Bulldogs threaten Rocks home streak
With two victories over Trinity last season, the Male High School football team took a major step for Jefferson County Public Schools programs.
But now the Bulldogs face the task of accomplishing something no JCPS team has done in 11 years — win at Trinity.
Since a 37-36 loss to Manual on Sept. 5, 2003, the Shamrocks have won 38 straight home games against JCPS teams. Male — No. 1 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings — looks to have a solid shot at ending that streak at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it will face No. 5 Trinity at Marshall Stadium.
“I hope our guys are ready for what they’re going to see because it’s a tough place to win,” Male coach Chris Wolfe said. “We haven’t won on any level there in a long time, and our (junior varsity) didn’t on Monday (Trinity won 17-13). It will be a heavyweight fight, and we’ll give it our best shot.”
The Bulldogs won twice at home against the Shamrocks last season — 24-14 in the regular season and 31-7 in the quarterfinals of the Class 6-A playoffs.
Male’s defense, which is allowing just 7.7 points per game, was stout again last week in a 30-13 victory over St. X. But Wolfe said Trinity’s offense presents challenges his team hasn’t seen yet this season.
“There are a lot more mental hurdles to get over to make sure it all fits on defense and you prevent the big plays,” Wolfe said. “I’ve been racking my brain to make sure we adjust to the 200 formations and different looks we’ll see from Trinity. It’s a real challenge.”
The Bulldogs are averaging 42 points per game on offense, led by quarterback Davis Mattingly (1,392 yards, 22 touchdowns, completing 61.7 percent of his passes). Keion Wakefield has a team-high 24 receptions for 406 yards and eight touchdowns.
After a 35-21 loss to St. X on Oct. 3, Trinity bounced back last week with a 14-3 victory at Manual. The Shamrocks managed just 173 total yards and seven first downs in the muddy conditions but got a strong showing from a defense that forced five Manual turnovers.
Coach Bob Beatty said the battered secondary could get a boost Friday with the return of senior safety Alex Reisert, who has missed the past five games with a foot injury. Senior safety Canon Jackson, who has missed the past two games with a leg injury, is questionable, Beatty said.
Beatty said he’s looking forward to facing Male but downplayed the significance of the game, noting the teams could meet again in the second or third round of the playoffs.
“They did a great job last year and beat us twice,” Beatty said. “Any time that happens in coaching, well, if you don’t enjoy that challenge you shouldn’t be in coaching. … (Male) has a lot of horses in their stalls. Those barns aren’t empty.”