November 4th, 2011
Seniors Shine As Trinity Marches Forward
Shamrocks whip Simon Kenton 72-0 in first-round game
During the Trinity High School football team's rise to a national No. 1 ranking, it's been the accomplished Shamrocks junior class that has garnered much of state and country's attention.
But on Friday, on a night when nearly 40 seniors were honored during a pregame ceremony, it was the Trinity "old timers" who took the spotlight and scored six of the Shamrocks' nine touchdowns in a 72-0 win over Simon Kenton in the Class 6A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl first round at Marshall Stadium.
Trinity senior running back Garrett Sauer ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns on four carries, senior wide receiver Mitch Cunningham caught five passes for 85 yards and a pair of TDs and senior wideout Miles Bland caught a 72-yard touchdown bomb, his lone catch of the game, to lead the offensive charge for the Rocks.
Even senior Tyler Plumeri got into the mix when the defensive lineman scooped and scored on a Tyler Sweeden-blocked punt with seven seconds to go in the first half, which gave Trinity a 58-0 halftime lead.
All told, Trinity outgained Simon Kenton 462-74 in total yardage and dominated on both sides of the ball. The Shamrocks and Pioneers had the same number of attempted carries on the night: 22. With those rushes, Trinity accumulated 184 yards on the ground. Simon Kenton had 4.
"(The seniors) have done a tremendous job leading. When you look at our offensive line and defensive lines, they're pretty senior-laden," said Trinity head coach Bob Beatty. "They lead by action and not necessarily by mouth. They do things the right way and I couldn't ask for a better group of seniors to lead us. And when you put those two classes (junior and senior) together, along with our other younger kids, that makes for a force."
Shamrocks junior RB Dalyn Dawkins did register his second straight three-touchdown game, but his scores came early and on just two carries during Friday's 72-point explosion. Dawkins finished the night with 22 rushing yards and scored on runs of 18 and 4, and on an 8-yard touchdown reception from junior quarterback Travis Wright.
Wright was 17-of-21 for 278 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also had two carries for 18 yards.
"These kids are very businesslike and we talked about that at halftime. We talked about those guys that give their all on scout teams and things like that every week and don't get to see action. And tonight was their night," said Beatty. "Our kids responded well and got the support on the sideline that they needed. We got some things done with our offenses and defenses that I felt like we needed to get done and I'm very pleased with our effort."
"We took a big step forward (tonight)."
Trinity forced four Simon Kenton turnovers in the first quarter, including a Pioneer lost fumble on the game's opening kickoff that led to a Dawkins TD run just two plays later. Adam Reynolds and Trey Wright had interceptions for the Rocks, while Plumeri and Daeshawn Bertram had fumble recoveries.
The Shamrocks, which did not attempt a single punt in the game, were awarded a safety early in the second quarter when the Pioneers sailed a long snap over the head of its punter and out of the end zone, which at the time led to a 30-0 Trinity advantage.
Sophomore back-up quarterback Reggie Bonnafon played the final two quarters for Trinity. His 1-yard keeper for a touchdown also accounted for the team's final points of the night with 7:01 to go in the game.
The entire second half of Friday's game ran under the mercy-rule running clock enforcement.
Injured players Nate Stein and Turney Sugg were in uniform for Trinity during the game, as the seniors suited up for the Senior Night celebration.
Besides allowing Trinity to advance to next week's second round against Manual, the win over Simon Kenton was also the 150th all-time win for Beatty with the Shamrocks program. He is the fastest to ever reach the coaching victory mark in the history of Jefferson County.
Beatty was presented with a commemorative football by Trinity High School president Rob Mullen following the game.
"This took a lot of commitment by a lot of people and that is very well appreciated by me," said Beatty of the achievement. "Using the word 'milestone' makes you feel old. I've been doing this a long time and still love it. I love the game. I love the people. I love teaching kids."
The Shamrocks (10-0) will host the second round of the playoffs next week, as Trinity welcomes "super district" foe DuPont Manual (9-2) back to Marshall Stadium for a postseason matchup. The Rocks defeated the Crimsons 58-7 back on Oct. 7 at Trinity.
Manual played that game without running back Darmontre Warr.