What they’re saying about tonight’s big game
Here we go! Previews are rolling out from the local media and Tiger Nation is getting fired up on social media. Let’s start the day off with some links and quotes.
As these archrivals head into Friday night’s quarterfinal clash in the Class 6-A state playoffs, the last game in the history of the “Super District”, that clunker of a game weighs heavily over Trinity’s squad.
“Here’s the deal: We had a wonderful week of practice last time (before the regular-season game vs. St. X), I mean a great week of practice,” Trinity head coach Bob Beatty said. “And then we went out and we stunk it up. I don’t have any other words for it other than we stunk it up. I don’t know why, but we did. But it’s over. On Friday night, we’ve got to be the best team in the stadium, and that’s what we’re working towards.”
Leading rusher TaiJon Smith (706 yards, seven touchdowns) had just four carries for 1 yard in last week’s 12-7 victory over Manual and is battling a muscle strain. No. 2 rusher John Martinez (295 yards, two TDs) suffered a finger injury that recently required surgery. Wolford said both are questionable.
With Smith and Martinez out, Houk led the Tigers with 86 yards on 15 carries against Manual. Junior Chase Rowan (10 carries, 34 yards) and sophomore Sam Taylor (six carries, 11 yards) split time at running back.
“We have some depth there, and those guys worked out well,” Wolford said.
As St. X is battling injuries, Trinity is getting healthy. Senior defensive backs Canon Jackson and Alex Reisert missed the regular-season game with injuries, a factor Trinity coach Bob Beatty said the Tigers exploited with their passing game.
Nobody expected a St. Xavier vs. Trinity rematch. But the stage was set after Trinity upset previously unbeaten Male in overtime last week. Male had beaten Trinity in overtime in the regular season.
The Shamrocks will have to do the same again this week against St. X. The Tigers defeated Trinity 35-21 for their first win in the series since 2009 on Oct. 4.
If the Tigers win Friday, it’ll be their first visit to the Class 6-A state semifinals since 2009.
St. X’s offensive line continues to open up holes for the running game and protect the quarterback from those big, mean defensive linemen.
But it’s not often that the O-line gets direct recognition from people outside the locker room. It’s the quarterbacks and running back that have to credit their teammates for doing the dirty work in the trenches.
“It really didn’t bother me,” said St. X head coach Will Wolford, who was a standout offensive lineman during his long playing career. “There’s just something about playing on the line and you just band together. You take a lot of pride in the quarterback and running back’s success. After playing the game for a while, you start to realize that the closer you are to the ball, the more important you are.”
Evan Shaheen, Former Tiger Football Tight End: