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By LARRY SULLIVAN, JR.
Special to The Trimble Banner
The Trimble County Raider football squad has been on display all year long, primarily because of their unique A-11 offense. The Raiders technique has been publicized in the New York Times, the Lexington Herald, the San Fransisco Chronicle and the Louisville Courier Journal, among others.
Trimble put their offensive strategies to the test again last Friday, Nov. 14, when they traveled to northern Kentucky to face Beechwood, the second ranked team in Class A play. Walking onto the field, the Raiders were considered major underdogs, with few believing they could pull off one of the biggest upsets in Kentucky football history.
The last few times the team has hit the field, they have relied on a new way of playing football - the “old school” way of lining up head to head against their opponents and running the ball down one another’s throats.
Friday night, the undersized Raiders came out in the old school, wishbone, formation, but the massive Tiger team was just too big for the Raiders.
The first four possessions for the Raiders had a lot to do with the outcome of the game. In the first three, Trimble County fumbled the ball, giving the Tigers possession with good field position every time. On the fourth possession, the Raiders went for it on fourth and two, but fumbled the direct snap and were forced to fall on the ball, giving the Tigers possession again.
After a foggy start, Trimble realized they could play with the big boys after all, following several stops on Beechwood possessions. Trimble quickly reorganized and went to the A-11 offense, hoping for a comeback.
“People made fun of our offense all year, thinking it was silly. Even though we lost, we made one of the best teams in the state look silly,” senior player Aunner Posas said after the game.
The fancy offense brought Trimble a glimmer of hope, as the Raiders were moving the ball well and playing extremely well on defense. The team made three stops to eventually get the ball back near the five-yard line. The needed touchdowns,however, continued to evade them.
The Raiders went into halftime down 28-0, but with confidence knowing that they could play ball with the Tigers. That new found attitude was too little too late, as the team was too far behind to rally in the second half of the game. They did hold the Tigers to just seven points in the final three quarters of the game, compared to the 21 they gave up in a very shaky first quarter.
Late in the third quarter, Posas powered the ball into the end zone to prevent the shut out, but the Raiders could not capatilize on the conversion and failed to score again before the game’s end. The final score was 42-6, in Beechwood’s favor.
“The game should have been closer than it was when it ended. When the game started, I just think our boys were pretty intimidated. But once they found out they were only human just like us, they got with it,” Coach Chris Yates explained after the game.
“I thought our guys played hard. At first we look like a deer in headlights, but after the first six minutes we were practically even with the number one team in the state,” Coach Johnny Poytner added. “I’m extremely proud of my boys who stuck with it throughout the season and the fans who stuck with us, too. I was happy to see how much the whole team matured and how the seniors stepped up and took better leadership roles.”
After finishing the season on a three game winning streak, the Raiders regular season ended with a 4-6 record. The playoff loss dropped them to 4-7 for the year.
Trimble did not pass the ball much in their last two games against Owen and Walton, but this week seven players were on the receiving end of the flying pigskin. Larry Sullivan, Jr. went 17-24 for 133 yards and carried the ball 17 times for 101 yards. That passing performance gave Sullivan over 1,500 yards passing and over 1,100 yards rushing on the season.
Junior Michael Edens had six carries for 42 yards and Posas had 2 carries, 3 yards and a touchdown
Senior Trevor Smith, who had 12 tackles along with junior Michael Edens’ 11. Smith and Edens were the leading tacklers on the team for the season also. Smith ended with 104 tackles on the year, which is ranked among the most in Trimble County history and Michael Edens had 76 tackles.
This year’s Raider senior class was the second winningest class in school history. Coach Poytner is the winningest coach in Trimble County history also.