October 9th, 2020

Rocks potent offense and stingy defense roll

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Rocks potent offense and stingy defense roll
Armon Tucker gets some added push from his offensive line in Trinity's 40-0 win. (photo by Eric Thorne)

Instead of being behind the quarterback Bradley West was forced to move under center, but the Trinity offensive machine never missed a beat shutting out visiting Ballard 40-0 on Friday at Marshall Stadium.

The Rocks (4-0) who are ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and No. 13 nationally put up the points, but it was the defense that held the Bruins to just a single first down and nine total yards of offense.

Through four games the Rocks have scored 175 points and allowed just 31. The defense is what has pleased coach Bob Beatty.

“I have to really shout out to our defense with the shutout and very proud of them in what they did,” Beatty said. “Bradley is a senior and a tremendous athlete. You want him to play running back, receiver, quarterback safety whatever he can do any of those. He is a football player.”

Trinity rang up 264 yards of offense – 228 on the ground and 36 through the air. They only punted once late in the final quarter and did not turn the ball over.

Trinity was without the services of quarterback Nathan McElroy who missed the game while in quarantine protocol along with tight end Gavin Simpkins when a classmate tested positive with Covid-19.

“I saw Nathan at practice Monday and then when we were walking off the field coach Beatty told me I was going to have to take quarterback this week,” West said.

West made his first start at quarterback since his sophomore year. The senior started at St. Edward in grade school, all his freshman year and played a few games as a sophomore.

“When I was competing for the quarterback job going into junior year we had some guys who ran track including Armon (Tucker) and in spring practice we didn’t have any running backs, so I moved over and they liked how I played and it stayed,” West said. “The best part of my game is when the ball is in my hands and in open space. Nathan grew so much that spring and that allowed me to move over and flourish at running back.”

West completed 4 of 6 passes for 35 yards and one touchdown pass. He also rushed 10 times for 18 yards and a score.  

Tucker carried the ball 23 times for 160 yards and three touchdowns. The senior now has seven touchdowns and 407 yards.

“It was a good win where I thought we executed well, and we had most of our offensive line back and that helped,” Tucker said. “I give a lot of credit to the O-line because without them I wouldn’t do the stuff I do and i appreciate them.”

Trinity got on the scoreboard first as Tucker took a first play handoff and jetted down the left sideline for a 62-yard touchdown with 4:35 left in the first quarter.

The Rocks promptly intercepted Ballard quarterback Larry Cummings when Aiden McKinley stepped in front of the defender at the Bruin 22-yard line.

However, Trinity was forced to settle for a Zanchi 36-yard field goal.

The Rocks special teams got into the action as well when the Bruin punter mishandled the snap in the endzone and with the Trinity line in pursuit Ballard kicked it out of the endzone for a safety making it 12-0.

Trinity then marched 45 yards in nine plays with Tucker finding the endzone from five yards out.

Normally a two-head monster in the backfield West and Tucker spell each other which keeps them fresh and defenses guessing.

“Armon and I talk a lot about when I see him do good it gives me confidence and when he sees me it gives him confidence and I know it doesn’t sound like much but those two plays of rest where he goes in and then I go in gets us rest, fresh and focused,” West added.

The Rocks added another scored with 32 seconds remaining in the half as West lofted a perfect pass to Colin Book for a seven-yard touchdown.

Tucker picked up his third score of the game as he took a handoff and darted thought a huge hole his line opened for him for a 35-yard touchdown. It was the junior’s seventh of the year.

West had a pair of passes to the endzone knocked down at the last minute and facing a punting situation Brandon Stearman with the fake ran 18-yards. West then rolled out left to pass, juked a defender, and took off across the field to the right corner of the endzone.

“It was a play action bootleg came around the corner and everyone was tight covered and I was one-on-one with a guy so I figured I would make a move and get up field and another one came and I made another move and from there it was a walk to the endzone,” West said.

Trinity is off next week before heading down Shelbyville Road for a matchup with Eastern (0-3).

“I was pleased with our effort despite not being perfect and some things to work on, but we are 4 and 0 and rolling along going into this bye week,” Beatty said.


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