HAMILTON – It looked like the Notre Dame high school football team was going to run away with it.
But Trenton Central just wouldn’t go away.
Despite a back-and-forth first half and a last-ditch comeback effort from the Irish, the Tornadoes held on for a 25-22 victory in West Jersey Football League Capitol Division action.
The Tornadoes scored in all different ways on Friday night, including a pair of special teams touchdowns.
Of the handful of wacky scores, their opening touchdown ranks high on the list of head-tilters. On a 4th-and-1 inside Notre Dame territory, Trenton elected to run a quarterback sneak. Donovan Ford took the snap, put his head down and pushed forward, gaining the necessary yardage, but popped out of the pile and scampered for a 40-yard touchdown.
Ford would add a passing touchdown in the third quarter to Kerry Smith, who he hit on an out rout for a 20-yard score. The pass would be the only completion on the day for the senior.
Second on the list of crazy plays for the Tornadoes came just after the Irish tied the game.
Following a Williams 1-yard run, JacQue Alfred picked up a short kick at the 32-yard line and found his way to paydirt, putting his squad up 13-7.
The Irish had their way when it came to running the ball in the first half, led by sophomore Cortaz Williams, who toted the ball for more than 100 yards. The running back also got in the end zone twice.
But the Trenton defense solved the puzzle during halftime.
The unit was able to keep Williams in check, and forced the Irish to punt a handful of times.
The third – and final surprising play of the game came early in the fourth quarter when Jy’Air Brown fielded a punt on a bounce, much to the surprise of the Notre Dame coverage team – and took it to the house to give the Tornadoes a 25-14 lead.
Williams struck again with 2:05 left in the game on a 6-yard run to pull the Irish to within five. Quarterback Robert Buecker powered into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Irish weren’t able to recover the onside kick and Trenton held on for the victory.
The Tornadoes travel to Cherry Hill West next week while the Irish travel to Nottingham.