Trinity coach Bob Beatty wins his 11th title in 15 seasons
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As his teammates celebrated another state championship at midfield, Trinity High School running back Donald Brooks stood on the sideline with tears rolling down his face.
Nearly dismissed from the team during the summer for what he called “immaturity,” Brooks already had made good on his promise to perform better in the classroom. And he finished his senior season on the football field with a bang.
Brooks accounted for 193 total yards and scored five touchdowns as the Shamrocks rolled over Dixie Heights 47-14 in Saturday’s Class 6-A state championship game in front of 8,418 fans at Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium.
“I was thinking about my junior year and how I was immature,” Brooks said of his emotions as the final horn sounded. “It was just a problem, and I had to get mature for this season in order for us to come here.”
Scuffling to a 5-5 regular-season record against a brutal schedule, Trinity (10-5) got healthy and hot during the playoffs to capture its 23rd state title. That number is tied for the most in state history with Highlands, which beat Owensboro earlier Saturday in the Class 4-A final for its 23rd crown.
Trinity coach Bob Beatty won his 11th title in 15 seasons as the Shamrocks’ coach, matching retired Highlands coach Dale Mueller for the most in state history.
Coaches routinely praise their teams’ work ethics, but Beatty consistently lauded this squad for its ability to persevere.
“Quite honestly, I’ve never pushed a group of kids like I’ve pushed these,” Beatty said. “I’m not sure we have any Division I (recruits), but the teams we played against did. In order to compete with that, you have to find an edge. That edge is work ethic and never quitting.”
Brooks rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries and also had five receptions for 65 yards and two scores. Senior quarterback Ryan Young was named the game’s MVP after completing 15 of 19 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns.
“We knew their defensive line was really good, but we knew we could expose them in the secondary and the linebacking corps,” said Young, who lost the starting job to sophomore Larry Harper III early in the season before regaining it. “That’s what we did. It was a good mixture of screens and runs. … I felt like I was on tonight.”
Playing in its first state final, Dixie Heights (13-2) took a 6-0 lead on Drew Moore’s 13-yard touchdown run at the 10:22 mark of the first quarter but couldn’t maintain that momentum.
The Colonels allowed Trinity to post 540 yards of offense, and much of the second half was played with a mercy-rule running clock when Trinity took a 47-6 lead.
“They’re Trinity for a reason,” Dixie Heights coach Dave Brossart said. “It was going to take a special performance tonight on our part, and we didn’t quite have the muscle to get it done.”
The Shamrocks scored touchdowns on their first five possessions of the first half to take control. The most impressive may have come on Brooks’ 64-yard run that gave Trinity a 20-6 lead on the second play of the second quarter.
Young added touchdown passes of 32 yards to Jacob Woosley and 10 yards to Brooks for a 33-6 halftime lead.
“We wanted to take away all of their screens and just didn’t get it done,” Brossart said. “They’re just so damn good at it. You think you’re aligned properly, and they’ll align to a different screen. They’re very, very well-coached, and it showed tonight.”
Brooks added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, the latter coming on a 28-yard pass from Young that made it 47-6 at the 4:38 mark and started the running clock.
Trinity’s defense allowed 395 yards of offense, but 94 of them came on a late touchdown pass from Moore to Ethan Harrison. The Shamrocks allowed just 11 points per game during the playoffs.
Young said the Shamrocks never lost faith during the regular season, despite losing three of their final four games. That included losses to St. Xavier and Male, but both were avenged during the playoffs.
“That regular season just preps us for the playoffs,” Young said. “We kept practicing hard. We knew we’d have our time to shine, and in these playoffs we did.”
* During halftime, the Kentucky Football Coaches Association named Male’s Davis Mattingly the Class 6-A Player of the Year and Central Hardin’s Tim Mattingly the Class 6-A Coach of the Year.
DH – Drew Moore 13 run (kick failed), 10:22. T – Donald Brooks 9 run (Andrew Deye kick), 8:09. T – Jailen Reed 1 run (Deye kick), 2:33. T – Brooks 64 run (kick blocked), 11:41. T – Jacob Woosley 32 pass from Ryan Young (Deye kick), 3:35. T – Brooks 10 pass from Young (kick blocked), 1:50. T – Brooks 38 run (Deye kick), 9:43. T – Brooks 28 pass from Young (Deye kick), 4:38. DH – Ethan Harrison 94 pass from Drew Moore (Luke Zajac run), 5:48. A – 8,418.
|Time of poss.||22:59||25:01|
RUSHING — Dixie Heights, Moore 16-141, Zajac 10-32, Barmore 2-0, Barrett 1-(minus 3). Trinity, Brooks 15-128, Reed 11-81, Young 2-6, Smith 2-3, Thomas 2-3, team 1-0, Harper 1-(minus 1).
PASSING — Dixie Heights, Moore 8-21-0-225, Caple 0-1-0-0. Trinity, Young 15-19-0-309, Brooks 0-1-0-0, Harper 1-1-0-11.
RECEIVING — Dixie Heights, Harrison 3-167, Zajac 2-28, Barmore 1-14, Caple 1-13, Hedger 1-3. Trinity, Brooks 5-65, Burns 3-93, Carrico 3-79, Woosley 2-37, Jones 2-35, Crabtree 1-11.