Trinity High School linebacker Jack Dingle returned a fumble for a touchdown in a rout of Cincinnati Moeller earlier this season, but there’s something about scoring against your rival beneath the bright lights of Cardinal Stadium that feels a little different.
“This was way better,” Dingle said. “Yes, sir!”
Dingle intercepted an errant screen pass and raced untouched for a 65-yard touchdown in the second quarter, sparking a dominant Trinity defense in its 35-3 rout of rival St. Xavier on Friday in front of an estimated crowd of 16,500.
Trinity’s defense is allowing just 9.5 points per game and has showcased playmakers at all three levels — line, linebackers and secondary.
Led by Dingle, the linebackers were particularly strong Friday as the Shamrocks held the Tigers to nine first downs and 103 rushing yards on 29 carries (3.6 yards per carry).
RiLee Waggoner is the only senior linebacker in Trinity’s 3-4 defense, which also includes junior linebackers Dingle, Charlie Ely and Branden Stearman.
“They’re pretty good,” Trinity coach Bob Beatty said of linebackers, “but the bottom line is that they play together as a team. I don’t think there’s any superstars. They all play very hard. … And the secondary likes it, and those people up front keep that (offensive) front off those linebackers, too. It’s a team effort.”
Trinity (5-1) — ranked No. 2 in Class 6A — avenged last year’s 21-7 loss to the Tigers and took a 46-38-2 lead in the series that dates to 1956.