The Wildcats struggled throughout the game, failing to generate consistent offense or cash in on scoring chances created by the defense.
“You can draw it up and ‘X-and-O’ it, but until you actually play against them, you can’t get that look,” Trigg head coach Shannon Burcham said of preparing for and facing what he calls one of the state’s best teams in any class. “We had opportunities to do some things. It could have gone a lot worse, but there were some positives.”
Trigg quarterback Andrew Stewart lost a fumble on the game’s second play, and six plays later, the Falcons capitalized on the turnover with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Antonio Andrews to Tre Powell.
Fort Campbell forced a punton the Wildcats’ next drive and scored two plays later on a 10-yard pass to Darian Crank.
Trigg forced the Falcons to punt to end their next two drives, and Nick Watkins intercepted an Andrews pass midway through the second quarter. The pick led to a 40-yard field goal attempt by Ethan Sweno that fell just short.
Four plays later, Powell scored again, this time on a 44-yard pass play. Powell caught a third touchdown from four yards out after Jamus McAtee’s punt was blocked on Trigg’s next drive.
“It’s been 40 or 50 to nothing at halftime for them the last few weeks, and it was 27-0 tonight,” Burcham said. “That’s one of the things we talked about at halftime was that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because we did some things right, but it wasn’t what any of us wanted. We wanted to come out in the second half and make something positive out of it.”
Powell caught his fourth and final touchdown from 15 yards out to start the third quarter.
“Defensively, we tried about three or four different coverages, and every time we did something different, they found something different to go at it,” Burcham said. “They’re a great football team. If they don’t win a third championship, I don’t know how it didn’t happen. Something catastrophic will have to happen to keep them from doing that.”
Fort Campbell’s final touchdown came when Jeff Garner recovered another blocked punt in the end zone.
Trigg’s only score of the night came with 2:21 left in the game when Josh Adams ran a double reverse 16 yards for a touchdown.
Trigg managed 185 rushing yards, but the offensive line didn’t have as much success in opening holes for running backs as they’d had in recent weeks.
“We preached all week to get a body on a body,” Burcham said. “We had to stay on them, and we didn’t do that in space or in the box. They do a lot of good things. Hats off to them for that.”
Dillon Cionko led the Wildcats with 82 rushing yards, pushing him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Burcham said his players should hold their heads high regardless of the outcome of Friday’s game.
“We’re proud of our kids for the effort and attitude they exhibited all year long,” Burcham said. “Their willingness to accept coaching sets an example for everyone that comes in behind them.”
Trigg entered the season with 12 seniors but not a lot of experience returning. Burcham said that group set the tone for the season.
“We came into this year knowing we had four offensive touchdowns coming back,” Burcham said. “We had to find them, and it took us a while. They kept working and taking coaching. I don’t think at any time anyone complained about something not working, they were just ready to try something else. If you’ve got a group of kids that will do that and give you an opportunity to coach them, it means a lot. With a school this small, talent runs in cycles, but if you’ve got a group like this that will listen to you, you’ve got a chance to be successful.”
Fort Campbell 41, Trigg County 7
Friday @ Fort Campbell
Trigg 0 0 0 7
Ft. Camp. 14 13 14 0
First downs 7 8
Rushing 45-185 23-66
Passing 8-16-0 10-22-1
Pass. yards 64 234
Total yards 249 300
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties 9-81 6-58
TC: Cionko 18-82; Adams 4-38; Stewart 10-37; Wilson 13-28
TC: Stewart 7-15-0 20; Adams 1-1-0 44
TC: Cionko 3-45; Gilbert 3-11; Wilson 1-5; Adams 1-3