TOWANDA — While it might be a stretch to call it the Smith Center of the South, the Trinity Academy football team has implemented the same run-oriented system and is reaping the rewards through three games.
After rushing for 767 yards in their first two games, the Knights had 327 more Friday night in their 47-13 trouncing of Medicine Lodge at Circle.
Trinity is 3-0 for the first time in school history.
“I spent two years at Holton with Brooks Barta, who is (Smith Center coach) Roger Barta’s son, so I’ve been ingrained with this offense,” Trinity coach Tyler Ryan said. “It’s something that, if executed right, can be tough to stop.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
The offense features three running backs in the backfield, with misdirection and multiple blocks being staples of the system.
With proven running backs Morgan Burns and Austin Kessinger already in the program when Ryan took over last spring, the marriage between the system and the personnel has been perfect.
“We hang our hat on fundamentals and execution,” Ryan said. “We can do different things out of the offense, but it’s nice to have the combination of speed and power like we do.”
Burns is the speed, often bursting to the outside.
Against the Indians, Burns ran for 237 yards and had touchdown runs of 67 (first play from scrimmage), 55 and 30 yards — and when he wasn’t carrying the ball, he was a key blocker for Kessinger.
“All we do in practice is reps of the offense,” Burns said. “Each block and step is crucial in practice. I’m excited to run the ball as much as we have and will do.”
Kessinger did most of his damage up the middle, powering for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’re going to run the ball at you all night and that’s what I love about this offense,” Kessinger said. “We dare defenses to come up to the line but we’re still going to pound it away.”
Medicine Lodge used a spread passing attack to rack up yards in the first half, but turnovers halted any momentum. The Indians fumbled inside the Knights’ 10 and turned the ball over on downs in Knight territory.
With a 50-yard pass play from Chris Coultas to Bryan Hellman early in the second quarter, it appeared Medicine Lodge was primed to make the game competitive. But Trinity scored the next 26 points.
“We haven’t really played anybody yet,” Kessinger said. “I’m looking forward to getting a challenge.”
Medicine Lodge (1-2, 1-1) 0 7 0 6 — 13
Trinity Academy (3-0, 3-0) 14 20 6 7 — 47
T—Burns 67 run (Mork kick)
T—Kessinger 15 run (Mork kick)
T—Fewin 2 run (Mork kick)
M—Hellman 50 pass from Coultas (Wells kick)
T—Burns 30 run (Mork kick)
T—Dohm 29 pass from Kempin (kick failed)
T—Kessinger 8 run (kick failed)
T—Burns 55 run (Mork kick)
M—Wornkey 6 run (kick failed)
Rushing—Medicine Lodge, Coultas 19-93, Wornkey 10-30. Trinity, Burns 16-237, Kessinger 12-79, Kempin 8-45, Fewin 11-44, Sondergard 3-15, Green 3-(-1), Alexander 1-(-2).
Passing—Medicine Lodge, Coultas 12-20-150-1. Trinity, Kempin 4-8-74.
Receiving—Medicine Lodge, Hellman 6-88, Ward 4-34, Beecher 1-9, Leibst 1-5. Trinity, Dohm 1-29, Kriwiel 1-17, Kessinger 1-11, Burns 1-11.