September 28th, 2019

Balanced Trinity effort downs rival St. Xavier

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


Balanced Trinity effort downs rival St. Xavier
Rocks defeat Tigers 35-3/ photo by Samantha Stallings

The Trinity Shamrocks offense capitalized multiple times on a spectacular group performance from the team’s defense in a 35-3 victory over rival St. Xavier at Cardinal Stadium on Friday evening. 

The Rocks’ defense was led by junior linebacker Jack Dingle, who was named the game’s MVP. Dingle was all over the place, breaking up critical passes and getting to the quarterback, but his 65 yard interception returning a touchdown shifted the momentum in the second quarter.

 

“I was just thinking to win and play hard for my team”, Dingle explained. 

 

Alongside Dingle, the Trinity linebacker core including Charlie Ely, Rilee Waggoner, Brandon Stearman, and others came to play Friday evening as well. “Charlie Ely is a big leader on the team and he pushes us everyday to be better in practice”, Dingle said. 

 

“They (linebacking core) play well together as a team and they play very hard”, Trinity head coach Bob Beatty said. “The secondary likes the guys up front, they keep the pressure off the linebackers; it’s a team effort.”

 

A one-handed grab from Kaelan Racculia got Trinity in the red zone and Ryan Miller’s nine yard touchdown run broke the scoreless tie in the first quarter and the Rocks never looked back. 

 

St. X soon got a break when Cole Woodward pounced on a muffed punt inside the Trinity 15 yard line, but the Tigers could not capitalize and settled for a 26 yard field goal from Jeffrey Sexton.

 

On the following possession, Armon Tucker broke off a 49 yard run and capped off the drive right before the half with a touchdown from the one yard line. Tucker added another rushing touchdown in the second half along with Kyle Feger to pace the Rocks. Tucker would finish with a game-high 112 yards on 18 carries. 

 

Nathan McElroy went 13-for-22 with 244 yards and an interception; Racculia hauled in six passes for 88 yards and Miller had three catches for 62 yards.

 

“The performance was on everyone tonight”, Tucker explained. “The linemen executed and opened up a ton of holes for us.”

 

“Offensively it was outstanding execution from our run and pass game”, Beatty said. “We turned it over early with the interception, but I thought there was a good balance in our game and that was the plan coming in.”

 

As a whole, Beatty was content with how his team bounced back from a close loss against Male last week. “As I said last week, let’s don’t waste this failure”, he recalled. “This group of young men care a lot and I’m proud of our school today. Today at the pep assembly, the school really embraced our kids. We had a good week of practice and I think we learned from last week how to go hard for four quarters.”

 

Trinity improves to 5-1 and will travel to Indianapolis next week for a matchup with Cathedral (In).

 

Senior quarterback Douglas Bodhaine led the way for St. X with 155 yards of combined offense, but for the most part, the Tigers struggled with the ball. Michael Huff picked off a Nathan McElroy pass that was tipped into the air on the first drive of the game. 

 

“Just like the Male game, we made some mistakes that kept us from staying in the game”, St. Xavier head coach Kevin Wallace explained. “We have to learn how to be more physical with man coverage. We did a good job against it last week, but not so good this week. They (Trinity) do what they do and they do it very well. They’re very well taught in learning what to look for.”

 

However, the season is far from over and Wallace is looking forward. “We’ve been beaten up twice by the two best teams in the state”, he explained. “We’re getting ready to go play in a district where Manual and Butler are really good and we need to focus on district play.”

 

The Tigers fall to 4-2 on the season and will have a bye next week before traveling to Manual in an October 11th matchup with the Crimsons.

 

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