LOWER ALLEN TWP. — Trinity used a heads-up play by linebacker Dante Manetta to grab a 36-34 victory over Annville-Cleona in their Week Zero contest Friday night at COBO Field.
Tied at 34 in the final quarter, Trinity’s Norvell Bartow lined up to kick his fifth extra point. The kick was low and blocked by the interior line of the Little Dutchmen, and an alert Manetta picked up the ball and ran it in for a two-point conversion. The play proved to be the winning margin.
Last year, Trinity walloped Annville-Cleona 55-27 in the Week Zero opener, but this year’s game wasn’t as one-sided at COBO Field.
Trinity (1-0) took the opening drive and scored on a Tommy Kirchoff pass to Jack McHale for 38 yards.
“We have really been working hard in practice to find that rhythm on offense,” Kirchoff said. “The line played great and gave me some time. I got a bit anxious a couple of times and threw the ball too quickly. We made a defensive adjustment at half and it slowed down their offense a bit.”
The Little Dutchmen responded with three scores — the first two on passes from Noah Myers of 22 yards to Quamir Parker and 37 yards to Romeo Varela to take a 13-7 lead.
After a Trinity interception, the Dutchmen drove down the field and Myers scored on a keeper to give the visitors a 20-7 lead.
Trinity got a touchdown on a Kirchoff to Trey McAuliffe score of 14 yards, and later Tre Moody made two great cutbacks from 28 yards out to give the Shamrocks a 21-20 halftime edge.
Annville-Cleona (0-1) scored to open the second half as Caleb Turner raced in from 36 yards out on a blast through the middle of the Shamrock defense.
Moody again rallied the Shamrocks with two carries for 55 yards and a touchdown to give the ‘Rocks a 28-27 lead.
Myers gave the upstart Dutchmen one more lead as he manned a 16-play, 77-yard drive. He pulled over from 9 yards out. Myers checks in at 6-foot-4 and 247 pounds, not normal for a high school quarterback.
“We kept telling the kids if they tackled him high, he would carry them for yards,” Shamrock head coach Troy Jensen said. “We had to make a defensive adjustment at halftime and remind the kids to make receivers earn those catches. Tre runs hard in practice and made some great reads on a couple of cutbacks. We need to clean up some of the penalties; dead ball fouls are hurtful.”
Annville-Cleona led 34-28 when the Shamrocks retook the lead. Kirchoff found Tresjon Ruiz for his only catch of the night from 37 yards out. Manetta’s key play followed, and the Shamrocks had to ride out a final drive by the Dutchmen to secure the win.
Kirchoff ended the night eight for 13 for 168 yards and one interception. Moody carried the rock 15 times for 146 yards.
Myers completed his first two passes for 59 yards and two scores but ended the night with eight consecutive incompletions. Turner carried the ball 20 times for 109 yards.