BOWLING GREEN, Ky.
Trinity High School’s “Big Three” — even an injured James Quick — finished their careers in style Saturday night.
Travis Wright threw three touchdown passes, Dalyn Dawkins rushed for three scores and Quick hauled in two TD passes as the Shamrocks whipped Pleasure Ridge Park 61-7 in the Class 6-A championship game.
A crowd of 7,412 at Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium saw Trinity (13-1) — No. 1 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings — win its third straight state title, its 10th in 12 years and its 22nd overall, tying Highlands for the most in state history.
Wright, Dawkins and Quick were the offensive stars for a senior class that posted a 41-2 record over the past three seasons.
“They had to create their own journey, and it was rough on those kids because everybody wanted to compare us to last year,” said coach Bob Beatty, whose 2011 team finished No. 1 in four national rankings. “It was a hard year. There were some hard wins in there, and they persevered.”
The Shamrocks scored touchdowns on four of their first six possessions to build a 27-0 lead in the second quarter and finished with 518 yards of offense (274 passing, 244 rushing).
Quick suffered three broken ribs two weeks ago in the playoff victory over St. Xavier, missed last week’s win over Scott County and had been ruled out of the championship game on Thursday by Beatty. But he received clearance from doctors Friday and finished with three catches for 83 yards and the two scores.
“It means a lot,” said Quick, who finished his career with a state-record 280 receptions. “We’ve been working hard since January. It was something we had to come out and do for the school and the state of Kentucky.”
No. 9 PRP (14-1), playing in its first state final, couldn’t find the offensive rhythm that helped it average 47.3 points entering the contest. The Panthers had five turnovers and managed just 104 rushing yards on 31 attempt (3.4 yards per carry).
“You don’t want to go out like this,” coach Jason Hiser said. “We’ve been on the opposite side of this a few times this year, which was a lot nicer. (Trinity) is a heck of a football team. The field position killed us in the first half … and their defense is lights out.”
Trinity led 6-0 after one quarter before the floodgates opened in the second. Dawkins had an 8-yard TD run to make it 13-0, and PRP fumbled the ensuing kickoff.
After back-to-back touchdown passes were called back because of penalties, the Shamrocks got a 2-yard TD run from Dawkins to make it 20-0 with 9:05 left in the half.
Wright’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Cody Swabek made it 27-0 with 4:52 left. PRP responded with a 14-yard TD pass from Spencer Sumpter to Davon Quisenberry and got the ball back near midfield with 1:14 left with a chance to pull closer.
The Panthers drove to the Trinity 25-yard line, but Spencer’s fourth-down pass was incomplete and the Shamrocks took a 27-7 lead into the locker room.
Quick put it away with two 35-yard TD receptions within a 12-second span. The first came from Wright to make it 34-7. After PRP mishandled the kickoff, Dawkins hauled in another score on a trick-play pass from Swabek.
“He probably wasn’t 100 percent,” Beatty said of Quick, “but I’ll take him as he was.”
As impressive as Trinity’s passing game was, Hiser said Dawkins was the key. He finished with 163 yards on 15 carries.
“We’ve gone against some good running backs this year, but he’s a special athlete,” Hiser said. “But they have so many guys that play lights out every single play and you don’t hear their names. They’re a great football team.”
Quisenberry led PRP with 62 yards on seven carries. Sumpter completed 14 of 33 passes for 147 yards and a TD but was intercepted three times.
Hiser credited the senior class for turning around a PRP program that was 3-8 in his first season in 2009.
“People have been excited about PRP football all year long,” he said. “We owe a lot to this senior class. They’ve been awesome. We enjoyed playing football this long this year, and we hope to be back here next year at this time.”
Trinity 61, PRP 7
T – Graehler 1 pass from Wright (kick failed), 6:20; T – Dawkins 8 run (Ward kick), 10:02; T – Dawkins 2 run (Ward kick), 9:05; T – Swabek 7 pass from Wright (Ward kick), 4:52; PRP – Quisenberry 14 pass from Sumpter (West kick), 2:00; T – Quick 35 pass from Wright (Ward kick), 6:44; T – Quick 35 pass from Swabek (Ward kick), 6:32; T – Dawkins 15 run (kick failed), 2:47; T – Thomas 1 run (Ward kick), 9:55; T – Thomas 9 run (Ward kick), 4:21.
A – 7,412.
|Time of poss.||20:09||27:51|
RUSHING–Trinity, Dawkins 15-163, Thomas 9-63, Quick 1-10, Wright 2-8, Boughey 1-0, team 2-0. PRP, Quisenberry 7-62, Sumpter 12-32, Dunn 5-11, Pierce 4-2, Taylor 3-(minus 3).
PASSING–Trinity, Wright 15-29-0-239, Swabek 1-1-0-35. PRP, Sumpter 14-33-3-147, team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Trinity, Dawkins 4-69, Quick 3-83, Graehler 2-24, Swabek 2-13, Brooks 2-7, Kazunas 1-53, Bonnafon 1-15, White 1-10. PRP, Clair 5-70, Taylor 3-22, Walker 2-21, Pierce 2-7, Quisenberry 1-18, Lewis 1-9.