Mo·men·tum

The impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.

Momentum is a strange ally.

It’s clingy.

It’s fickle.

It’s standoffish.

It’s cordial.

It comes and goes when it wants.

It has no school colors.

You have no control over it.

You feel the warmth when it switches to your sideline.

You feel the cool breeze when it heads to the other side.

You embrace it and then try to hold onto it like a tug-of-war when it chooses to leave.

Momentum was on one sideline early, switched sides and never left Friday night at Ray Story Stadium.

The end result was a 54-7 victory by 25-time state champion Louisville Trinity over North Hardin, which was making a state semifinal appearance for the first time in 25 years.

“We did exactly what we knew we were going to do, go out there and score,” Trojans coach Brent Thompson said.

North Hardin took a 7-0 lead at 3:35 of the first quarter after a 10-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 3:59.

“Our group came out of the locker room and hit them in the mouth and I appreciated that,” Thompson said. “A champion responded. They responded very well. That’s why they’re gonna play in Game 15.”

It took the Shamrocks 65 seconds to respond.

And they didn’t stop.

Uncle Mo went to the side wearing green and never returned to the team in black.

Never.

“I felt like we were gonna come right back down and score,” Thompson said. “We bobble a ball, had a bad snap, and they blocked a punt.”

The Trojans had a second-and-2 at Trinity’s 43-yard line, but two runs netted minus-3 yards and the blocked punt put the ball on the 42.

The Shamrocks had 16 offensive snaps on their next two possessions. North Hardin’s possession between Trinity’s was two snaps, the second being a fumble that the visitors recovered.

“That’s a good team up there. You can’t keep continuing to give them mistakes,” Thompson said.

The Trojans went 38 yards in two plays, but four straight incompletions gave the Shamrocks the ball back with 2:51 left in the first half.

Armon Tucker went in from the 3 two minutes later and it was 26-7.

North Hardin threw an interception 11 seconds into the second half and Trinity made it 33-7.

Another interception five plays later turned into another Tucker touchdown run, this from 59-yards out.

“We had to try to press a little bit, try to throw the ball,” Thompson said. “The rain didn’t help us. The rain didn’t cause this loss. The weather didn’t. The field didn’t. That team over there deserves all the credit.”

“We didn’t have any (defensive) turnovers this game, first time all year,” Thompson said. “We turned the ball over several times and that cost us. We tried to press and do stuff on offense that we had to do to get back in the game and we weren’t able to do it. That’s the moral of the story for me.”

North Hardin players will hit the weight room Monday in preparation for 2020.

“We’ve got a lot coming back,” Thompson said. “That group is ready. They got a taste of this. This game is gonna leave a bad taste, but one thing they can’t let it do is let it take away from what all they accomplished. It’s the first time in 25 years we’re where we want to be.

“Obviously next year we want to take the next step in Game 15.”

Mike Mathison can be reached at 270-505-1758 or mmathison@thenewsenterprise.com.

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