October 29th, 2010

Kopp, Rocks "D" Lead Trinity To 56-7 Win

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Kopp, Rocks "D" Lead Trinity To 56-7 Win
photo by Chris Jung

Shamrocks close out regular season with Senior Night victory

Two plays. Two touchdowns. 120 receiving yards. One immensely memorable Senior Night.

By the 8:30 mark of Friday night's first quarter between Trinity High School and Lexington Catholic, Shamrocks senior Hunter Kopp had put together a box score line that some players hope to achieve throughout the course of an entire game. He made it happen in less than four minutes, and helped Trinity end its regular season with a bang - a 56-7 victory over the LexCath Knights. And he couldn't have picked a better game to burst onto the scene.

"If you're going to do it on any night, Senior Night's the one to do it on," said Kopp. "I just went out there and did my job. The whole offense went out and did its job. I think every senior got to play, and it was just great."

Kopp, who finished with 137 yards and as the game's leading receiver, said he's been thinking about this moment for quite a while, but wasn't aiming to turn in a big performance.

"I've been waiting for this night a long time," said Kopp. "Freshman year, I can remember thinking that the time was never going to come. But I wasn't coming out here expecting a big night. I was just trying to help my team get a win and that's what we did."

After the Trinity defense stopped the Knights on three straight downs to start the game, Kopp caught his first touchdown of the night - a 59-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Travis Wright - on Trinity's first offensive play from scrimmage. Following another three and out for the Rocks' "D," Wright and Kopp hooked up again, this time for a 61-yard bomb that sent the 3,000 fans at Marshall Stadium into a frenzy.

With the offense clicking yet again and Trinity well on its way to another blowout win, the defense made some noise of its own. Junior defensive back Turney Sugg intercepted a pass attempt by LexCath's Kyle Bolin and rumbled 62 yards the other way for the Shamrocks' third touchdown of the night and a 21-0 lead with over five minutes still remaining in the game's first quarter. It was the fifth game in a row that Trinity converted a defensive touchdown.

But the fireworks weren't over yet.

Following another Bolin interception, this time to Timmy Smith, senior Derek Bishop capped a three-play, 32-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run and a 28-0 Trinity lead, as the first quarter mercifully came to an end. The second quarter, however, was no kinder to the Knights who decided to make a change at quarterback and opted for Konnor Vasilko.

New QB. Same results.

After a 28-yard touchdown pass from Wright to sophomore wide receiver James Quick, Shamrocks junior DB Matt Brewer picked off Vasilko for the Shamrocks' third interception of the night, and returned it all the way down to the Lexington Catholic two-yard line. Bishop finished the extraordinary defensive effort with a two-yard touchdown run - his second of the night - and gave Trinity a 42-0 halftime lead.

For good measure, Quick returned the opening kickoff of the second half 89 yards for a touchdown, evoking the mercy "running clock" rule and cueing the immediate substitution out of the game of all the regular Trinity starters. Shamrocks junior Michael Arena put the final nail in the coffin with 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter, as the defensive lineman scooped up a LexCath fumble and chugged 83 yards for a touchdown and a 56-0 Trinity lead.

The Shamrocks, who are currently ranked No. 11 in the CatholicSportsNet.com national poll, lost the shutout after Lexington Catholic ran the ensuing kickoff back 90 yards to end the third quarter. It would be the final score of the contest.

Following the game, Trinity Head Coach Bob Beatty was complimentary of the 16 seniors who were recognized prior to Friday's kickoff.

"It's a small group, but they're what I call a lunch pail group," said Beatty. "They bring their lunch pails with them every day. They speak with their actions more than what they do with their lips. That's what I like. These seniors did a great job, and they're blue collar guys....that's what I like."

Friday was only the second time these two teams have ever locked up. Trinity escaped Lexington with a 14-13 win over the Knights in 2009, a stark difference from their overwhelming win this time around.

It was the Shamrocks' sixth straight victory and improved the team's record to 9-1 overall, with the only regular season loss coming to out-of-state Cincinnati St. Xavier. Trinity will begin its pursuit of a state Class 6A state championship next week, as Beatty and Co. will host a first-round playoff game at Marshall Stadium. Beatty is now 44-2 all time in October and Trinity moves to 38-0 all time in games against Kentucky opponents at their home field.

"We've got five games to go," said Beatty. "I break (the season) down into thirds. The first five (games), you're trying to get people in place. The second five, you win the district. And the final five you're in the tournament. We feel like we're on schedule and we're getting better."


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