Trinity tunes up for playoffs with 42-6 romp over Stevens

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MANCHESTER, NH — Senior quarterback Jack Service tossed a pair of touchdown passes to help Trinity High build a 35-0 halftime lead, en route to a 42-6 win over Stevens, Friday night at Derryfield Park.

The Pioneers scored on all five of their first-half possessions to improve to finish the regular season at 8-1. Trinity will now wait to hear who it will be playing in the Division III State Semifinals next weekend. It is expected their opponent will be Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough (7-2). Top-seeded Campbell (8-0) will take on either Monadnock or Fall Mountain (both are 5-4) in the other semi.

Trinity showed off the depth of its high-octane offense against Stevens (4-5). Five different players found the end zone Pioneers. Sophomore Anthony DiGiantommaso (2 rec., 36 yards) caught a touchdown pass and scored on a 5-yard run.

“We have a number of fast guys who can make plays,” said Trinity Head Coach Rob Cathcart. And the other thing is, that because of the way we ended last season, we had a lot of guys hitting the weight room and got stronger. So a lot of the guys who have that speed, have that strength, too.”

Stevens’ best chance to stop Trinity offense came on the game’s opening possession, when the Pioneers found themselves facing 4th-and-1 at the Stevens 48. Service (4 of 6, 100 yards) hit Devohn Ellis on a quick screen to try and get the first down, but the senior wide receiver used his speed and elusiveness to turn the play into a 48-yard touchdown.

From there, everything came easily for the Pioneers. A 53-yard drive was capped by DiGiantomasso scoring from five yards out. Sophomore Connor Bishop (6-for-5 PAT) tacked on the extra point to make it 14-0.

Trinity went on to score on their next two plays from scrimmage. The first was a 53-yard run by Alex Oyaronbi, which saw the senior break two tackles and spin out of a third. Then, after a shanked punt by Stevens, Service hit DiGiantommaso on a deep slant for a 25-yard TD pass to push the lead to 28-0.

Before the half was over, Bobby Kinsella (5 carries, 49 yards) would add a 10-yard touchdown run.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Trinity defense shut down Stevens the way it has shut down ever opponent it has faced this season. In the seven games they’ve contested on the field (Trinity has two forfeit wins), the Pioneers have allowed 4.0 points per game and have allowed just one team, Epping-Newmarket, to hit double digits (a 56-10 win).

Stevens spoiled Trinity’s shutout bid with a 15-play, 72-yard scoring drive that consumed 11:48 of the third quarter. Cardinals’ quarterback Tyler Christian capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge. Christian was the lone bright spot, offensively, for Stevens, The 5-10, 250-pound senior carried the ball 28 times for 111 yards.

“He doesn’t go down easy. He’s like (NFL Hall-of-Famer) Larry Czonka,” said ??????. “It was a good test for us. They are a hard-nosed team and they run hard.”

The second half was played under the “mercy rule” running clock, limiting the offensive opportunities for Trinity. Still, backup quarterback Evan Dunker engineered an 8-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Dunker completed 2 of 3 passes on the drive, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Oliver Service in the fourth quarter, closing out the scoring.

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Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 35 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.

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