November 17th, 2018

Trinity Breezes by Ballard in KHSAA Quarterfinals

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


Trinity Breezes by Ballard in KHSAA Quarterfinals
Trinity players holding the region trophy/ photo by Dalton Pence

On Friday night, Trinity dismantled Ballard 50-0 at home in the KHSAA football playoff quarterfinals. In a rematch from October 19th in which the Rocks won 19-14, the defending state champions got on the board early.

“I thought our game plans were very matter of fact,” coach Bob Beaty said, “there was not any hesitancy.”

Thad Maxwell recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, giving Trinity the ball inside the red zone on their first play from scrimmage. They were not able to capitalize and Sebastian Mata’s 29-yard field goal put Trinity ahead 3-0 less than one minute into the game.

A couple plays later, Rilee Waggoner sacked Ballard quarterback Robert Douglas in the end zone for a safety. The Rocks missed another opportunity at a touchdown, and Trinity went up 8-0 with 5:14 to play in the first quarter off of Mata’s second field goal of the night, this one from 26 yards out.

The Trinity defense had a stellar performance on Friday night. “We worked all week for this,” senior defensive end Stephen Herron said, “our plan was to come out and not even let them get a first down.”

Beaty was impressed with the defense all night long. “Those guys are playing fast right now,” he said, “(practice) was very focused (this week)”.

The unit stepped up again as Christopher Ruffin intercepted Douglas’ pass near midfield with time winding down in the first period.

The Rocks would find themselves inside Ballard territory when Branden Spearman recovered a fumble due to a mishandled handoff. Geremiah Smith muscled his way in from a yard out with 1:05 to play in the first.

Beaty’s team was up 15-0 at the start of the second quarter and they did not look back. Quarterback Seth Jutz found Ryan Miller on a screen pass that turned into a 44-yard catch-and-run touchdown early in the second quarter. A couple minutes later, Jutz threaded the needle to find Jacob McCarthy, who ran it down the sideline into the end zone to complete the 62-yard connection.

“We started off kind of slow,” Jutz said, “I knew my guys can make plays, I just had to throw it up and give them a chance.”

The defense forced a fourth turnover when Herron sacked Douglas, causing him to fumble, which was recovered by Tyler Roberson. David Florence, in the wildcat formation, ran it in from 18 yards out to make it 36-0 with 6:56 to play in the half, initiating the running-clock.

“Hats off to the entire defense,” Beaty said, “those guys playing in behind (Herron), did a great job.”

However, the Trinity offense wasn’t finished; Jutz captured his third touchdown of the night by finding Wynton Johnson in the end zone from 24-yards out and the Rocks led 43-0 at half.

The Trinity signal caller finished the evening with six completed passes on 13 attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Luke McGuire and Ryan Miller led the way receiving with two catches each for 65 and 47-yards, respectively. Overall, Trinity recorded 312-yards of total offense.

The second half was relatively quiet, but Ballard recorded their first 1st down of the game with 2:05 left in the third quarter. The Ballard offense only tallied eight total yards on the night. “Our defense stuck it to them,” Jutz said, “they helped us out a lot.”

Freshman Armon Tucker capped of the night with a three-yard touchdown run with 8:10 to play in the game to put Trinity ahead 50-0.

“We’re not finished, we have a tough road ahead of us and a tough game next week,” Beaty said. After winning the regional championship, Trinity (7-6) will travel to Male (12-1) for a KHSAA semifinal matchup next Friday night.

 

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