Trinity puts on near-flawless performance in 38-0 win
DOVER — How good was the Trinity High School of Manchester football team's performance on Friday night? Good enough for Trinity coach Steve Burns to call it his team's best effort of the season.
Other than failing to recover an onside kick on the game's opening play, pretty much everything went Trinity's way during a 38-0 triumph over St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover.
The Pioneers scored touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions, and shut out a St. Thomas team that had scored at least 46 points in three of its five victories.
“The kids came out focused,” Burns said. “They played physical tonight. We were able to run the ball and have a good offensive game.
“Defensively we flew around. They're tough to defend. With that no huddle they're all over the place. I was happy we were able to line up and make some plays.”
Trinity received three rushing touchdowns from senior wingback Romeo Masuku, and two from fullback Ryan Carrier. The Pioneers also scored on a 35-yard pass from quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi to tight end Ryan Boldwin.
The Pioneers led 12-0 after one quarter, 18-0 at halftime and 32-0 after three quarters. Running time was used after Masuku scored his third TD — a 4-yard run — with 7:25 to play.
“They were relentless,” St. Thomas coach Eric Cumba said. “They're physical and those guys play hard. As the game went on we got worn down. We've always been a smaller team, so whenever you play a big, physical football team like Trinity that's always a concern.”
The victory raised Trinity's Division IV record to 6-1. St. Thomas dropped to 5-2.
It was the first time the Saints have been shut out since Cumba took over as the program's head coach at the start of the 2011 season. Cumba guided St. Thomas to an undefeated season and the Division IV championship last year.
The Saints used three quarterbacks in the game, and even moved running back Ryan Monette under center at times.
“I wanted to be able to dictate the tempo,” Burns said. “They're fast-tempo, we're slow tempo. I was glad we were able to do that.”
Trinity seemed to deliver the knockout blow when Carrier scored on a 51-yard run with 10:07 left in the third quarter. The TD came on Trinity's first offensive play in the second half, and helped the Pioneers increase their lead to 26-0.
Masuku ran for 132 yards on 16 carries. Carrier finished the game with 122 yards on 17 carries.
Things won't get any easier for St. Thomas next week when they have to play at unbeaten Plymouth. The Saints need one more victory to clinch a Division IV playoff berth.
Trinity can lock up the No. 2 seed by winning its two remaining games. The Pioneers will complete the regular season with home games against Hanover and Windham.
“Other than Plymouth, which punched us right in the mouth, that was the best team we've played,” Burns said. “I think that was our best performance team-wise in terms of staying together and working hard.”