Updated Mon, Nov 25, 2013 6:14 pm
Konner Standley and the Trimble Tomcat defense were able to defeat the Shadyside Tigers with a 21-14 victory in Zanesville on Saturday night. The victory secured the regional title for the Tomcats and propelled them into the OHSAA state final four.
Standley totaled 219 yards and added two touchdowns through the air.
The game was a battle between two hard-nosed teams that had strong defenses and superb ground attacks. Trimble totaled 169 yards on the ground while Shadyside had 181 yards rushing, compared to 58 yards passing.
After both teams turned the ball over on their first possessions, Standley connected with his favorite target, Austin Downs, for a 94-yard touchdown. Shadyside answered with a score of its own from running back Eric Howell to make the score 7-6 in the second quarter.
The Tigers continued to build momentum, shutting out the Tomcats with a three-and-out on the ensuing drive.
Shadyside capitalized on its good defense.
Howell bounced off a tackle and rushed in his second touchdown of the night on an 11-yard carry. Shadyside succeeded on the two-point conversion to put itself up 14-7 heading into halftime.
Something special might have been said in the Trimble locker room during the break because the Tomcats came out with new life in the third quarter.
Towards the end of the quarter, Trimble cornerback Justice Jenkins took matters into his own hands, intercepting Shadyside quarterback Austin Dorris.
Jenkins took advantage of the turnover with an 8-yard receiving touchdown from Standley on the next drive. The score was key as it tied up the game and shifted the momentum in the Tomcats’ favor.
When asked about the importance of that series Jenkins said, “I was just happy to make a big play after my fumble earlier in the game.”
After Jenkins’ game-tying score, the star-studded Trimble defense did what it does best -- make stops. The Mowhawk Mafia halted Shadyside attack, and a few possessions later, the Tomcats marched down the field, and Jacob Koons capped off the drive with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
The captain’s score gave Trimble the lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Tomocat defense was able to force a fourth down, and Shadyside coach Mark Holenka chose to punt with four minutes left in the game.
Standley and the Trimble offense converted on several vital third downs on the final drive of the game to seal the victory for the Tomcats.
Trimble will face the Marion Local Flyers next week in a semifinal matchup with a state championship game berth on the line.