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Bryce Downs surveys the field during the Tomcats game against the Waterford Wildcats. Photo: Nick Henthorn

Trimble Shuts Out Waterford In Flag-Ridden Affair

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WATERFORD, Ohio- It seems as if the longer success lasts, the more we take it for granted. Hearing about 40-point shutout victories should at the very least raise an eyebrow, but as of late for the Trimble Tomcats, those sorts of performances are in danger of being viewed as business as usual.

The Tomcats shut out the Waterford Wildcats 37-0 Friday, as they stayed undefeated on the season thanks to their usual combination of an elite rushing attack and a stalwart defense.

The Wildcat faithful were vocal throughout the game, as even when Trimble made solid gains, Waterford’s fans bellowed out their approval with every tackle.

Conversely, the home crowd voiced their disapproval whenever a flag was thrown, which was a frequent occurrence Friday. Penalties acted as a double-edged sword for both teams, forcing them into tough situations or getting them out of jams.

The second quarter of play exemplified the power of penalties. With the Tomcats leading 7-0 after a nine yard Conner Wright touchdown run in the first frame, Cameron Kittle got a rushing touchdown of his own from 15 yards out, but the subsequent point after was pushed back thanks to a holding call. Trimble spread out with five receivers, and secured the two point conversion after Blake Guffey laid out to bring in a pass that was bobbled around, bringing the lead to 15-0.

Flags would again come into play after a long Waterford drive was capped off by a Zane Heiss dart to Bailey McGraw for a seven yard touchdown, which would’ve made the score 15-7 had the officials not called a false start on the play. Heiss would throw into the end zone again, but this time the pass would be picked off by Trimble’s Todd Fouts, who would return it to the 39 yard line, and preserve the Tomcat shutout.

Trimble’s ensuing possession was forced into third-and-longs on several occasions thanks to penalties, but the Tomcats persevered through adversity and big plays being called back, and then got some help from flags on a crucial fourth and one after the officials called a face mask on Waterford. Trimble did not appear to get the yardage needed, but the penalty gave them 15 yards and a fresh set of downs.

Kittle and Wright would take advantage of their team’s new opportunity, as Kittle would turn a QB power into a ten yard run that left seemingly the entire Wildcat defense on their backs, and Wright would finish off the drive with a five yard touchdown rush.

Joseph Pantelidis stands ready on defense during the Wildcats game against the Trimble Tomats. Photo: Nick Henthorn
Cameron Kittle prepares to take the snap during the Tomcats game against the Waterford Wildcats. Photo: Nick Henthorn
The Tomcats and Wildcats line up in the trenches during their game Friday. Photo: Nick Henthorn
Zane Heiss drops back during the Wildcats game against the Trimble Tomcats. Photo: Nick Henthorn
The Tomcats backfield gets ready on offense during their game against the Waterford Wildcats. Photo: Nick Henthorn

Wright finished his day with 122 rushing yards and four scores, while Kittle gained 100 yards on the ground to go with one touchdown.

Trimble’s offense revolves around the run game, but their passing attack operated with impressive efficiency as well, with Kittle completing nine of his 13 passing attempts for 168 yards.

This was the Tomcats’ fifth shutout of the year, as their defense continued to smother receivers and plug up running lanes. Waterford was seen as perhaps the last big challenge to Trimble’s defense, as the Wildcats finished second in the conference last season and sat at 4-1 coming into Friday’s match up while averaging nearly 40 points a game.

Next up for Trimble is a home game against Miller, while Waterford will continue their home stand against Wahama.