Updated Tue, Nov 12, 2013 7:16 pm
The Trimble Tomcats claimed an 11-0 record for the first time in school history Saturday night as they stormed through a shaky Beallsville Blue Devils squad. The Tomcats fed off the powerful home-field atmosphere and added an eighth shutout to their season to advance to the second round of the OHSAA playoffs with a 61-0 win.
The Blue Devils received the ball first and quickly made progress down the field. The Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist Trimble defensive unit allowed the Blue Devils to move the ball early in a way many Tomcat fans weren’t used to seeing. But Beallsville did not capitalize on its lengthy opening drive.
The momentum quickly shifted after a Blue Devils false start preceded a turnover on downs, handing Trimble the ball on its own 19-yard line.
Trimble utilized all aspects of its offense, creating a team that was multidimensional.
Quarterback Konnor Standley wasted no time getting the ‘Cats on the board. He made his way down to the 48-yard line, where he connected with running back Justice Jenkins. The sophomore turned the catch into a huge carry, crossing over into Blue Devils territory to give the Tomcats the ball at the 14-yard line. Just a few plays and a penalty later, running back Jacob Koons got on the board first for the Tomcats with a 6-yard touchdown run.
Trimble’s defensive unit was the next to strike.
Just one minute later, Terry Simerly intercepted a Blue Devil pass on the Beallsville 20-yard line. Simerly returned the pick for a touchdown to send the stadium into a roar in the first quarter. The extra point was no good and the Tomcats were up early 12-0.
“Our defense was the key to our success tonight,” Tomcat coach Phil Faires said. “We had a couple of big hits that really set the tone.”
The biggest hurdle for the Blue Devils all night was their penalty count. The Beallsville squad was at a constant battle with the yellow flag as the night went on, amassing a total of 10 penalties by the end of the game.
The miscues for Beallsville created more opportunities for the Tomcats.
After a short Blue Devils punt, the Tomcats grasped great field position, and it was Standley’s turn to make some noise. The senior quarterback found a hole in the Blue Devils defense and danced his way into the end zone to give the Red and White a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Trimble defense continued to pile up stops against a frustrated Blue Devils offense.
Jenkins was the next target on Trimble’s side of the ball. Standley found him for a 19-yard reception on the ensuing drive, and a completion and a penalty later, Jenkins finished the drive in the red zone with a 4-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 27-0.
Trimble kept clicking on all cylinders as Wyatt Bragg snagged an interception for the Tomcats midway through the second quarter. The play halted a Beallsville drive that ventured deep into Tomcat territory and resulted into two penalties against the Blue Devils for unsportsmanlike conduct and a personal foul.
The Tomcats went into the locker room for halftime sitting on a comfortable 39-0 lead.
Matters only escalated for the Tomcats in the second half as they continued to dominate play.
Trimble collected three more touchdowns in the last 24 minutes of the game through Simerly, Downs and Koons to arrive at the 61-0 final.
Both sides brought out the second teamers in the fourth quarter.
Trimble will meet Steubenville Catholic Central Saturday Nov. 16 at Zanesville’s Sulsberger Stadium for a spot in the Region 25 finals. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Faires was excited to move on to the next round with his team.
“It’s been a great ride,” he said. “The kids are a joy to be around.”