Preview: Trimble Defense vs. Shadyside Offense– Something Has To Give [Video]

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There’s nothing like a good rematch to settle some old wounds. The No. 1 seed Shadyside Tigers face off with the No. 2 Trimble Tomcats in the Div. VII Region 25 Finals this Saturday, for the second straight year.

The rankings may be reversed this time around, but the gravity of the matchup is the same. Both teams enter Saturday’s contest at Meadowbrook with undefeated records, Trimble at 12-0 and Shadyside at 11-0.

Shadyside returns two key contributors to their lineup for the 2014 faceoff, with quarterback Austin Dorris and running back Eric Howell.

Dorris is a dual threat whose talents have gained the attention of Division I recruits. He was the 2014 D-VII All-Eastern District Offensive Player of the Year and is nearing the 2,000 rushing mark and 1,000 passing mark this season alone.

Trimble head coach Phil Faires understands Dorris is fire that needs to be contained.

“He was their best player last year and their best player this year too, no doubt,” Faires said. “Last year, we didn’t stop him but we controlled him. We just cannot let him get out in the open. We gotta know where is his every time and make him get rid of the football.”

As far as the Tomcats’ defensive plan goes, they know how vital it will be to stop Dorris.

“If we can stop Dorris, we can win this game. Granted, we can’t let Howell run wild on us, but Dorris has to be contained,” said Faires.

If the 2013 Regional Final is any hint, the Trimble coaching staff knows turnovers will be key. Last year, two crucial Tigers’ turnovers shifted the momentum, and in the end, the game, for the Tomcats.

Faires agrees it is necessary to capitalize on these opportunities as they near the final weeks of the postseason.

“When you play teams this time of year, they are all good. You gotta win the turnover ratio and you cannot give up the ball too many times,” said Faires.

But Faires looks to his offensive scheme with confidence.

“Our offensive line has been our strength this year. We will probably give the wishbone a shot and hope we can spread the field out. We have to be able to mix it up,” said Faires.

The rematch in Meadowbrook is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The winner moves onto the D-VII State Semifinals.

Trimble looks to make their second straight appearance and Shadyside hopes to add another notch to their 29-15 postseason record.