December 3rd, 2010

Will The Rocks Hoist Its 20th Trophy?

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Will The Rocks Hoist Its 20th Trophy?
photo by Chris Jung

Trinity set to battle Male in Class 6A football championship

In 2002, Trinity and Male High School squared off in the most high-scoring state football championship in Kentucky history, as now-current NFL veterans Brian Brohm (Trinity) and Michael Bush (Male) combined for 1,020 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, and an eventual 59-56 title victory for the Rocks.

Since that classic, Male has not been back to the state championship game....until now.

Under the direction of first-year Head Coach Chris Wolfe and behind the outstanding ground game of the Bulldogs' backfield of Ronjae Morris (1,172 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns) and John Giddens (1,094 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns), Male is back in the finals.

But across the ball from the purple and gold will be the tournament-tested green and white of the Trinity Shamrocks, who have listened to the same prolific projections regarding opposing running backs throughout the entire 2010 playoffs. And each time that the Rocks have faced the potential explosion of an opposition's backfield - duPont Maunal (Darmontre Warr), St. Xavier (La'mont McMurry), and Ryle (Travis Elliott) - Trinity has faced the challenged head on and prevailed each time.

On top of that, the Rocks sport one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the state - a balanced attack that complements the all around triple threat of a fast defense and effective special teams unit. Anchored by senior running back Derek Bishop (1,679 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns), the Rocks have caused fits for opposing defenses all season. Bishop's consistency out of the backfield has opened up the passing game for Trinity and given room for the sophomore connection of quarterback Travis Wright and wide receiver James Quick to light up the field.

Wright, who has thrown for 2,558 passing yards and 31 touchdowns, has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal. But Wright's favorite target is undoubtedly the unbelievably athletic Quick. With over 1,000 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns this season, Quick has also been one of the most successful Shamrock during the team's last nine postseason games. His36 career postseason catches for 663 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine playoff appearances make him an extremely experienced threat. He caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the state finals in 2009.

And then there is Trinity Head Coach Bob Beatty.

With the Shamrocks' win last week against Ryle, Beatty became the all-time winningest coach in Trinity football history. He now sports a 139-21 record (exactly one win better than long time coach and current AD Dennis Lampley) and has compiled a 48-3 postseason record during his 11 seasons with the Rocks. One of the nation’s elite high school coaches, Beatty has led Trinity to the state championship game nine times in the past 10 seasons. Under his watchful eye, the Trinity offense has also racked up nearly 40,000 yards worth of offense.

This is the 24th all-time appearance for Trinity in the state championsihp game and would be the 20th all-time championship for Trinity should Beatty and Co. prevail on Saturday. The Shamrocks, who made the move to Class 6A in 2007, won 14 titles as a member of Class 4A in its 32 years in such classification. Prior to the creation of Class 4A, the Shamrocks won three titles as a member of Class 3A. They hold titles in two of the three Class 6A titles that have been contested.

In the past 20 meetings between the programs, Trinity owns a 17-2-1 record over Male, including a pair of quarterfinal wins in 2009 and 2006. Male has defeated Trinity twice in state championship play during the past 15 years: once in 1995 (35-7) and again in 2000 (34-14).

Male, who is playing its first season without long time Head Coach Bob Redman (who left the school for Jeffersonville last year after 19 seasons with the Bulldogs), has scored 405 points (177 less than Trinity) this season has had a somewhat "easier" path to the state championship game than Trinity. The Bulldogs have yet to face a fellow Jefferson County team during the postseason, and hasn't played one since its 21-14 loss to duPont Manual on Oct. 29.

The Class 6A KHSAA Gridiron Bowl Finals finale between Trinity and Male will be played at 7pm Saturday night in the confines of the Houchens/L.T. Smith Stadium on the campus of Western Kentucky University. The last time Trinity stepped foot on that same field was last season, when the Shamrocks were defeated 34-10 by archrival St. Xavier, also in the state championship game.

Trinity has won 10 consecutive games and has yet to lose to an in-state opponent this season. The Rocks' lone blemish on its record came in mid-September after a home loss to Cincinnati St. Xavier from Ohio. Look for Trinity to make it 11 in a row to close out the season and for the Rocks to be celebrating No. 20 on Saturday night.

Prediction: Trinity 42 Male 14


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