The numbers put up in nine games on the defensive side of the ball by Trinity High School were ridiculous all season. The Shamrocks had only allowed double-digits in two games all season and had recorded shutouts in three games this season. Well, they didn’t allow a single point in their last 12 quarters of playoff football after blanking Male 28-0 to win their 27th state championship in front of 4,080 fans at The Kroge. Order the rings and print the shirts.
State Champs. ???? pic.twitter.com/4KJbGLg1U1
— Trinity Athletics (@trinitysports) December 20, 2020
It was rough sledding for a Male offense that came into the game averaging 47 points per game. The Bulldogs collected just 141 total yards, had only five first downs and averaged a paltry 3.36 yards per play. Male produced just 40 sack adjusted rushing yards and after a hot start, quarterback Nic Schutte had just one completion is his last six pass attempts. Trinity’s defense is really good.
It did not help the Bulldogs that they found themselves in a hole early. In their opening drive, Trinity went 61 yards in five plays and it ended with quarterback Nathan McElroy finding Collin Book for a 44-yard scoring strike. That big play touchdown would be very good news because this offense had some major red zone issues all game. The ‘Rocks scored just 21 points in seven red zone possessions as this game could have really gotten ugly if Trinity was able to finish drives.
McElroy was a very serviceable 9-of-16 as he averaged 9.9 yards per attempt, took care of the football and had three completions of 20-plus yards while taking just one sack. However, it was clear what the game plan was. Trinity wanted to establish the run and they did that to a tune of 149 yards on 40 non-sack carries. This ground game was limited to just 3.72 yards per carry, but it was enough to win the game. Leading rusher Armon Tucker had just 56 yards on 19 carries while Brad West contributed 96 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries with a 57.89% success rate.
Male’s best chance to really change the game occurred in the second quarter. Nic Schutte hit leading receiver Vincel Anthony down the sideline for a 37-yard gain that would their biggest gain of the night. That setup a first-and-10 at the Trinity 30 with the clocking winding down in the second quarter trailing 14-0. However, Male would have a turnover on downs from there and would never really threaten for the rest of the game.
The play of the day may have occurred in the third quarter when Trinity defensive end DeAnthony Perry recorded a sack fumble and was rumbling towards the sideline. However, the big man unfortunately fumbled the football out of bounds on the return. That would setup Trinity’s final score of the game a few plays later to go up 28-0. On the other side, Male junior linebacker Elijah Manning led all players in the game with 12 tackles.
Trinity improved to 15-1 in state titles games under Bob Beatty and for the fourth time they beat Male in the final game. However, Chris Wolfe still has one of the state’s best programs and the Bulldogs will likely be a favorite to get back to this point for fifth time in seven years next season with a team that returns a lot of junior starters in 2021.
Trinity ends the year on top and that has been a very recurring theme in Kentucky high school football.