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Trimble rallys before a game
Trimble rallys before the game

Tomcats Find Themselves in Familiar Situation Ahead of Regional Semi-Finals

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On Friday night, the Trimble Tomcats (11-0), highlighted by their dominant senior class, will suit up in what could be their final game in a high school uniform. Of course, the Mohawk Mafia doesn’t want to come up empty-handed again.

Under head coach Phil Faires, the Tomcats have made the playoffs for the last 10 consecutive seasons but have no state title victories to show from it. However, these Tomcats look hungrier than ever.

In a recent interview, Conner Wright, the star running back for the Tomcats, didn’t shy away from the goal this season.

“Winning the TVC-Hocking was no big deal. We have bigger goals in mind,” Wright said.

It is a state title or bust mentality for Trimble and the next opponent on their schedule is New Middletown Springfield (11-0). The Tigers are the 1-seed in Division VI Region 21 while the Tomcats are the 4-seed. This game will be the first ever match up between the two teams.

Trimble finds themselves in some familiar waters facing a top-2 team in their region in the second round. Last year, Trimble defeated 2-seed Harvest Prep 7-0 in the second round of the Division VII Region 27 Regionals.

Despite the recent success in second round playoff games, history hasn’t been so kind to the Tomcats. Since 2012, Trimble has a 3-4 record in second round playoff games. A record below .500 is something Trimble is very unfamiliar with. However, there is a silver lining here.

In the three years Trimble came away victorious in the second round, they advanced all the way to the state final four all three years and to the state finals game two of the three years.

Trimble is looking to make back-to-back state title appearances for the first time in program history and win a state title for the first time ever as well, but the Springfield Tigers will give the Tomcats a handful.

Springfield’s offense isn’t anything to mess around with. Through 11 weeks, Springfield has averaged 42.9 points per game compared to the 43.4 points scored by Trimble, so they can keep up if the game were to turn out to be a shootout.

However, that seems to be very unlikely since Trimble prides itself on their dominant defense that has only allowed 20 total points in 11 weeks. The Tigers, on the other hand, have allowed 119 total points through 11 weeks, but don’t let that fool you. According to Drew Pasteur, Springfield’s strength of schedule ranks 50 of 105 teams in Division VI, while Trimble’s schedule ranks 98 of 105, so Springfield has played the better teams on paper in the regular season.

Dual-threat QB Beau Brungard highlights the Tigers offense. Springfield will look to spread out the Tomcat defense and have their speedy receivers go to work on a lot of designed catch-and-run scenarios.

Friday night’s game is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. The game will be played at St. Clairsville High School.