The Trojans defense held the Bonanza Bengals scoreless through three quarters to win 40-7 last Friday night. The Bengals, a rushing team, were held to 73-yards rushing on the night and 90-yards passing, while the Trojans offense scored at will.
The Trojans defense set the tone early on the Bengals’ first possession by stopping the run and forcing the rookie Bengal quarterback, Wyatt Alison to pass. Allison had some success passing with 21 attempts for 87 yards, but he could not put a scoring drive together for three quarters.
In the first half, the Pahrump defense forced the Bengals to punt three times and took the ball over on downs on the fourth series just before the half. On the fourth series the Bengals got close to the red zone but then self-destructed on penalties and ended up going backwards. The Trojans defense pressured them by stopping them behind the line of scrimmage twice in that series.
The Trojans on their first possession established the run and on a third-and-eight play Harris took the ball down the field for a 53-yard run and scored the first touchdown of the game. The Trojans then got the ball back in their second series and on a fourth-and-two run Harris ran the ball for 40 yards for a first down. The Trojans then went on to score their second touchdown. Harris had 7 carries for 111 yards.
When the Bengals defense shut Harris down in the second half, the Trojans turned to another weapon, Jeremiah England, the tight end, who ran for 56 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. England also caught the ball well down field in the second half for a reception of 17 yards. England was the go-to man for Trojans quarterback TJ Milk in the second half. England had four receptions on the night for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Milk passed for 66 yards and was 5-of-9 passing. The Trojans offense had 376 yards.
Trojans Coach Joe Clayton was elated by the way his team performed. This was the second home opener in a row the Trojans had won. He said he was confident before the game that the Trojans would win. “We did scout Bonanza going into the game. We knew on paper we had the upper hand. We were focused totally on execution. We thought if we executed both offensively and defensively we would have the upper hand,” Clayton said.
The Trojans’ success on offense and defense stems from their large offensive and defensive fronts. Bonanza was not able to measure up to either line. On defense, 300-pound defensive tackle, D’Adrian Hill, moved the Bengal offensive line and was a force to be dealt with. Defensive end, England, also at 6-foot-4 inches tall and 245 pounds, proved to be too much for the Bengals. “D’Adrian Hill, we are just so proud of that kid. We haven’t had him in a couple of years. We stayed with him and he had some eligibility issues these past couple of years. He is a 300-pound kid with great feet. We told him, ‘You keep your mind right and you could play at the next level.’ He is big and fast and was in that backfield all night long,” Clayton remarked.
After the game, Hill was excited about his performance. “It was intense and I was really nervous but I did well. I have been waiting for this for the past two years,” he said.
England had 12 tackles on the game. The Trojans defensive line was quick and penetrated deep into the Bonanza line, wreaking havoc with their rushing game and they caught the Bengals running backs often behind the line of scrimmage. “Our defensive line, our front four, just did a fantastic job. They are big, solid, strong kids and we knew it was a strength of ours. Our defensive ends, Jeremy and Jeremiah got across the front. They are just so big and they are not getting pushed around. Bonanza could not run the ball between the tackles,” Clayton said enthusiastically.
On offense, TJ was a bit inconsistent on the pass during the first half. “He was just over-throwing them and it was first night jitters. Bonanza liked to play eight to nine in the box. If TJs accuracy was better, it would have spread them out and taken them outside of the box. The Bengals’ defense had a little success with putting those guys in the box. When we started to complete some passes, we were able to spread them out. The offensive line is strong and big. We were slow at first and then we got off as the game progressed,” the coach said.
Next week the Trojans confront the Boulder City Eagles on the road. Last year the Trojans lost a close one 14-8. This year the Trojans are seeking revenge and Clayton is confident his team can deliver. “Against Boulder’s tight-double wing we have the size to match them. We are not too concerned about their offense. We have always been able to defend against them,” Clayton said with confidence.
In other scores, Clark beat Boulder City 26-22 at Boulder. Mojave beat Skyview Idaho 48-40 at the Rocky Mountain Rumble in Pocatello, Idaho. Mojave totaled 508 yards of total offense, including 403-rushing yards. At the same tournament, Shelly Idaho beat Faith Lutheran 27-0. Shelley had a 20-0 lead at the half.