Trion's Bulldogs have run, run, run in 2003, for over 3,000 yards in their 13 games. These Blue & White Dawgs have accomplished this major feat while playing one of the toughest schedules in Class A.
Trion's 13 opponents combined for a 76-70 record, with 7 ending with a winning record and 10 making the playoffs. For comparison, Lincoln County's opponents total a 72-69 record with 6 finishing with a winning record and 9 making the playoffs.
Trion will make its first visit to the Georgia Dome this Friday, but the Trion name is all too familiar to long-time Red Devil fans. The first state title game during The Campbell Years was played in 1974 in Trion, with their Bulldogs winning 7-0 on a long pass with 1:18 left in the game. That was the second of the Bulldogs' state football championships, with the first coming 17 years earlier.
Trion features, as their fans say, a "three-headed rushing attack" with three great running backs. Per the stats maintained at the SaturdayAMQB.com website, Chris Chapman has rushed for 1,216 yards and 21 TDs, averaging nearly 10 yards a carry; he also has a 97-yard kickoff return for touchdown this season. Daniel Blevins is close behind with 1,045 yards, nearly 8 yards per rush, and 21 TDs. Corey Day has run for a 7-yard average for 13 TDs and 919 yards. The Bulldogs don't take to the air often, with Brandon Hennon completing 27 of 53 pass attempts for 627 yards and 7 TDs.
The Georgia High School Football Magazine predicted in the pre-season that Trion "is a team that could crash the Dome dance this fall. Running backs Blevins (5-10, 190, 4.6) and Chapman (5-10, 170, 4.5) rushed for 1,100 yards each in '02. If that is not enough, QB Brandon Hennon (5-11, 195, 4.6) is also back. The offensive problem is on the line, where graduation means a lot of new faces will block for Coach Loudermilk's talented tandem. Defensively the team welcomes back seven starters, including Blevins and Chapman in the secondary."
The Bulldogs are 12-1, having lost only to AAAA playoff team Ringgold 28-14 in their second game of the season. The Devils and Bulldogs have had two common opponents: Trion beat Johnson County 54-20 while the Devils popped them 48-0; the Blue Dawgs whipped Temple 61-20 while LCHS won 32-10. Trion's GAVSV Power Rating is 96.02 to LC's 97.28.
Trion has averaged scoring 39.4 points per game in 2003, but the Dawgs have allowed an average of 17.3 to decrease their average winning margin to 22.1 points, or about three touchdowns. For comparison, our Devils are winning games by five touchdowns (34.8 point winning margin), scoring 40.6 and allowing only 5.8. Trion has shutout only one opponent.
In the other Class A semifinal game, Saturday at 9 AM, Hawkinsville and Clinch County will have a rematch of 2002, but everyone expects a much closer game than the Panthers' blowout of those other Devils last year. As Ahill so aptly put it, "Roll out the red carpet on Peachtree baby, ‘cause the Devils are coming to town." Hawkinsville is 13-0 for the first time in their long history.