Tri-Village defense comes up big in 33-6 playoff win

NEW MADISON — Third seeded Tri-Village High School moves on to the Regional Quarterfinals after a 33-6 win over 14 seed Deer Park High School at home in the first round of the Division VI playoffs.

Head coach Matt Hopkins won his first playoff game at Tri-Village in his first year as head coach. Hopkins said it’s been a great time while being a part of the Tri-Village family.

“We got a great school, a great community and great kids. It’s a fun atmosphere to be around. I’m just lucky to be a part of it, I’m happy to be a part of it,” Hopkins said. “I tell the guys all the time a trained monkey could coach this team. Because they are on auto pilot, they know what to do. I’m lucky to have the title, but I got great assistants and great administration.”

The Patriots led 14-0 at halftime. Junior running back Reed Wehr scored an 8-yard and a 13-yard rushing touchdown to put the Patriots up 14-0.

Without conferencing leading wide receiver junior Tanner Printz, Tri-Village was a little more run heavy. Junior quarterback Braden Keating’s first throw attempt came at the start of the second quarter.

The defense for the Patriots’ stopped the triple option offense of Deer Park. They did bend at times, but rarely broke.

They scored their only touchdown of the game on a Jayce Parsons to Kendell Luckett 24-yard touchdown pass after the ball bounced in the air and landed in Luckett’s hands.

Hopkins said the team’s effort was phenomenal and the gameplan was executed to almost perfection.

“They bought in and that’s what they did. I’m really happy for our coaches, but more importantly I’m happy for the guys. They played really, really, really disciplined football. That’s how you beat a triple team,” Hopkins said.

The second half saw Keating throw a little more. He found freshman wide receiver Noah Finkbine for a 3-yard touchdown pass. Later in the game, Keating found senior Justin Finkbine for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

Both scores came after Deer Park scored.

Wehr put the game away late in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run.

The game was won by the linemen on both sides of the ball. The offensive line was able to open the lanes for the running game. The defensive line made plays to hold up the ball carrier or held blocks to let their linebackers roam free.

Hopkins said he told his linemen all week the team is going to ride on their shoulders to get the win. The message was clearly received during the game.

“I tell the O-line and D-line we’re only going to be as good as you guys are going to be. They’re the ones that win us the game. I tell the skill guys we’re fortunate enough to have them in front of us. They make everything happen,” Hopkins said.

Tri-Village will host another playoff game on Nov. 4 against the six seed in Cincinnati Country Day. Game is set for a 7 p.m. start.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]