Titans play for lead in region against St. Pius after easy win



DECATUR, Ga. – Blessed Trinity tuned up for its big showdown Friday night, Oct. 25, against St. Pius, coasting past McNair 52-20 last Friday at Panthersville Stadium.

The Titans rushed for 370 yards and led 35-7 at halftime. Chad Manthey led the way with 168 yards and a touchdown, with starting tailback Milton Shelton making a brief appearance and running effectively after being out of the lineup recently with an injury.

Carter McManes and Garrett Dupuis also had rushing touchdowns for the Titans, with Conor Davis throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Evans and Jordan Merriman passing for 18 yards and a score to Colin Dore.

The top four teams in 6-AAA all have one region loss, with Decatur still in contention with two defeats. There are two games each the next two weeks matching playoff contenders, with the Titans hosting St. Pius this Friday. Both are 3-1 in the region, with BT 5-3 overall and St. Pius 6-2.

Because his team’s only region loss came against Decatur, Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin has some concerns about his team’s playoff situation, but the Titans are the only team that controls its own playoff fate.

If BT beats both St. Pius and Cedar Grove, the team’s opponent next week, the Titans will get the region’s first seed in the playoffs. A loss Friday would force the Titans to beat Cedar Grove to make the playoffs, with BT losing a tiebreaker to Decatur, which plays St. Pius the final week of the season.

“We have two weeks of crazy football,” McFarlin said. “It’s anybody’s guess what’s gonna happen.”

McFarlin said Blessed Trinity and St. Pius are “probably a little alike. We run the ball and they run the ball, we just do it differently.”

The Lions run a version of the Georgia Tech offense, with the Titans more of a tailback-oriented, pro-style attack. McFarlin said the Titans “have been playing passing-type teams,” with early season opponent Hart County sporting one of the few run-oriented power offenses BT has seen.

St. Pius suffered its first region loss last week, as Woodward Academy’s versatile spread offense shredded the Lions’ defense in a 42-28 victory. Blessed Trinity played its best game of the season in a 27-17 victory over Woodward in its region opener, but the Titans don’t have the kind of offense that gives St. Pius the most trouble.

“We’ll just do what we have to do,” McFarlin said. “We need to win against St. Pius, but that’s a tall order.”

McFarlin expects to have a healthy Shelton on the field Friday, which will give the Titans a boost.

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