After not winning a football game in a pandemic shortened 2020 season, the Trinity Shamrocks made some big changes to right the ship in a program that has not had a winning season since 2012. For a once proud program that made expected annual trips to the District 3 playoffs, winning football games at COBO Field has been more rare than common.
What better way to test your program’s potential rise than to host perennial York/Adams League favorite and last year’s District 3 runner-up Delone Catholic to COBO on a sultry, Aug. 27, that had thunderstorms scattered about the area and ominous skies all-night long. Given that there were some 2,000 spectators in attendance, this diocesan match-up garnered plenty of attention from area football fans.
The electricity that was in the air was not storm-related or really the two teams clashing; the real buzz was Trinity’s new head coach Jordan Hill, and whether his impressive playing resume (Penn State All Big Ten – NFL pro standout and Super Bowl Champion) would breathe new life into a program that has had a decade-long faint pulse.
After a three and out by Trinity to start the game, Delone Catholic did what the Squires seem to always do. They pieced together an 11-play, 60-yard drive, which ran the ball right down the Rocks’ throats who seemingly could not stop the old style Wing-T offense that the Squires run to near perfection. The Squires run counters, draws and option reads while controlling the line of scrimmage with beef up front. It’s been Delone’s mojo for decades, and Trinity fans had to be a little uneasy after the Squires punched in a touchdown to go up 7-0 as a steady downpour developed.
As old school as Delone is, Trinity is about as new school as you can get offensively, running a no-huddle, spread offense that often features five-wide-outs designed to spread the field with one-on-one match-ups. And what became apparent late in the first quarter is the speed, quickness and big-play strike ability the Rocks’ now exploit with Coach Hill at the helm. Delone never could contain Trinity on the edge and Trinity’s speed, led by Tyler Rossi (170 yards –three touchdowns) and Max Schlager’s ability to catch and run gave the Squires fits on every series. Three unanswered touchdowns in less than five minutes buried Delone Catholic in a hole that its methodical offense could not answer quickly enough to stay within one score. Delone Catholic, however, was in this football game until the final minutes. The final score of 34-14 was misleading as the margin was not that steep. Trinity scored a late touchdown after Delone had a great chance to make it a one score game with six minutes left in the game.
Both teams turned the wet football over, yet Delone gave Trinity several short fields as they uncharacteristically put the ball on the ground as their read-option game was not in-sync all evening. Four lost fumbles, one resulting in a touchdown return, will doom most teams and it did the Squires.
Trinity’s schedule has some major tests down the road with York Catholic, Steel-High and Middletown looming as the weather chills.
Trinity’s junior wide-out, Max Schlager said to reporters last week, “There is not one thing that is the same from last year, not one. The energy is 10 times better; communication is 10 times better; everything is better…”
Appears nothing is the same given Trinity is 1-0, and that is rare and not so common record for the Rocks’ of late.
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness