No looking back: Trinity Christian wins 9th state football championship

Rogers, Webb run over Champagnat in 41-23 win

This is the team's ninth football championship in school history. All 9 of those titles have come within the last 20 years.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Resilience. Redemption. Repeat.

Darnell Rogers, Treyaun Webb and Trinity Christian ran away from Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 41-23 in the Class 2A state championship game on Thursday night at Gene Cox Stadium, inching up the history books with a thorough and convincing win over the Lions.

Trinity put the 9 in the 904.

Trinity (10-4) added the ninth championship in program history, all of those under legendary coach Verlon Dorminey. He’d missed the first two games of his 31-year career after an illness, but Dorminey wasn’t going to miss this one.

Not a chance.

This one was sweet for Dorminey, 64, who’d listened to Trinity’s second playoff game from a hospital bed two weeks ago. It was sweet for dominant running back Treyaun Webb, who missed last season’s win in the Class 3A title game due to injury. And it was even sweeter for a Trinity team that had limped to the finish in the regular season, losing four of five games.

“It’s hard to hold back emotion when you know you’re not there. And you want to be there and you’re thinking ‘OK, and I going to be able to get out of here and get well enough to get with these kids and be able to end this thing?,” Dorminey said. “And I’m just thankful. I really am thankful.”

Dorminey had spoken about the resilience of the Conquerors. In turn, players spoke about the resilience of their coach returning to the sidelines. Dorminey is second to only Bolles icon Corky Rogers in state championships. Rogers won 10 of the Bulldogs’ 11 titles.

“Don’t mention my name with Corky. He’s way beyond Verlon Dorminey, I can promise you that. But I promise you this, that I am blessed. The school that has just been behind me for all these years and and just promoted our program and just been huge for us and helped us. Our family, my wife Marlene, and my girls and the grandkids are here. ..

“It’s just having that, just being a part of that for 31 years in the same place over and over again with guys that coach with us that have all played for us.”

It all came together on Thursday night.

Webb put a bow on his sterling state playoff run, rushing for 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns and becoming part of Trinity state championship game lore that he missed out on with injury last season. Webb and Darnell Rogers ran all over Champagnat to the very end. When the Lions attempted to claw their way back, getting to within 11 points with just over two minutes to play, Rogers slammed the door shut for good.

The sophomore scored all three of his rushing touchdowns in the second half and finished with 173 yards on 17 carries.

The Conquerors have won all nine of those championships since 2002, tied with Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas for most titles by a program in the 21st century. Trinity’s title moved it into a tie with University Christian for third-most in state history. Only Aquinas (12) and Bolles (11) have won more.

After winning the Class 3A championship during the pandemic-strafed 2021 season, and in epic comeback fashion over Chaminade-Madonna, Trinity needed no theatrics this time against a Champagnat team that was chasing a threepeat in Class 2A.

The Conquerors used a powerful run game, headlined by five-star back Webb and the sophomore Rogers, to move the ball in chunks against the Lions (10-3).

Webb carried three of Trinity’s four first plays, capping the Conquerors opening drive with a 43-yard touchdown where he simply left every defender in his wake.

Webb had 71 yards rushing on his first three carries. Webb and Rogers were a potent 1-2 punch for Trinity, a powerful tandem that opened up the passing game for Colin Hurley.

For Webb, it was redemption. He went through an injury-marred sophomore season that ended with him as a spectator in the state championship game.

And now? He’s a player who contributed, something Webb has stressed he wanted to be this season.

“This year, it feels so great. I feel I contributed a lot. Last year I was on crutches, I was on the sideline so I couldn’t really contribute how I wanted to,” Webb said. “But this year, but I felt like I did what I could. I was getting first downs me and Darnell were eating the clock up. And it showed. All the offseason workouts ... it showed. And we won. So, I’m happy right now.”

Rogers set up two Trinity touchdowns with big runs, a bruising 11-yard carry that set up a Hurley 14-yard pass to Seth Bialek for a 14-7 Conquerors lead late in the first quarter. And Rogers had a 22-yarder on Trinity’s opening drive of the second half that set up Webb’s 12-yard scoring run for a 21-7 Conquerors lead. Rogers put things away with a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Rogers said he saw early that the Conquerors were going to have success against the Lions as he and Webb took turns alternating big plays.

“When me and Webb was was tagging them back to back,” Rogers said of how confident he was Trinity was going to win. “He blocked from me. I blocked for him. So that’s how we knew we was going to start dropping them and putting our foot on their neck.”

Webb blistered Class 2A opponents in the playoffs, racking up 856 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 67 carries.

The Conquerors buttoned up defensively after Champagnat drove the field on its opening drive, locking down the Lions after that. Champagnat didn’t score again until there was 7:40 left to play. It added another touchdown with 2:13 to go, but

Can the Conquerors keep things going in 2022 and join Aquinas and Bolles as the only programs in state history to have double-digit championships on its resume? Trinity loses 21 seniors, including impact players on the defensive side if the ball. But Webb, Rogers and Hurley, all underclassmen this season, give Trinity an excellent foundation to build on.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.