Trojan Force: TCA offense lights up Lions' D in first Prestonwood loss
ADDISON -- Prestonwood Christian Academy (7-1, 3-1) got a career game from senior running back Grayson Warren, but fell 63-47 to Trinity Christian Academy (5-2, 2-1 Friday night at Tom Landry Stadium.
The game started off badly for Prestonwood, who trailed 14-0 after just 25 seconds. Trinity began the game with a successful onside kick and scored on the first play from scrimmage, a 44-yard pass from Daniel Davidson to Tanner Snow. After a Prestonwood fumble on the Lions' first offensive snap, the Trojans were back on the board on touchdown catch by Harrison Woodard.
Trailing 14-0, Prestonwood head coach Chris Cunningham said the message to his players was to stay positive and not hang their heads.
"Anytime that happens, you can't panic," he said. "We came back and scored and we did it by running the ball well. We felt like if we could get a foothold and slow them down, then we would be OK."
The Lions clawed back to 14-12 late in the first quarter, but trailed 35-18 at the half. The teams traded scores in the second half, but the Lions could never get the stops they needed to get back into the game.
"Whenever we got a stop we couldn't score, but whenever they scored we would answer," Cunningham said. "It was just a different kind of game, but we will learn how to deal with defeat and come back and work hard."
Trojans quarterback Daniel Davidson caused problems for the Lions' defense all game, completing 34-of-62 passes for 484 yards and eight touchdown passes.
"It was the same thing that we had trouble with last year," Cunningham said. "If you can't control Davidson, then you are not going to be able to cover their receivers. If he has time, those guys are going to get open and they don't drop balls."
While the defense was struggling, Warren did what he could to keep the Lions in the game. He scored on a 5-yard run early in the first, and then made his biggest play of the night when he caught a 93-yard touchdown pass to bring the Lions within two points at 14-12 late in the first quarter.
The game was the second in a row that Warren has been featured extensively in the passing game. In addition to his first quarter touchdown catch, he also hauled in a 63-yarder early in the final quarter. He finished the game with 18 rushes for 132 yards and two scores, and six catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
"[Warren] has always been a tremendous receiver for us," Cunningham said. "What makes him special is that he is as good a receiver as he is a running back. When they were stopping our run we went with an empty backfield and he made some big plays."
Davidson had a huge game under center, but Lions' quarterback Mickey Mitchell was nearly able to match him throw-for-throw. The sophomore signal caller completed 22-of-40 passes for 447 yards, four scores and one interception.
Cunningham said Mitchell was fairly limited in practice during the week and showed toughness by suiting up and playing through some injuries. He said he is encouraged by Mitchell's continued improvement as a passer and feels the team is in good shape going forward with Mitchell at the helm.
In addition to Warren, freshman receiver Michael Irvin caught three passes for 55 yards and two scores, and senior Stephen Riegel hauled in four passes for 84 yards.
The Trojans had several receivers come up big, led by Snow who hauled in a dozen passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns. He was joined in the 12-catch club by Brock Thomas, who scored two touchdowns and finished with 196 yards receiving. Thomas also added 73 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Prestonwood continues Friday when district leader Fort Worth Nolan visits Lions Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
"We can't sit there and get down about the loss," he said. "We have to get back to work."