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Football Lookahead: Crusaders Face Shutout-Happy Trimble

November 14, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

STEUBENVILLE-Something has to give Saturday when Catholic Central and Glouster Trimble collide in the Division VII, Region 25 semifinals at Zanesville's Sulsberger Stadium.

The Crusaders (9-2), the fourth-seeded club in the region, are averaging 42 points per game. The Tomcats (11-0), the No. 1 seed, have allowed 33 points (five touchdowns) and have blanked eight opponents.

Central's defense, on the other hand, is surrendering 12.6 points per outing while Trimble's offense scores an average of 45.

Article Photos

Khalil Jones is Steubenville Catholic’s leading rusher.

Saturday's kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Phil Faires' Tomcats allowed a touchdown in its 12-7 victory against Wahama, the defending West Virginia Class A champion, and two against Reedsville Eastern. Racine Southern, which fell to Central in the regional quarterfinals, scored the other two. Southern held a 14-7 lead on Trimble - the only time the Tomcats have trailed.

"We're not real big but we swarm to the football," Faires said.

Steubenville Catholic coach Steve Daley said there's no doubt about it-the Tomcats "are quick and get to the ball."

"That's definitely a point of concern for us," he continued. "Any time you have eight shutouts in 11 games, you are pretty good defensively. We have seen them on film and they are good on defense.

"They try to occupy blocks with their front people then let their linebackers and secondary people run and make plays and they do."

In its 61-0 victory against Beallsville in the quarterfinals, Trimble intercepted six passes and returned two for touchdowns. The Blue Devils were held to 36 rushing yards on 34 carries.

"Their quarterback (Konner Standley) also plays linebacker for them and has very good speed," Daley added. "There are certain players we have to be aware of on the defensive side. When we line up and see how they are adjusting, we have to find where those guys are because they are the playmakers.

"We've seen them in a 50 front but they adjust accordingly. We also have seen them in a four front when they have played teams that like to spread it out. We have to be aware of their adjustments to different things we give them, then attack accordingly."

Asked if Trimble has faced an offense like Central's, Daley said "not totally."

"We watched films of their Weeks 8, 9 and 10 games and saw teams try to spread them out and give them different looks," he said. "But those teams probably did not mix things up like we try to do."

When it comes to having success against the Trimble defense, Daley said a couple of things need to happen.

"We have to have time to throw," he said. "We have to open some running lanes because we want to run the ball. It's like I told our kids, in the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball effectively. If we can do that, mix things up and keep them off balance, then we might be able to have some success."

Brenton Colabella, the Crusaders' record-setting quarterback, has 1,998 passing yards on the season. He has completed 65 percent of this tosses (126 for 195) and thrown for 28 touchdowns. The senior has thrown for 7,549 career yards.

Khalil Jones leads the club in rushing with 729 yards on 66 trips and 15 touchdowns. Ryan Fletcher is next with 411 and Stone Romano has contributed 302.

Fletcher is the top receiver with 28 catches, good for 548 yards (an average of 19.6 per grab) and 12 touchdowns. Aleks Porreca has 24 grabs, Luke Potenzini 16 and Johnny DiCarlantonio 15.

Standley has had a solid year directing the Trimble offense. He has 1,953 and a school-record 28 touchdowns. He has been intercepted five times.

"Konner does it all," Faires said. "We like to have the ball in his hands. He's definitely our best runner and he has become a much better passer this year. He also has four or five receivers that he has confidence in.

Fullback Jacob Koons fullback, has more than 500 yards combined rushing and receiving. Austin Downs is Standley's favorite target. He has 62 catches for 1,165 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Justin Jenkins is the Tomcats tailback. Bryce Mathers also gets carries.

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