down here for the semifinals my sophomore year, and they put us out,” said senior receiver Tyler Thomas, who came up with an interception late in the first half to keep TCA up by 14 points going into halftime. “We didn’t want that to happen again.”
Defensive lineman and tight end Sergio Pagoaga, who caught a touchdown pass in the first half, said the win meant just as much for recent alumni as it did for this year’s team.
“We had some talented teams come in here and get beat, so winning this one was big for us,” Pagoaga said.
He said his effort on the touchdown catch to make sure an Adamsville defensive back didn’t intercept in the end zone was an example of how much the Lion seniors wanted the win and to advance to the quarterfinals.
Eli Parker made a couple of big plays to put the Lions back up with four minutes remaining to break a 21-21 tie. The first was a touchdown pass he caught from Goldsmith.
“[Goldsmith] has a good arm, and I saw a crease I could get through and get open in the middle, and it worked,” Parker said. “But I wanted this win more than anything I’ve wanted any other win in a while, and to get this win was big.”
TCA head coach Blake Butler credited his senior players for making those plays to lead the team to the win.
“You look to your seniors to make the plays, and they did that tonight like seniors should,” Butler said. “Getting this win is big for them because we get to play one more time and continue to try to play for a championship.”
Adamsville head coach Brandon Gray gave TCA credit for executing when his team failed to at times.
“[Goldsmith] is a special player, and he played like it tonight,” Gray said. “We had a couple of opportunities to stop him on fourth down, and he threw touchdown passes on both plays.
“We had our chances on those plays and others. We knew what they were going to do most of the time. We just couldn’t stop them. They did what they needed to.”
This marks the first time since 2010 Adamsville will not play in the state semifinals, but Gray said finishing the season with 10 wins is something to be proud of.
“These guys worked hard all year, and I’m proud of them.”
Dylan Whirley had two touchdown runs, and Laderrick Means had another in the loss.
TCA will play McKenzie next week in the quarterfinals.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751