Holy Trinity football coach John Barber is big on his players supporting each other when times get tough.
“We’re a family here,” Barber said Saturday after the Pride defeated Fonda-
Fultonville 54-7 to complete its Class C Central Division slate. “Everyone has each others back.”
Nick Pacini is the latest player who has stepped forward, engineering Saturday’s win and a victory over Johnstown the week before as a replacement for starting quarterback Joey Tortello III.
“I was pretty nervous,”
Pacini said of his start against Johnstown, a game Holy Trinity won 28-20 with a fourth-quarter comeback. “I had a week to prepare, and today I was a lot calmer.”
Pacini completed his first 11 passes, three of them going for touchdowns, Nacier Hundley scored on a long punt return and an even longer run, and the Pride forced four turnovers in the must-win game.
Holy Trinity improved and 5-2 (2-2 in the division) with its signature victory coming over Central champion Voorheesville.
“I told the kids we’re treating this as a playoff game,” Barber said. “If we lost we would have gotten no points [in the Class C seeding system]. The way the points work out, I’m 90 percent sure we’re in as the No. 7 seed.”
Pacini was 100 percent with his passing in the first half, going 10-for-10, and he added to that when Dylan Behunin took a short feed and raced 65 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The junior quarterback’s last attempt was intercepted by Fonda-Fultonville defensive tackle Matt Bollacker on a middle screen later in the quarter.
“Definitely the offensive line,” said Pacini, sharing credit for his productive outing which included 199 passing yards. “The line gave me great protection, and the receivers caught the ball.”
Tortello injured his right hand during a walk-through the Thursday before the Johnstown game when he smacked a teammates’ shoulder pad on a pass. Barber said the standout freshman is out for the rest of the season.
“He [Pacini] had 10 plays Thursday to get ready,” Barber said. “I asked him what plays he was comfortable with, and we ran them against Johnstown.”
Pacini threw a touchdown pass to Jordan Mettler as part of a 21-point fourth-quarter when Holy Trinity erased a 20-7 deficit at Johnstown, a Class B team.
“The momentum from that game definitely carried over to this game,” Pacini said.
Holy Trinity gave up three unanswered touchdowns to Mechanicville in the last quarter in a 21-10 Week 3 loss.
“Mechanicville did to us what we did to Johnstown,” Barber said. “I think Johnstown was a turning point for us, to make that step.”
Pacini’s first two touchdown passes Saturday went 25 yards to Alex Brown and 15 yards to Mettler. Hundley scored his touchdowns on a 65-yard punt return and an 81-yard dash. Dion Sexton also scored twice, on a 20-yard run and a one-yard burst, and Nelon Priest capped the scoring on a 62-yard scamper.
“He [Barber] is always telling us the door is open,” Pacini said. “We just have to go through it. That’s what we did.”
Fonda-Fultonville (0-4, 0-7) fumbled the ball on the opening play of the game and Liam Maloney recovered for Holy Trinity. Behunin picked off two passes, Metter had an interception, and Sexton blocked a punt. The Pride scored touchdowns after all of those plays except for Behunin’s second pick which came late in the fourth quarter.
“When we get a turnover we have to capitalize on it,” Pacini, who also plays linebacker and punts, said. “That’s our mentality. For the most part we’ve done a good job of it.”
John Mancini threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Massimo DeCaprio for the lone Fonda-Fultonville touchdown after Holy Trinity built a 40-0 lead.
The Braves will miss the Section II playoffs after qualifying in each of the last 20 seasons.
F-F 0 0 0 7 — 7
Holy Trinity 13 13 14 14 — 54
HT — Sexton 20 run (Clement kick)
HT — Brown 25 pass from Pacini (kick failed)
HT — Mettler 15 pass from Pacini (kick failed)
HT — Sexton 1 run (Clement kick)
HT — Behunin 65 pas from Pacini (Clement kick)
HT — Hundley 65 punt return (Clement kick)
FF — DiCaprio 2 pass from Mancini (Weaver kick)
HT — Hundley 81 run (Clement kick)
HT — Priest 62 run (Clement kick)
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports