November 18th, 2017

Disrespect fuels Rocks quarterfinal win over SK

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Disrespect fuels Rocks quarterfinal win over SK
The Trinity football team with the regional championship trophy listens to head coach Bob Beatty / photo by Conor Revell

Trinity’s football team felt a sense of disrespect when it came to their running game going into Friday night’s Russell Athletics/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl Class 6-A, Region Two final against Simon Kenton.

Well, opposing defenses would be foolish to use those words again as Trinity rushed for 233 yards in their 49-17 blowout win over the visiting Pioneers to win a second consecutive regional championship and extend its winning streak to 28 games.

“I don’t think they respected our run game and I understood that because we have not been very dominant in running the football,” Trinity head coach Bob Beatty said. “I think we made great strides in that tonight. We are starting to get some guys healthy. We worked hard in that all week and I felt we got better in that.”

It wasn’t just the running game as the Shamrocks (13-0) gained a whopping 555 yards of total offense and the defense held Simon Kenton (11-2) to 172 total yards including -13 on the ground.

“We just wanted to prove to people that we can run the ball and give all that we got,” Smith said. “We played hard and the guys up front did a great job.”

Smith led the Trinity ground attack rushing for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

“I don’t know whether there were any corners to turn,” Beatty said of Smith’s performance. “But, he earned those yards because those guys up front did a heck of a job blocking. He he ran hard too, you know, and I thought other guys had good nights too. Luke (McGuire) moved the chains several times as well.”  

Wide receiver Rondale Moore rushed for 101 yards and a score on nine carries.

“First of all, everything with the run game starts with the trenches,” Moore said. “Our offensive line was sliding off the ball and our scout team had a great plan. Our offensive line felt disrespected, came in ready, they were pushing their guys, and we established the run game early.”

Moore also caught 11 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Nick Bohn completed 29 of 36 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns.

“I don’t think Nick had his best night tonight and that’s okay because that’s going to happen,” Beatty said. “He was ill and was throwing up all night last night. It was good for him to be out there and be tough and show some grit. He kind of let his emotions take over at the end because he was getting tired of the flags and I was too. I had to take him out of there because it’s my job as a coach to teach him a lesson. ”

Speaking of flags, Trinity was penalized 200 yards.

Nick Strothman was also a dynamic weapon in the passing game and had 10 catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Strothman could have had a huge day, but dropped a 78 yard touchdown pass. However, Strothman came back in and made an incredible acrobatic catch two plays later.

“My teammates picked me up after that play,” Strothman said. “And, my coaches put me back in and I knew that I had to make the catch when the ball was thrown at me.”

Trinity’s defense blitzed the Simon Kenton offensive line time and time again recording eight tackles for loss including five sacks.

Stephon Herron Jr. led the way with 3.5 tackles, 2.5 for loss, and two sacks. Nick Cardosi had three tackles including two sacks, Jake Saylor added two tackles for loss, Arak McDuffie finished with 1.5 sacks, and Trey Ruckriegel had a tackle for loss.

“We knew coming in that running was their strong point on offense and that stopping the run was our strong point on defense,” Herron Jr. said. “We came out and dominated early even though we allowed a few touchdowns late. We definitely did our thing. The only thing that could have been better is if we had held them scoreless.”

Quarterback Matt Shearer led the Pioneer offense and completed 14 of 35 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

“I don’t think our defense necessarily got the respect they deserved,” Beatty said. “I don’t think the Northern Kentucky paper mentioned them, I don’t think the papers here mentioned them, and I think they were a little insulted by that. They wanted to step up and say we’re here and they did a great job.”

Fisher Hayden was Simon Kenton’s top receiver and caught five passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Jon Sergent added two catches for 49 yards.

Sergent was the Pioneer’s top running back and rushed for 16 yards on six carries.

“It felt great to get back out there against a good opponent,” Herron Jr. said. “It’s not a knock against a team like Seneca. To be honest, I think Simon Kenton was being looked at favorably by the media and they thought they were going to upset us but we came out, did our job, and took care of business.”

It didn’t take long for the Rocks to send a message to the Pioneers jumping out to a 35-0 lead in the first half.

Bohn tossed a 44-yard touchdown pass to Moore; Smith scored on a 1-yard run, Bohn connected with Moore from nine yards out, Bohn hit Strothman from two yards out and 22 yards out on back to back series before the Pioneers found the end zone.

“After we established a run game, we were able to throw it,” Moore said. “We got the safeties along with the linebackers to come down and used the play action with the pass.”

Hayden caught a 3-yard score from Schearer and Christian Seger booted a 23-yard field to cut the Trinity lead to 35-10 in the third quarter.

Smith’s 3-yard run and Moore’s 10-yard scamper pushed the lead back out to 49-10 before Schearer found Hayden from two yards out for a second time to determine the final score.

Trinity will play at Central Hardin next Friday in the state semifinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“We have a short week in school,” Beatty said. “We’ll be in to talk in the morning. We’ll enjoy this one tonight. I have some food waiting on us inside and we’ll enjoy that until midnight. Central Hardin will be our scope focus starting tomorrow.

“We’ll have a typical Monday and Tuesday, we don’t have school Wednesday so we’ll get our practice done in the morning. We’re here Thursday morning for Thanksgiving. We’ll get them out of bed Friday for a walk through, in some cases we’ll have a little bit of a turkey hangover, I’ll make sure we get that out of their system.” 


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