Playing Valley Christian is like pushing against a train. Once it gets rolling, you’re helpless to stop it. More often than not, the Trojans’ train has rolled over teams via the 42-point mercy rule, including the first two rounds of the state playoffs.
On Saturday, the Trojans aren’t expecting to mercy rule their semifinal opponent, Thatcher. But the Trojans expect the train to keep rolling down the tracks.
"Toward the fourth quarter, we definitely feel that teams are getting worn down because no one works as hard as us," senior tackle Kyle Groth said. "We condition more than anyone, so we feel a difference in the later quarters that we are wearing them down."
Trojans coach Bill Morgan is hoping his team can get off to a fast start against Thatcher and let the offensive and defensive lines take over.
Three of those offensive line starters, Groth, Nick Hernandez and Andy Montano, are returning starters and are motivated to finish off what last year’s team started by making the state finals.
Groth, Montano, Hernandez and junior Isaac Remington average 6-foot-3, 266 pounds but have speed and mobility to go along with their size. The other starting lineman, junior Mark Timpani, is small by comparison, 6-2, 175, but is the quickest of the bunch and is one of the best hitters on the entire team.
Saturday, that group will be squaring off against a smaller Thatcher team that has just four players over 200 pounds and no one over 260.
Thatcher will need to avoid those big men if it is to slow down 1,307-yard rusher Reggie Sheffield and the rest of the Trojans’ offense.
For the Eagles’ offense, everything centers around running backs Heath Allred and Derek Romney, the two players who carried Thatcher past St. Johns in the semifinals.