November 20th, 2010

Rocks Roll Over Tigers Again, Eliminate St. X

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Rocks Roll Over Tigers Again, Eliminate St. X
photo by Dr. John Meyer

Trinity gets three touchdowns from Bishop in 35-7 win

Despite the disappointment regarding his team’s mistakes, St. Xavier Head Coach Mike Glaser told his squad he was proud of and thankful for their effort.

But following a 35-7 victory by Trinity High School over Glaser and the Tigers in Friday night’s regional championship, it is the Rocks who are thankful for a chance to play football during Thanksgiving Weekend.

Behind 104 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Trinity senior running back Derek Bishop, the Rocks delivered another dominating performance in a game against its rival, St. X. During the team’s regular season meeting on Oct. 1, Trinity shut the Tigers out 48-0.

St. X (10-3) seemed determined to prove that things had drastically changed since the first meeting against Trinity (12-1), and even owned an early lead following a 14-play, 71-yard drive to open the game.

On a 4th & 3 on the Trinity 22-yard line, St. X senior quarterback Luke Brohm broke a nine-yard run to gain a first down, eventually setting up a one-yard touchdown run for himself and a stunning 7-0 Tigers lead.

But four minutes later, on a 4th & 3 of its own on the St. X 12-yard line, the Shamrocks struck back when sophomore quarterback Travis Wright found senior wide receiver Hunter Kopp for a 12-yard touchdown pass, notching the score at 7-7.

Both teams traded punts during the second quarter and St. X avoided poor field position on a couple of occasions, after Trinity allowed back-to-back Clayton Meyer punts that bounced near the goal line to squirt into the endzone for touchbacks.

The teams headed to their respective locker rooms with the score all square.

“We expected this” said Beatty of the closer score and tie game after the first half. “So we said let’s go out and put our fingerprints on this and play the second half like we know how to play.”

Trinity took the challenge to heart.

After a four-yard touchdown run by Bishop just 2:15 into the third quarter, the Shamrocks’ Hunter Brewer recovered a fumble by St. Xavier’s Daylen Hall on the ensuing kickoff, giving Trinity the ball at the Tigers’ 29-yard line.

On the next play, Wright threw his second touchdown of the night, which was also his 30th of the season, to a wide-open Kopp for a 29-yard strike. It was also Kopp’s second score of the game. That two-touchdown spurt put Trinity ahead 21-7 and seemed to have fans and players alike thinking about another Trinity blowout.

St. X tried to hang on and had several chances to climb back into the game. With Tigers senior running back La’mont McMurry limping off the field with an apparent groin injury, St. Xavier went to the air. And on a 3rd & 6 at midfield, Brohm furiously scrambled and eventually got off a well-placed pass. But sophomore Brandon Moore, who had nothing but open field ahead of him, dropped the ball and forced St. X into a fourth down situation.

Just a little more than two minutes later, St. Xavier’s George Stone intercepted Wright in front of the Trinity sideline, using impressive footwork to stay in bounds and keep possession. His defensive effort gave St. X the shot in the arm it needed, but on a 4th & 1 play on the Trinity six-yard line, a false start penalty on the Tigers pushed it back to a 4th & 6 on the 11, forcing St. X to use its second timeout of the half with only 2:47 remaining in the third quarter.

St. X ended up attempting the fourth down conversion, but Brohm was tackled for a loss by Adam Barry, and Trinity took over on downs.

“I thought our defense was very opportunistic,” said Beatty. “Other than that first drive, I thought they did a fabulous job. We knew they were going to try and eat time off the clock.”

With excellent field position yet again, Trinity took advantage and Bishop ran in his second touchdown of the night, giving Trinity a 28-7 lead with 10:41 to go in the game.

Five minutes later, with St. X’s final opportunities drying up, Brohm’s errant pass to Moore in the endzone on a 4th & 10 all but sealed the game. Bishop’s 40-yard touchdown run – his third of the night – with 3:19 remaining put it away for good.

“We had a hard week of practice and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Bishop. “But we wanted to work hard in practice all week so that we’d be prepared for the game….and we prepared.”

Bishop said he heard the rumblings all week about a possible repeat performance of the aforementioned 48-0 debacle. But the senior said it wasn’t a thought his team even gave time to.

“We blocked all the talking out,” said Bishop. “We thought of the playoffs as a new season and that everybody has a new record. Everyone comes out and plays hard (during the playoffs), so we wanted to come out and play hard.”

The 100-plus yard game put Bishop over 3,000 yards for his career and added to an outstanding senior campaign, most of which has been accumulated without flash or noise from the consistent back.

There was one moment during Friday’s game that didn’t allow Trinity to completely celebrate following the game, as Shamrocks senior Ryan Steffey stayed down with an injury that occurred during Bishop’s fourth-quarter touchdown run. An emotionally-shaken Steffey was seen outside the Trinity locker room after the game wearing a full-leg brace and air cast on his right leg. His status was unknown, but the loss of his senior leadership for Trinity could be a factor as the playoffs continue.

It was Trinity’s ninth consecutive win and improved the Shamrocks’ record to 5-0 all-time in playoff games against St. Xavier at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Wright finished 15-of-22 for 175 yards and two touchdowns, which gives him a total of 30 on the season. Brohm completed a mere two passes for 31 yards. Trinity outgained St. X offensive yardage wise 372 to 183.

The loss was the swan song for St. Xavier’s McMurry. The Tigers senior RB put together a magnificent offensive season despite missing several games to start the year and nagging injuries throughout the season. He carried the ball 25 times for 110 rushing yards on Friday night, giving him 1,154 rushing yards in 2010.

Trinity’s win in the state tournament’s quarterfinal round against St. X means there will be a new state champion crowned in Class 6A, as the Tigers were the defending champs coming into Friday's matchup.

It also means that the Shamrocks will move on to the state semifinals next Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), and Beatty and Co. will travel to Union, KY for a game at Ryle High School (12-1) – a team that hasn’t lost since a 29-14 defeat to perennial powerhouse Ft. Thomas Highlands on Aug. 27. Ryle defeated Simon Kenton 35-14 on Friday night in northern Kentucky.

Bishop said he was excited that his senior year would continue, especially the opportunity to do so around a holiday.

Said Bishop: “It’s always great to have another week to play. But to practice and play on Thanksgiving Weekend makes it even better. Even more special.”

For video highlight's from Friday's game, visit the "CSN TV" section on the right side of the site's main page.


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