September 9th, 2017

Trinity's football team blanks Male

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Trinity's football team blanks Male
The Trinity defense swarms the Male offense / photo by Conor Revell

Whenever Male and Trinity battle, most expect the two high octane offenses to score early and often, but that was not the case this year.

Trinity’s top-ranked football team played phenominal defense and cruised past host Male 22-0 Friday night at Maxwell Stadium.

“We wanted to pressure their quarterbacks, but you have to stay in your lane because he can take off at any time,” Trinity head coach Bob Beatty said. “He throws it well enough to where he makes you stay honest. I’m very happy that our defense did what we needed to do and I’m very proud of them.”

It didn’t take long for Trinity (4-0) to take control as Rondale Moore took a sweep 22 yards for a touchdown to put the Rocks up 7-0 with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter.

Running back Geremiah Smith gave the Shamrocks a 14-0 lead when he sprinted 39 yards down the right sideline and into the end zone with 8:03 left in the second quarter.

“I made my cuts,” Smith said. “I then saw the end zone and told myself touchdown.”

But Trinity didn’t score another touchdown the rest of the game. Sebastian Mata booted two 27-yard field goals, one at the end of the first half and another towards the end of the game and Nick Cardosi recorded a safety.

“I saw the quarterback was a bit flustered and he went out,” Cardosi said. “He started to look down field and I made a note that I wanted to make a play. I ran up to him and got off his step and pinned him down.”

For Male, there were a lot of what-ifs. Ethan Bibb returned a punt for 51 yards in the third quarter that would have cut Trinity’s lead to 17-7 but it was nullified by an illegal block in the back.

“We have a video of that play, we’re pretty comfortable that it wasn’t a block in the back,” Male head coach Chris Wolfe said. “You don’t know how the game is going to turn out if that call didn’t happen but you want to take your chances with it 17-7 and the momentum. At the end of the day, they called what they called and we have to live with it.”

Other than the special team lapse on Bibb’s return, it was all about the Rocks spectacular defense.

Male’s offense struggled to burrow their way through the Trinity defensive line and only had one yard of offense in the first half.

“That was the ballgame,” Beatty said. “I said the game would be won up front on both, they made a push on offense, and we handled it and they couldn’t move the football. Again, we played great on defense, but we shot ourselves in the foot on the offensive line but those are things that can be corrected.”

The Trinity defense only allowed 111 yards of offense the entire game as Ethan Hull (10 tackles, three tackles for loss), Nick Cardosi (eight tackles, two for loss, and a safety), Jacob Dingle (one interception), Stephen Herron Jr. (six tackles, two for loss), Arak McDuffy (two tackles, one interception) led the way.

“We wanted to be physical and stop the big play,” Cardosi who played with a broken thumb said. “We wanted to take it to them and show them that we’re here and that it’s going to be a physical game.”

Male’s offense only gained more than 15 yards on an offensive drive once the entire game picking up 87 yards before the drive stalled on 4th and 1 from the Trinity 12-yard line.

Quarterbacks Garrett Dennis (4 for 9 for 29 yards and an interception) and Cameron Chesher (3 for 8 for seven yards) both struggled mightily to get the Bulldogs offense going.

“Whenever I see Male vs. Trinity, I want to see a low scoring game,” Herron Jr. said. “Whatever it is, I wanted Male to score zero points or that we come out on top. I feel like our defense is the top in the state perhaps one of the best in the country to be honest.”

The running game didn’t fare well either, Dennis rushed for 57 yards on 19 carries, and got 31 of those yards one run. Henry Vestal rushed for 15 yards on 13 carries.

“Our offensive line was no match for Trinity,” Wolfe said. “You have to have guys with experience. You have to have physical guys. We have had three games where all five guys have played together. We just have to get the line figured out. That was the difference with Trinity having five star linemen. You can’t throw sophomores in there and expect to have much of a difference.”

Vestal led all Male receivers with two catches for 27 yards.

But Beatty wasn’t pleased with his offense getting zero touchdowns in the second half. Trinity gained 303 yards of offense, only 79 yards in the second half.

“I think it all comes down to our effort,” Smith said. “We have to put in more effort.”

Smith is starting to return to form and led the Rocks with 136 yards rushing on 25 carries and a touchdown as his team picked up 172 yards on the ground.

“He got a lot of carries tonight,” Beatty said. “But he didn’t get a lot of end zone and I want end zone. We’re kicking field goals. There’s no pressure ever on our field goal kicker because the bottom line is if we’re kicking a field goal then somebody else didn’t do their job. I’m glad he made them but if he doesn’t make them then I’m upset with my offensive lineman and offensive execution.”

Quarterback Nick Bohn completed 16 of 28 passes for 131 yards and an interception. Nick Strothman led all receivers with seven catches for 44 yards.

While the win wasn’t necessarily pretty, the Rocks have no time to rest as Champagnat (Fla.) comes to town next Friday.

“From this game, when I first started coming here, everybody talked about Male vs. Trinity,” Herron Jr. said. “I feel like tonight was big because we got our first shutout of the year against an in-state team and it was against Male at their place. That’s big.” 


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