December 5th, 2010

Trinity Turns Twenty

Paul Najjar

CSN Staff Writer


Trinity Turns Twenty
photo courtesy of Robert Sampson

Shamrocks capture program's 20th state football title

 

Trinity’s Dalyn Dawkins muffed the opening kickoff, but that was the last mistake of the game for the Shamrocks, as they earned their 20th state championship in a dominating performance over Louisville Male High School, 38-0 Saturday night. It was Shamrock Head Coach Bob Beatty’s eighth championship at Trinity and the game was put away early.

 

After Dawkins mishandled the opening kickoff out of bounds at the five-yard line, the Rocks tossed a quick pitch to standout sophomore wide receiver James Quick and he dazzled the L.T. Smith Stadium crowd with a 95 yard run, zig-zagging across the field twice on his incredible jaunt to the end zone. And just like that - one play, one run, 95 yards, 23 seconds - the Rocks took a 7-0 lead. A body blow from which the Male team had a difficult time recovering.

 

“We knew if we blocked through the play and gave James (Quick) a chance to run that he would be able to make a big play,” said offensive line coach Patrick Newman. “We finished our blocks and you saw the results. That play gave the entire team a lot of confidence.”

 

To their credit, the Male team countered that Quick strike with a solid ground attack of their own on their first possession. Working the perimeter of the Trinity defense, Male’s two, 1,000-yard rushers, Ronjae Morris and John Giddens, chewed up chunks of yardage and helped the Bulldogs gain three first downs before their drive stalled on a failed fourth down attempt at the Trinity 40-yard line.

 

The teams traded possessions before the Shamrocks drove to the Male nine-yard line and settled for a 27-yard field goal from Joseph Crenshaw to take a 10-0 lead with 2:03 left in the 1st quarter.

 

The next four possessions were a showcase for the Trinity defense. They took away the edge runs and sweeps from Male and forced them to punt, throw an interception, punt, and throw another interception.

 

“We had to face some really great running backs all season,” said coach Beatty. “The kid from Cincy St. Xavier and the back from Cincinnati Elder were selected first and second team all-state in Ohio. Then we faced Louisville St. Xavier and we stoned those guys. And last week Ryle high school brought a great running game to us as well. These games prepared us to help shut down both of these 1,000 yard rushers from Male. You can’t simulate their speed in practice and it took us a little while to get used to their wide sweep, but as soon as our corners got off blocks they did a great job of shutting down those outside runs.”

 

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Rocks landed another huge blow to the Bulldogs, as James Quick took a handoff on a reverse, and turned on the jets for a 46-yard gain to the Male six-yard line. Senior running back Derek Bishop ran it in on the next play and just like that - two plays, 52 yards, 18 seconds - the Rocks were up 17-0.

 

Trinity’s senior defensive end Brandon Weyhing did the damage on Male’s next possession, as he dropped into coverage and intercepted a Tyler Adams pass at the Trinity 47-yard line. The Rocks methodically moved down the field in nine plays, culminating the drive with an eight-yard scoring strike from sophomore quarterback Travis Wright to senior wide receiver Hunter Kopp in the back of the end zone to increase the Rocks' lead to 24-0. Male was down for the count.

 

Trinity forced another Male punt with 2:00 to go in the first half. The Rocks calmly drove the ball 51 yards in five plays and took only 0:59 off the clock as Wright connected with Bishop out of the backfield on a perfectly executed play for the 18-yard touchdown pass. The play was designed to draw the Bulldogs defense to Quick behind the line of scrimmage, while Bishop wheeled out of the backfield and was wide open down the sideline for Wright’s pass and the score. 31-0. Turn out the lights. Game over.

 

Bishop ended his Trinity career scoring three touchdowns, while Quick electrified the crowd nearly every time he touched the ball as he provided the signature moment of the championship game with his 95-yard touchdown run.

 

It was another truly dominating performance from the Shamrocks. The offense had their usual heroes in Wright, Bishop, Quick, Kopp and Dawkins, but the defense was led by Junior linebacker Adam Reynolds. Reynolds wreaked havoc all over the field recording a team high 5.5 tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and a batted-down pass. Wright finished his Sophomore year with a terrific statistical line: 19-22, for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns.

 

“As sophomores, what we learned from the juniors and seniors was to trust the coaches,” said Wright. “They have the game plan for us and they know what they want us to do. The seniors were just natural leaders and I can’t say enough about them.”

 

With all of the talent in the sophomore and junior classes, the Rocks are in the midst of a run at a mythical National Championship in the near future. As Wright concluded: “I don’t want to boast or anything, but at Trinity we’re expecting two more (championships).”

 

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