Trimble’s Path Back To States Begins With Symmes Valley

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Second time’s a charm? That’s what the Trimble Tomcats like to believe.

With another undefeated season in the books, the Tomcats look to begin a second run at the Division VII state title, but the seven-seed Symmes Valley Vikings lie ahead. The Vikings finished 6-5 overall and 4-1 in the Southern Ohio Conference, good for a share of the SOC title and a trip to the playoffs for the 11th time in school history.

These two teams are far from strangers. Many years back, Symmes Valley used to make regular season appearances on the Tomcats’ schedule. The last time the Vikings and Tomcats met: the first round of the 2011 VI playoffs which resulted in a 28-19 Symmes Valley win.

Back to the present, Symmes Valley’s Collin Webb, Brandon Craft and Tanner Mays create a three-headed rushing attack, giving Symmes Valley the ability to control the clock.

“They’re gonna line up tight, try to get 3-4 yards a carry. We are looking to put them in passing situations and make some plays,” head coach Phil Faires said.

The man under center is Derrek Smith, whose game closely resembles former Tomcat quarterback Konner Standley with the prevalent use of play-action passes.

“He’s (Smith) had some games where he’s only thrown 3-4 times and others 20,” Faires said.

Offensively speaking, Faires emphasized the importance of winning the battle in the trenches, especially with a stout Symmes Valley defensive line on the other side of the ball. That line held Sciotoville East running back Akia Brown to negative five yards on 11 carries.

Faires understands the challenge ahead and credited Symmes Valley on its success.

“Symmes Valley is much better than the Beallsville team we saw in the first round last year,” Faires said. “We have a good idea of what they are going to do, we just gotta be able to stop them.”

Trimble will host Symmes Valley Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the regional quarterfinal.