Trail offense sputters in red zone with three turnovers; Bethel wins big


HUBER HEIGHTS — The National Trail Blazers had three first-half red zone turnovers derail their offense as Bethel rolled over them to a 72-15 victory on Friday, Oct. 16.

Trail head coach Randy Kerns said the game “spiraled out of control” for his team who battle the Bees short-handed.

According to Kerns, about a third of the team was unavailable for the game against Bethel — six of those injured are starters on the team. “We were young to being with, but with a few of our juniors hurt, we are even younger,” the first-year coach said.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Blazers who actually moved the ball quite well on offense, totaling 350 yards according to Kerns, who said, “We moved the ball early and with ease. However, we had the three first-half turnovers in the red zone making what should have been a tight game at halftime a 30-8 deficit.”

Sullivan ended with 143 yards on 25 carries and also ended with four receptions for 89 yards.

“We are really starting to get the attitude of physically going after a team on our offensive line, which is something we didn’t have early in the season,” Kerns said, happy with the improvements of the team. “I’m really pleased with the direction and the physicality our offensive line is playing with.”

“Bethel runs the option, which is really a problem for us because of our extremely inexperienced secondary,” Kerns pointed out. “Once they hit the edge, we really struggled with angles and physicality on the perimeter. They have really good, experienced skilled players who know how to get in the end zone.”

National Trail’s schedule doesn’t get any easier next week, as the Blazers take on Covington, who is tied for first place. Kerns knows it will be a challenge.

“We don’t have time to lick our wounds from Bethel, and we won’t,” he said. “Covington is a team that plays 100 percent together, and man do they play extremely hard and disciplined.”

Kerns also said it will be a good opportunity to show his team what vision he has for the future of the program.

“Their program is something we strive to be — the attitude and toughness with which they play is what we are driving home to our kids day in, day out. They are extremely good, and will be angry after South beat them Friday night,” Kerns said.

National Trail falls to 3-5 on the season.

By Austin Schmidt

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Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.

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