Leading 6-0 late in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats stopped the Storm in the red zone when Toddrick Wilson intercepted a Lucas Crawley pass.
Trigg head coach Shannon Burcham was quick to deflect credit for the play to Wilson and senior linebacker Jamus McAtee.
“I asked at the end if they wanted to play man or zone, and Jamus McAtee, to his credit, said we should play a certain type of coverage there,” Burcham said. “I was thinking one thing and he was thinking something else. sometimes, you’ve got to listen to the kids.”
The defense saved Trigg (1-3) on a night when the offense continued to struggle.
Senior Josh Adams had another strong night in the backfield, rushing 11 times for 140 yards and the game’s only touchdown, a 47-yard score on the third play of the third quarter.
Overall, the Wildcats ran for 198 yards. Quarterback Andrew Stewart finished the night 5-for-11 for 71 yards and an interception. Trigg also lost three fumbles.
“The fact of the matter is, we had four offensive touchdowns coming back to this year’s team,” Burcham said. “We’re not beating ourselves with penalties, but we’re turning the ball over, and that’s a problem. We’ve had to replace a lot of skill players, and in doing that, we’re looking for guys that can make plays. We’ve found three running backs, but our receivers have still got to catch the ball when it’s thrown to them.”
However, the defense stood tall, holding the Storm to 18 rushing yards, 163 passing yards and picking off two passes, including the game-clincher.
“That’s a testament to our kids, their effort and their attitude,” Burcham said. “They’re doing what we’re asking them to do.”
Trigg stayed in a zone defense for most of the contest. While Hopkins was able to find some success through the air, the Storm recorded only one run that went further than six yards, an 11-yard carry late in the third quarter.
“I think we played two or three snaps in man coverage and played zone the rest,” Burcham said. “It’s probably the first time in 10 years we’ve used a full zone coverage.”
Both teams missed a pair of field goals. Hopkins kicker Skyler Johnson missed a 22-yard kick on the first drive of the game and had a 27-yarder blocked late in the second quarter.
For Trigg, Ethan Sweno sent a 30-yard kick wide left early in the second quarter and pushed another 30-yard try just barely wide right two possessions after Trigg’s touchdown. Those were the only two times Trigg drove into the red zone.
Trigg is off in Week 5, giving the ‘Cats more time to prepare for the 2A 1st District opener against Murray (7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 at Perdue Field).
“With the win, the break comes at the right time,” Burcham said. “It’ll be much easier to get our kids to committ to what we’re trying to do. The effort has been good the last two weeks. We had opportunities to win the last two, and we found a way to do it tonight, and we’re proud of them for that.”
As for stopping 4-0 Murray, which is averaging nearly 50 points a game, Burcham said the Wildcats need to build off the defensive momentum gained against Hopkins Central while the offense continues to look for ways to move the ball.
“We’ll have to focus on stopping them first because they can move the ball,” Burcham said. “They’re a little more athletic than they were last year. We’ve got to play good defense and start with that. Offensively, we’ve got to improve in the next two weeks.”
Trigg County 6, Hopkins Central 0
Friday @ Cadiz
Hopkins 0 0 0 0
Trigg 0 0 6 0
First downs 7 9
Rushing 40-198 19-18
Passing 5-11-1 16-40-2
Pass. yards 71 163
Total yards 269 181
Fumbles-lost 5-3 0-0
Penalties 5-45 3-15
TC: Adams 11-140; Wilson 12-39; Cionko 6-29; Rogers 1-2; McAtee 1-(-4); Stewart 9-(-8)
TC: Stewart 5-11-1, 71
TC: Adams 2-19; Cionko 1-43; Watkins 1-5; Barksdale 1-4