High School Football: Marist vs. Blessed Trinity rivalry continues
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - This Friday, the Blessed Trinity Titans and the Marist War Eagles will meet again in their burgeoning rivalry.
Since meeting for the first time in 2016 the series has been very even, with the Titans taking a 4-3 series lead. However, Marist has won the last two meetings. The series has seen seven ranked match ups, four region title games, and a 2017 state title rematch that saw the Titans edge the War Eagles 17-6.
Both private schools have won three titles in their respective histories, though they have done it in very different ways. Blessed Trinity won three-straight titles from 2017-2019, including its win over Marist in 2017. The War Eagles won their third championship in 2020 to add to their trophy case, which includes championship trophies from both the 2003 and 1989 seasons.
The War Eagles, led by legendary head coach Alan Chadwick, have been the definition of consistency, making the playoffs for the 29th straight season in 2022. Chadwick’s flexbone-based triple option has led Marist to the fourth-most wins in state history, and made him the second-winningest coach in state history with 422 wins.
“The strength of our team is our speed, strength, and athleticism in our skill position players,” said Chadwick. “They have good vision, and they catch the ball well out of the backfield. The offensive line is completely brand new and getting better every single week. We have a great deal of room for improvement, but our skill position players making plays and making players miss have been a big factor for us.”
On the other side of the field will be Ed Dudley. In his 30th year as a head coach, Dudley is spending his first year with the Titans. In his previous 29 seasons (split between Winder-Barrow, Carrollton, Ware County, Walton and Buford) he has amassed a 217-120 record. Coach Dudley has modernized the Blessed Trinity offense, which has traditionally relied more on the running game, to an RPO based passing attack. The Titans have passed for double the yards they have rushed for, which hasn’t been their recipe for success in the past.
“When we came here, the original thought was we’d keep doing it the BT way and not change a lot.” said Dudley. “This RPO offense we are running right now seems to fit our kids that we have in the program right now, and they’re enjoying it.”
On defense both teams have been very solid. Marist has held its last three opponents to under 15 points. Marist has been known in recent years for its defense, most notably in its 2020 championship season where the War Eagles only gave up 3.7 points per game, shutting out eight of their 13 opponents. The Titans have been just as dominant on defense this season, only giving up seven points per game through three games. This continues a tradition of defensive excellence that hasn’t seen the Titans give up more than 20 points per game since the 2011 season, former head coach Tim McFarlin’s first season leading the Titans.
Friday’s game will be broadcast live on Peachtree TV starting at 8 p.m. Click here for the Atlanta News First live stream!
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