Catfight: Unbeaten Tomcats and Tigers battle for a spot in Region 21 title game

Results

TeamTOutcome
Springfield20Win
Trimble19Loss

Catfight: Unbeaten Tomcats and Tigers battle for a spot in Region 21 title game

 

Experienced Tomcats face upstart Tigers

 

By Spencer Waugh

 

Springfield vs Trimble

The end of the 2018 football season left both the Trimble Tomcats and the Springfield Tigers unsatisfied.

 

For Trimble the season ended with their second state runner-up finish in the last six years, while the Tigers finished the regular season at 9-1 but just missed out on a DVI playoff berth.

 

The two teams meet at 7:00 pm Friday night in St. Clairsville in one of only three 11-0 versus 11-0 matchups in the entire state. The region is one of the state’s most challenging – not just due to the quality of opponents – but also do to the extreme geographic extremes. New Middletown and Glouster are 175 miles apart despite sharing a region.

The Tigers have never advanced past week 12 and the Tomcats are hoping this will finally be the year they lift the gold trophy in Canton.

The Trimble Tomcats are 11-0 but played only ten games due to a forfeit by Federal Hocking after they had to end their season prematurely due to concern for player safety from a lack of numbers.

 

The Tomcats defeated three playoff opponents during the regular season, and are making their 10th straight playoff appearance and 16th overall. The kids from Glouster have racked up an impressive 18-15 postseason record including a pair of state runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2018. Additionally, the Tomcats reached the state semifinal round in 2014.

 

To say the Tomcat defense has been dominant would be selling them short. If defense wins championships, then hand Trimble the belt.

The Tomcats have allowed only 20 points all season and only six of those came during the regular season. The scarlet and gray didn’t allow a point against their Tri-Valley Conference – Hocking division opponents and only playoff qualifier Worthington Christian crossed their goal line.

 

The Tomcats are disciplined, quick, and relentless on the defensive side of the ball.

 

The Trimble defense is led by linebacker Sawyer Koons (6-0, 225, senior) who has recorded 91 tackles, including 12 for loss, and four quarterback sacks.

 

Also leading the way for the “Mohawk Mafia” are Ian Joyce (6-3, 230, senior), Shawn Turley (5-10, 225, senior), and Tabor Lackey (5-10, 175, sophomore).

 

But the Tomcats aren’t getting by with their defense alone.

 

The Athens Countians have averaged over 47 points per game, despite running far fewer plays than most teams due to running clocks during most of the season.

 

#
10
Name
Conner Wright
Position
2020
Height
5-11
Weight
190
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019
Conner Wright (5-11, 190, senior) is the team’s top rusher, gaining 1,507 yards and scoring 29 touchdowns on 131 carries. The senior is averaging over 11.5 yards per carry, but was held to just 72 yards on 15 carries last week.

 

#
12
Name
Cameron Kittle
Position
2020
Height
6-01
Weight
175
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019
Senior quarterback Cameron Kittle (6-1, 175) is the catalyst for the tri-town ‘Cats. Kittle has connected on 30 of 41 passes for 727 yards including 11 touchdowns and only a single interception. He has rushed for 649 yards and nine touchdowns on 47 carries. Kittle led the Tomcats with 74 yards and three touchdown on 10 carries while passing for 104 yards and another score last week.

 

#
42
Name
Sawyer Koons
Position
2020
Height
6-00
Weight
225
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019
Koons plays fullback in Coach Faires’ trademark wishbone attack.

#
28
Name
Blake Guffey
Position
2022
Height
6-00
Weight
190
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019

Top pass catchers are sophomores Blake Guffey (6-0, 190), Austin Wisor (5-9, 145), Lackey, and Bryce Downs (6-1, 175). Guffey has seven catches for 149 yards and a pair of scores while Wisor adds six catches for 159 yards and 4 touchdowns.

 

#
8
Name
Austin Wisor
Position
2022
Height
5-09
Weight
145
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019

Up front Garrett Richards (6-0, 230, junior), Joyce, and Turley anchor the offensive line.

 

Head coach Phil Faires is in his 26th season as the Tomcat grid mentor and is 213-78 overall with 14 playoff appearances and an 18-13 postseason record.

 

On the opposite sideline, a senior led Springfield Tiger squad from New Middletown also enters with a perfect 11-0 and as champions of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

 

The Tigers were 7-3 in 2017 and 9-1 in 2018, but missed the playoffs both seasons. Coach Sean Guerriero hopes to make up for lost time this fall. Guerriero, in his 13th season as Tiger grid boss and has a 73-51 overall record including a 2-3 mark in the post season.

 

Springfield is making their ninth playoff appearance and hold a 4-8 postseason record. They first qualified in 1987.

 

The Mahoning Countians defeated four playoff qualifiers in the regular season, including Western Reserve who the Tigers defeated in a rematch last week in round one. Springfield beat Western Reserve 35-14 in week nine and repeated the victory by a 34-7 score last week.

 

Their closest game was a season opening 23-20 overtime victory over DV-qualifier Canfield South Range.

 

The orange and black utilize speed – both their athletes and a quick paced spread offense – to unbalance opposing defenses.

 

Sophomore quarterback Beau Brungard has completed 88 of 129 passes for 1551 yards including 20 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Brungard has also rushed for 623 yards and 13 scores on 66 carries.

 

Brungard, whose brother Brannon quarterbacked the Tigers last season, is the son of former Youngstown State national champion quarterback Mark Brungard.

 

Joining Brungard in the backfield are senior David Duvall (80 carries, 489 yards, 8TDs) and junior Austin Tindell (84 carries, 654 yards, 7TDs).

 

Brungard’s top targets are Garrett Walker (5-9, 160, senior) and Evan Ohlin (6-1, 165, senior). Walker tops the team with 31 catches for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns while Ohlin adds 385 yards and four scores on 28 grabs. Ohlin missed two games due to injury.

 

Up front, Brady Brungard (5-11, 285, senior) is the center and another older brother of Beau. Joining him on the forward wall are Chris Thompson (6-0, 230, senior), Corey Hatton (240, senior), and Sean Thompson (280, senior). The latter three are all three-year starters.

 

The Tigers are also tenacious on defense, allowing just under 11 points per game and recording three shut outs. After allowing 48 points in their opening two games, Springfield allowed only 71 points in their last nine games.

 

Chris Thompson, Hatton, and Brady Brungard all see time on the defensive line.

 

Clayton Nezbeth (5-11, 170) leads the team with 96 tackles including five for loss while Duvall has recorded 87 with 4.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks from their linebacker posts. Sophomore Bo Snyder will also see time at linebacker.

 

Beau Brungard, Walker, and Ohlin are ball hawks in the defensive secondary.

 

The Tigers have an ace up their sleeve in junior kicker/punter Clayton Medvec (6-1, 180). Medvec converted a pair of field goals and helped keep Western Reserve pinned deep in their own territory with pin point punting.

 

The season will end in disappointment for one team on Friday night. The Tomcats have made a habit of practicing and playing late into November. On the opposite side, the Tigers feel they need to pack three years’ worth of playoff memories into a single season.

 

Expect a full house in St. Clairsville on Friday night.

PosTeamWLPFPANet Pts
1132549121428
211149440454
3111488170318
4111528244284
593414257157

2019 Trimble Roster

#PlayerPositionBenchSquat40HeightWeight
3Will Freeborn2022---5-10195
4Chase Carr2023---5-10195
5Todd Fouts2021---5-08150
7Tabor Lackey2022---5-10175
8Austin Wisor2022---5-09145
10Conner Wright2020---5-11190
12Cameron Kittle2020---6-01175
14Chase Wooten2023---5-04130
15Ronald Maffin2023---5-09160
20Bryce Downs2022---6-01175
24Ben Orona2023---5-09150
25Landon Wisor2023---5-09150
28Blake Guffey2022---6-00190
30Tray Christy2022---5-10150
32Braxton Shutts2022---5-04130
33James Russell2021---5-10155
34Tyler Weber2022---5-10175
35Evan Scott2021---5-09150
36Tucker Dixon2022---5-10120
42Sawyer Koons2020---6-00225
44Jack Nagucki2020---6-01200
51Shawn Turley2020---5-10225
52Brayden Brown2023---5-06160
54Jeremiah Everett2021---5-10275
55Conner Wooten2022---5-10320
56Zach Guffey2020---6-00205
58Blake Brown2023---5-07155
67Ethan Fullerton2022---5-10160
68Ian Joyce2020---6-03230
70Garrison Bush2020---6-04260
71Don Holbert2020---5-06280
72Garett Richards2020---6-00230
74Ian Spencer2021---6-04215
77Douglas Hale2022---6-04260
78Chris Jones2021---5-11280
80Brice Bickley2021---5-09150
81Clayton Sayre2022---5-10160
85Devon Hammond2023---5-10160
86Christian Cade2022---5-10160

Springfield

CMP ATT INT PYDS TD ATT RUYDS TD REC REYDS TD
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Sacks Tackles INT FGM FGA
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Trimble

CMP ATT INT PYDS TD ATT RUYDS TD REC REYDS TD
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Sacks Tackles INT FGM FGA
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Details

Date Time League Season
November 15, 2019 7:00 pm Playoffs 2019

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