Trimbles's TD the difference for Fort Hill
Sentinels defeat Southern, 10-3

Cumberland Times-News
October 22, 1994

CUMBERLAND - It was a bloody, red war Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium as second-ranked Fort Hill and fifth-ranked Southern virtually knocked heads and never stopped. But in the end, it was the team speed of the Sentinels that took them to a 10-3 victory over the Rams.

Matt Calhoun hit Shannon Trimble for a 46-yard touchdown pass while Jimmy Budd kicked the extra point and a 27-yard field goal - all in the second quarter - and the Fort Hill defense let that stand through a tense second half as the Sentinels stayed perfect through seven games.

"The difference was our defense," said Fort Hill coach Mike Calhoun. "The penalties took away from our offense. We had a touchdown called back in the second quarter when we were on the verge of blowing it open. But it was the play of our defense that locked this up for us."

Southern coach Tom Woods agreed, saying the Sentinels' defense and overall speed were the keys of the game. "I think their team speed, obviously, and how they use it on defense. Fort Hill did an excellent job of taking our quarterback away from us."

"In the first half, (halfback Shannon) Trimble took us out of our defense and we had to double cover him. When you play a school with as many fine athletes as Fort Hill has, it's difficult for a 1A team. It's harder for you when you go up the ladder. Just as if Fort Hill (Class 2A) would be playing a 4A school, they would have run into more good athletes. Tonight, Fort Hill had too many good athletes for us."

The game was anything but pretty as both teams went after each other as though they had known - and disliked - each other for years. Fort Hill held Southern to 66 yards on 34 carries and one yard passing. Fort Hill rushed the ball 37 times for 106 yards with fullback D.J. Jenkins gaining 75 on 20 carries. Matt Calhoun completed six out of 10 passes for 133 yards. Trimble caught five of those passes for 116 yards.

Southern was hit with seven penalties for 60 yards. Fort Hill was penalized 10 times for 120 yards.

The game moved at a quick pace early as neither team could establish ball movement. The initial first down of the game did not come until the 11:00 mark of the first half when Southern was hit with a personal foul on fourth down to give the Sentinels the ball at the Rams' 46.

On second and 10, Calhoun pump-faked from the pocket and found a streaking Trimble down the right sideline for the 46-yard touchdown. Trimble was then hit for an unsportsmanlike conduct call for celebrating in the end zone.

Fort Hill lined up for the kick that would have had to cover 35 yards, but Southern was then hit twice for being offsides and Budd kicked the 25-yard extra point.

After Southern punted, the Sentinels took over at their 26. On third-and-four, Calhoun found Trimble on the same play to the left side for a 64-yard touchdown. That play, however, was nullified because of holding on Fort Hill.

The Sentinels went right back to Trimble on an out to the left flat and he picked up 34 yards to put the ball on the Southern 46. Fort Hill then worked Jenkins inside on four plays, but Southern linebacker Paul Berkeridge came up with the interception to stop the drive at the 19.

But Southern returned the favor three plays later as Fort Hill's Aaron Goetz recovered a fumble at the Southern 48.

The Sentinels then put together a seven-play, 39-yard drive to set up Budd's 27-yard field goal and Fort Hill led, 10-0, at the half.

Southern put together a 14-play, 61-yard scoring drive that ate up much of the third quarter. Fort Hill was called twice for facemasking and Jeremy Fitzwater kicked a 20-yard field goal at 1:17 of the third after he was kept two yards shy of the end zone by Jenkins.

Fort Hill would then drive to the Southern 23; but the Rams stopped them on downs. Southern would not get to its 30 on its final two offensive possessions while Fort Hill twice took the ball deep into Southern territory on its final two possessions.

The Sentinels ran out the clock after Trimble returned a punt 48 yards to the Southern 11.

"It was the most physical game I can remember at Southern High School," said Woods. "I will be eternally grateful to our kids for accepting this challenge of coming into the stadium and playing a power like Fort Hill. We looked them in the eye, and there was only a whisker between us."

"We've seen Southern play all year," said Calhoun. "They are a good, good football team that is well-coached. I hope they'll reconsider and renew the contract after it expires next year. This could be a great rivalry."

Fort Hill will play at Jefferson on Friday while Southern (5-2) is at Pocahontas County.