BY ANTHONY AMORINI
Forest Hills Journal
Trotwood-Madison used its advantages of size and speed to defeat the Turpin Spartans during the Division II Regional Championship semi-finals.
“I think when you play a team like that, you have to be on top of your game and we made very atypical mistakes in every phase of the game tonight,” Turpin head coach Rob Stoll said.
“And really, that all comes down to me. I certainly could have done a better job (preparing them),” Stoll added.
Turpin’s 2007 campaign also ended in heartbreak on an autumn night at Princeton.
The Spartans fell to 12-1 in 2007 as Turpin’s season ended with a loss to its rivals from Anderson, 24-23, during a game which neither program has forgotten Anderson went on to win the 2007 Division II state title.
Luke Kelly, now a redshirt freshman playing for the Miami Redhawks, saw his Spartan career end following the loss to Anderson.
Liam Kelly, the second oldest of a quartet of siblings behind Brian Kelly, was there to console Luke after the game.
This time, it was Luke consoling Turpin senior linebacker Matt Kelly following the Spartans’ 2009 playoff loss.
“He’s still got four more years of college football,” Luke said of his conversation with Matt following the game. “He’ll survive. He’ll survive.”
Making its fourth-consecutive playoff appearance, Turpin has a combined record of 44-6 dating back to the 2006 season.
Turpin High School quarterback Eric Martin takes a break from the action Friday, Nov. 13, during a frustrating first half for the Spartans’ offense in the Division II Regional Championship semifinals. Turpin trailed Trotwood Madison, 28-7, by the end of the first half.
“I’m very proud of them,” Stoll said of his seniors. “They’ve had a tremendous run in the four years they’ve been here and you absolutely hate for it to end like this tonight.”
“Ultimately, either you win state or you go home like this,” Stoll added. “They definitely always played their hearts out and left it all on the field. Tonight wasn’t an exception to that.”
The Spartans’ only score came in response to Trotwood’s first touchdown of the night.
Turpin responded with a 10-play, 65-yard drive which ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Eric Martin to Brogan Orcutt.
“My comment after that was ‘Wow, we are going to have to earn every inch,’” Stoll joked of the Spartans’ only scoring drive.
The game was tied at 77 briefly until Trotwood scored a trio of touchdowns in a flurry of offensive production.
Leading by 28-7 at halftime, Trotwood only ran eight offensive plays during the trio of scoring drives following its touchdown return.
By the end of the first half, Trotwood had rushed for 209 yards compared to just 16 yards on the ground for Turpin.
Junior Antwan Gilbert rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries for Trotwood including a 90-yard touchdown run to end the first half.
With 32 touchdowns this year, Gilbert brought his rushing total for the season above the 2,500-yard mark against Turpin.
“He’s got great desire and a tremendous work ethic,” Trotwood head coach and former Chicago Bear defensive back Maurice Douglass said of Gilbert. “He wants to be out there every single play. We have to pull him off the field to basically keep him from getting hit.
“They are a great, well coached team but they do some things that we as a staff picked up defensively,” Douglass said of Turpin.
A quartet of the Trotwood offensive linemen weighed in at over 290 pounds with the biggest Ram tipping the scale at 331 pounds.
“Our guys up front were bigger and just faster,” Douglass said. “They hadn’t seen the team speed we have overall. That was a big difference today.”
Turpin senior Wayne Dunham rushed for 63 yards on 16 carries during his final game as a Spartan.
Fellow Spartan senior Jeff Groene picked up 40 yards on eight carries and 36 yards on six receptions.
Martin, Turpin’s junior quarterback, was 15-of-24 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown.