Note: This recap appears in the Sunday, Nov. 3 newspaper on Page B1.
MASON, W.Va. — As the clock wound down to all zeroes on the scoreboard at Wahama High School, the Trimble Tomcats were officially able to record the most dominating regular season in school history.
Now, it’s finally time for the playoffs.
Trimble put an exclamation point on its perfect regular season, routing Wahama 79-0 on a chilly, West Virginia night.
The Tomcats are 10-0 for the fifth time in program, and they did so by outscoring the opposition 448-6 in nine official games.
“Just a great feeling,” Trimble senior Landon Wisor said. “Glad to be able to do it with my team, basically my brothers. Just a great feeling.”
The Tomcats join the 1980, 1989, 2013 and 2014 squads in Trimble legend and lore with 10-0 records.
Trimble has won so easily this season that a 10-0 record could be taken for granted, but long-time head coach Phil Faires knows better.
“I told these guys before the game, Trimble’s had some teams forever that have been pretty good in football and these guys become the fifth team to go undefeated,” Faires said. “There’s only been five. That’s a pretty big honor considering how much success, even in the 50s and 60s. That’s something to be proud of.”
The Tomcats can also be proud of the manner in which they won the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division. Trimble never allowed a point against a league opponent, outscoring Hocking teams 379-0 in winning its second consecutive league crown.
Trimble is the first TVC team to win a league title without allowing a point.
“That’s just unbelievable to me,” Wisor said. “I’ve been told we’re the first team in school history to do that. Just loss for words on that.”
The Tomcats will begin the Division VI, Region 21 playoffs on Friday with a home game inside Glouster Memorial Stadium.
Trimble has stayed focused on the task at hand every week, but can finally set its sights on the postseason.
“I told them come Monday, we have to get into films,” Faires said. “We’re going to be playing a much better team next week. Enjoy it this weekend, get in and get ready to go to work.”
A week earlier, Trimble set a school record for margin of victory with a 76-0 triumph over Southern.
That record stood for a week thanks to the 79-point win over the White Falcons (3-6, 3-5 TVC-Hocking).
The 79 points in a single game is also a school record, as the 2019 Tomcats found multiple ways to rewrite the record books.
“Pretty awesome having the school record in quite a few things now,” Wisor said. “I hope to break a few more throughout the next five weeks.”
Wisor gave Trimble its sixth defensive touchdown of the season when he recovered a Wahama fumble and returned it 36 yards to the end zone.
That allowed Trimble to lead 15-0 before Friday’s game was three minutes old.
“Just instinct through practice,” Wisor said. “Picked it up, saw a couple players there. Figured if I didn’t get it, no one was going to get it.”
Wisor also had an interception, part of three turnovers forced by the Trimble defense.
Wahama was held to just 14 yards of total offense, including eight yards on 25 rushing attempts. The White Falcons only had two first downs, and never got closer to midfield than their own 40-yard line.
The Tomcats’ offensive numbers were just as impressive. They gained 489 yards of offense on just 25 plays. Trimble rushed for 434 yards on 23 carries.
Trimble scored nine offensive touchdowns in the first half on just 16 plays to lead 71-0 at the break.
“We just ran basic plays tonight,” Faires said. “We tried to throw a few different formations just to get the kids used to it because there is a few personnel changes we have to make, but I thought they handled it well no matter what formation we’re in.”
Conner Wright had 146 yards and four touchdowns on only nine carries. Quarterback Cameron Kittle completed both of his passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Tabor Lackey had a 22-yard touchdown reception, while Bryce Downs caught a 33-yard touchdown.
Kittle also had 145 yards rushing on just three carries. He had a 91-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and added a 54-yard run on the last play of the first half.
Todd Fouts also had a 51-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The second half was played with not only a running clock, but with six minute quarters. Trimble’s backup unit ate the entire third quarter up as a result, thanks to a nine-play, 60-yard drive that culminated in Ronald Maffin’s four-yard run.
Wahama was only able to run three offensive plays in the second half, going three-and-out before the running fourth-quarter clock expired.
The Tomcats will challenge themselves with a new test in the playoffs. State runner-up in Division VII a year ago, Trimble will have to navigate the Division VI bracket in order to return to Canton.
According to joeeitel.com, Trimble will be the No. 4 seed and host 10-0 No. 5 Salineville Southern on Friday.
The official OHSAA pairings will be released on Sunday.
“We’re going to find out the difference between (divisions) 6 and 7,” Faires said. “That first opponent’s going to be a lot tougher than what it would have been if we were in 7, I would say. We’re liable to face another undefeated team. We’ll be ready.”
The Tomcats have been ready for all challenges so far this season, and the result was one for the record books. The 79-point win at Wahama put the finishing touches on the regular season, now the playoffs await.
“Just glad to be here with my team,” Wisor said. “Played with them my whole life. Just a great feeling to be able to play with them and just be one of the only teams in Trimble history to go undefeated at 10-0 in the regular season.”
Trimble 79, Wahama 0
Trimble 36 35 0 8 — 79
Wahama 0 0 0 0 — 0
T — Conner Wright, 11-yard run (Blake Guffey kick), 11:48, 1st
T — Landon Wisor, 36-yard fumble return (Conner Wright pass from Austin Wisor), 9:13, 1st
T — Cameron Kittle, 91-yard run (Blake Guffey kick), 6:43, 1st
T —Tabor Lackey, 22-yard pass from Cameron Kittle (kick failed), 4:31, 1st
T — Conner Wright, 33-yard run (Tabor Lackey run), 2:14, 1st
T — Bryce Downs, 33-yard pass from Cameron Kittle (Blake Guffey kick), 9:39, 2nd
T — Todd Fouts, 51-yard (Blake Guffey kick), 6:31, 2nd
T — Conner Wright, 16-yard run (Blake Guffey kick), 3:41, 2nd
T — Conner Wright, 64-yard run (Blake Guffey kick), 2:12, 2nd
T — Cameron Kittle, 54-yard run (Blake Guffey kick), 0.0, 2nd
T — Ronald Maffin, 4-yard run (Tyler Weber run), 5:30, 4th
First downs 15 2
Plays from scrimmage 25 34
Rushing (plys-yds) 23-434 25-8
Passing yards 55 6
Total net yards 489 14
Passes (cmp-att-int) 2-2-0 2-9-1
Fumbles (no-lost) 0-0 3-2
Penalties (no-yds) 11-84 2-18
Punts (no-avg) 0-0 6-38.8
Trimble — Conner Wright 9-146 4 TDs, Cameron Kittle 3-145 2 TDs, Todd Fouts 1-51 TD, Sawyer Koons 1-32, Ronald Maffin 5-28 TD, Tyler Weber 2-18, Tabor Lackey 1-12, Tray Christy 1-2; Wahama — Abram Pauley 7-15, Nick Brewer 5-1, Trevor Hunt 11-0, Brayden Davenport 2-(-8)
Trimble — Cameron Kittle 2-2-0-55 2 TDs; Wahama — Brayden Davenport 2-7-1-6, Abram Pauley 0-2-0
Trimble — Bryce Downs 1-33 TD, Tabor Lackey 1-22 TD; Wahama — Abram Pauley 1-3, Trevor Hunt 1-3