November 21st, 2014

Rocks don

Block_screenshot 2018-10-06 at 2

Paul Najjar

Senior Writer

Rocks don
Trinity coach Bob Beatty said his team ‘stunk it up’ in the regular-season loss to St. X / file photos on cover and inside by Tim Porco

It was not pretty. A pummeling, some would call it. One team played downhill, fast and aggressive, and the other struggled to get out of its own way.

The scoreboard read St. Xavier 35, Trinity 21 on Oct. 3. And it wasn’t that close.

As these archrivals head into Friday night’s quarterfinal clash in the Class 6-A state playoffs, the last game in the history of the “Super District”, that clunker of a game weighs heavily over Trinity’s squad.

“Here’s the deal: We had a wonderful week of practice last time (before the regular-season game vs. St. X), I mean a great week of practice,” Trinity head coach Bob Beatty said. “And then we went out and we stunk it up. I don’t have any other words for it other than we stunk it up. I don’t know why, but we did. But it’s over. On Friday night, we’ve got to be the best team in the stadium, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

With the recent cold and snow, both St. X and Trinity have had limited practice time. This one will be decided by what seemingly decides every game of this battle: execution and turnovers.

Quarterback Ryan Young made play after play last week in the Shamrocks’ 38-31 overtime win at Male. He deftly avoided the Bulldogs’ blitz-happy pass rush and completed 22 of 36 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 72 yards on seven carries, including a crucial 27-yard scoring run with just four seconds left in the first half to pull the Rocks within 14-12.

“Ryan’s a weapon and he makes plays,” Beatty said. “His legs can go. We had trouble with him early in the season because we’re a rhythm passing team, but he’s not a rhythm guy. He’s just one of those guys that can extend a play. Running left, running right, scrambling; he contorts his body all over the place and we just let him make plays.”

For his part, Young knows he’s got to get the ball to his playmakers and let them make the plays. The offense has developed some reliable, unsung resources in wide receivers Connor Carrico and Enzo Palombino, who both played well in the win at Male, to go with big-play threats in 1,000-yard running back Donald Brooks and top wide receiver target Rodjay Burns.

But in this battle, emotions can get sky high, and when those emotions get out of control, mistakes are usually the result. Trinity fumbled six times and lost three of them in that regular-season loss to St. X. The Tigers scored seven points off those turnovers and gained valuable field position from the others.

“We just have to stay composed,” Brooks said. “There’s a lot of adversity in this game, and we just have to control our emotions so that we can control our play on the field. We have to have a big game and make big plays like we did against Male. It’s the third round of the playoffs, and we’ll need everyone playing at the top of their game.”

Several young Trinity players have stepped up in recent weeks. Besides Carrico and Palombino on offense, there is sophomore defensive back Luke Eskins, who snagged two interceptions in last week’s win over Male, including the game-ending pick in overtime.

“We didn’t play well earlier this year against them,” Young said of the loss to St. X. “But we’ve improved as a team and guys are stepping up and making big plays for us. They’re a tough team. They earned that win. We’re going to have to play our very best this week.”



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