LOWER ALLEN TWP. — Steel-High was not a very happy football team after getting cuffed around by Trinity in the first half of the Mid-Penn Capital showdown at COBO Field Friday night.
The Rollers trailed the Shamrocks by 14 points at intermission and they started to do some finger pointing at each other.
Whatever Rollers coach Andrew Erby told his squad at halftime was heard loud and clear as the Steel-High came out and scored 21 unanswered points on its way to a narrow 28-27 victory.
“Coach told us at halftime we needed to get it together,” Rollers senior LB Steven Pryor said. “After we got used to all the switching we had to do with their offense, we started rolling.”
Rollers running back Dupri Andrews and quarterback Malachi Young each came up with big plays in the second half on offense. And defensive end Donovan Ogden was the ringleaders that put the clamps on a Trinity offense, led by QB Tommy Kirchhoff, that piled up 212 yards and 21 points in the first half.
Andrews had 164 total yards in the second half (81 rushing, 83 receiving) and scored twice. Young chipped in with a pair of TD passes in second half.
Steel-High was clinging to a four-point lead in the fourth quarter when kicker Nicholas Neidlinger nailed a 25-yard field goal to make it 28-21 Rollers with 3:00 to play.
Kirchhoff, who threw for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns, marched the Shamrocks down the field and gave Trinity a shot to force overtime.
Facing fourth-and-11 at the Steel-High 17, Kirchhoff threw the ball up high into the end zone and 6-7 tight end Kalen Veres went up and made a spectacular grab with 29 seconds to play.
But Shamrocks kicker Norvell Bartow’s extra point sailed wide left to give the Rollers a narrow victory.
Until that final drive of the game for Trinity, the Rollers defense was in lockdown mode. The Shamrocks had only three first downs, two turnovers and fewer than 50 second-half yards before the final drive that covered 74 yards.
All this after Trinity rolled up 212 yards and 21 points in the opening 24 minutes.
Steel-High defensive end Donovan Ogden was a one-man wrecking ball for the Rollers. He came up with three sacks and two tackles for a loss in the second half alone.
“We really had to work hard for this one. But it proves hard work pays off,” Ogden said. “Every road win is like a trophy. I had to adjust my game a lot because their quarterback and running back are good and agile. I had to break down more and change my game up to get the job done.”