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Trinity Beats Pinecrest In Triple O | Local Sport
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MACON — Trinity Christian sophomore Jon Luke Cannada kicked a ball

that found the back of the net with 7.2 seconds left in a third overtime

period to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead.

There wasn’t enough time for No. 1-ranked Pinecrest Academy to tie the

score as Trinity converged in the middle of the field Saturday at Stratford

Academy and celebrated its first GISA spring state title in soccer.

“This is great,” Cannada said. “We’ll go down in Trinity history. It was fun

to go out there and give it all that we got.”

It wasn’t a typical Trinity game, but the players were happy to get the


“We’re used to having three or four goals at halftime,” said senior Caleb

Bedingfield. “This game was completely different. We fought hard the entire

game. I’ve never played that much soccer in one day of my life. It’s just

unreal how this feels. There is nothing that feels better. We said we were

going to come out here and give it our best and we did that.”

With time running out in the third overtime period, the Crusaders (14-3)

got the ball on their end of the field. After the ball was kicked around in front

of the goal, Cannada was able to get to it and drill it in with 7.2 on the clock.

“That was pretty much a hustle play on all of the players,” Cannada said.

“Somebody cleared it up and everybody was hustling to get the ball and it

was deflected. I was just in the right place at the right time. At first, I was

thinking how did I just do that. Then I looked at the clock and I saw there

was seven seconds and I thought there was no possible way that they could

come back.”

The Padalins kicked the ball down the field but didn’t have enough time

to set up on offense to try to score. Crusaders head coach Aaron George and

the team was joined on the field by fans as they prepared to receive the first

place trophy.

“This is unbelievable,” George said. “These guys worked extremely hard.

They did a great job all year and fought until the end. Both teams are tired

and dug deep. … I’m excited and proud of the guys. It’ll probably take a day

or two to have all of this sink in. That was an exciting game to go out on.

That was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever been a part in either

playing or coaching.”

And the team quickly pointed to sophomore goalie Adam Ross to a big

reason the Crusaders were celebrating their state title.

“Our goalie played a heck of a game,” Bedingfield said.

Added George: “He was incredible. He just made huge save after huge

save. He got hurt early when he took a shot to the ribs. But he dug deep just

like every one of these guys. They willed their way to this win tonight.”

Ross said he was just doing what he could to help the team.

“Once the ball got past our defenders, it’s up to me to hold up our team,”

he said. “I just tried to do the best I could and focused. I knew the game was

going to be hard.”

The win, which was the Crusaders’ 10th in a row, was an upset since

Pinecrest had been ranked No. 1 since the beginning of the season.

“We knew we were going to be tested,” George said. “We knew we might

get outshot but they shut us out for 79 minutes. I was impressed with that.”

Neither team scored in the first half and it looked like the second half

may end the same way. But the Padalins (16-2) got on the scoreboard when

Michael Briemie scored to go up 1-0 with 12:03 left in regulation.

The score was still 1-0 with a minute left to go in the game. The

Crusaders got one last opportunity and they took advantage of it. The ball

was thrown in near the Padalins goal and a lot of Crusaders converged on the


Somehow, and players and coaches didn’t know how, the ball got past

the Padalins goalie to tie the game with 38.3 seconds on the clock. The

announcers gave the goal to senior Eli Green.

“There was only 38 seconds left in my high school career,” Green said. “I

was just trying to get in there and cause some disturbance. The PA gave me

the goal but I didn’t score it. Somebody else did. It was do or die and we just

happened to be there.”

Cannada agreed.

“At that time, we were looking for a miracle,” he said. “It came through.”

George didn’t know who got the goal. He was just happy to get it.

“I didn’t care who scored it,” the coach said. “I was just excited that it

was tied up.”

Ross felt better also.

“A big weight was lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “I felt that I should

have had (Pinecrest’s) goal. … I’m overjoyed. We’ve worked hard all season

and we played hard in the Final Four. We made it here and gave it our all.

Now we’re state champions.”

Which had a good ring to it. No matter if it did take 105 minutes to get it.

“I’m dead tired and I know all of these guys are tired,” Green said. “We

left it all on the field and we came out on top and got us a state


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