Trimble Tomcats
(Jensen Knecht/WOUB)

Wright’s Three Touchdowns Not Enough as Trimble Falls in Heartbreaker

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When the clock ran out at Red Devil Stadium, midnight struck for the 2019 Trimble Tomcats’ season, ending any state title hopes. After a back-and-forth affair, New Middletown Springfield narrowly edged the Tomcats 20-19. 

It came down to the last drive of the game, with the Tomcats driving inside the Tigers 30-yard line. On a fourth-and-four from the 27-yard line, Cam Kittle threw up a prayer to Bryce Downs, but Garrett Walker was there to intercept the pass and secure the Tigers the victory. 

After a 7-7 defensive slugfest at the half, Trimble stuck to their game plan and pounded the ball down the Tigers’ throats. The Tomcats opened up the second half on a 14-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by Conner Wright’s second touchdown of the night. Wright carried the ball on nine of those 14 plays for 45 yards. 

That drive took the opening 6:47 off of the clock to start the half. At this point, Trimble dominated the time of possession, running 33 straight offensive plays, stretching from the first half into the second. In that span, Trimble had the ball for over 16 minutes of game time and only had six points to show from it. A lot of credit is due to the Tigers defense. 

While Trimble took almost a third of the game to find the end zone, the Tigers offense proved they were able to score fast. Both of Springfield’s scoring drives were shorter than three minutes and resulted in 13 second half points. 

After Springfield took a 14-13 lead late in the third quarter, they looked to extend that lead early in the fourth, but Trimble came up with a huge stop on fourth-and-short and took over at the Springfield 44-yard line. Nine plays later, Wright punched it in from a yard out to give the Tomcats a 19-14 lead. 

Here is where things got interesting. Trimble had to go for two to secure a seven-point lead. The offense took the field in an interesting formation with Sawyer Koons lined up at center with Kittle and Wright in the backfield and the other eight players lined up on the right side. Koons, who was lined up sideways, pitched the ball to Kittle who handed it to Wright and Wright found the end zone. The Glouster faithful erupted and the Trimble sideline was fired up. 

The celebration was short lived as a single yellow flag was on the turf. The call was an illegal formation against the Tomcats and after a lengthy discussion with three of the officials, Phil Faires sent out the kickoff team with his team holding on to a five-point lead with three minutes to go. 

(Jensen Knecht/WOUB)
(Jensen Knecht/WOUB)

Trimble had the Tigers backed up to a fourth-and-long on their own 41-yard line. The Tigers pulled out the trickery with a hook-and-ladder play that went for 48 yards. The Trimble defense almost sniffed it out, but the speedy Springfield receivers proved to be too fast once again.    

Beau Brungard, quarterback for the Tigers, found Evan Ohlin a couple plays later to take the lead and the Tigers didn’t look back from there. Brungard’s two touchdown passes in the second half led the way for the Tigers offensively. His ability to pick apart the Tomcats defense was a huge difference maker in the game. 

Trimble did have a lot of success running right at the Tigers defense. Conner Wright had another impressive performance rushing for 154 yards and three scores on 33 carries. Wright showed flashes of his athleticism multiple times throughout the night and ran harder than ever in between the tackles. Kittle also had 127 yards rushing on 19 carries, including 44 yards on five carries on Trimble’s final drive of the game. 

The Trimble Tomcats did not get the result they were looking for. It was a heartbreak of an ending for the senior class, who did not shy away from showing their emotions on the field after both teams shook hands. This team still has a lot to be proud of though. 11 wins this season, plus becoming last season’s state runner-up means this senior class will leave as one of the most decorated classes in school history. Tears will eventually turn to smiles as this senior class will look back and reflect on the lasting impression they left on this program.