April 24, 2024
Trey Rominger takes the hand off from Trey Fletcher.

Trey Rominger takes the hand off from Trey Fletcher.

The stage was set on September 18th, 2023, as the West Washington Senators faced off against the formidable Paoli Rams in an IHSAA Southern Indiana football showdown. At Cook Field, the Paoli Rams added another victory to their season, decisively overcoming West Washington with a final score of 39-0.

With a season record now standing at 4-1 and Coach Neil Dittmer at the helm in his fourth year, the Rams have firmly positioned themselves in the 2A hierarchy. Their current rank, 10th in 2A, is a nod to their continued prowess on the football field this season. Following their recent win, Paoli now gears up for their next challenge against Eastern Greene, a rival they have historically dominated.

As we dive deeper into this article, we’ll walk you through the play-by-play analysis of this clash between the Senators and the Rams. Strap in, it’s a long one this time!

SISN Play by Play: West Washington vs Paoli

The Paoli Rams started the game on a positive note with Fletcher Cole making a 29-yard kick-off return, giving them great field position at their 42. An early hiccup saw Peyton Baker flagged for a false start, but Trey Rominger played a pivotal role, consistently advancing the ball with a series of impressive rushes on the Rams’ first possession.

The drive saw a balanced attack from Paoli with Trey Minton also making substantial contributions on the ground, adding two crucial first downs. After a pass incompletion by Fletcher Cole, the Rams didn’t waver. Rominger delivered again, sealing the drive with a 16-yard touchdown rush. Rominger successfully completed a two-point conversion, putting Paoli ahead 8-0. The Rams first possession covered 58 yards in 9 plays over a span of 3:49.

On their first drive, West Washington went with a blend of aerial and ground attacks. The drive began with a 17-yard completion from Kenton Chase to Hudson Cress, rapidly bringing the ball into Paoli’s territory. Cress followed up with a 12-yard rush, emphasizing the dual-threat he brings to the offense. A false start penalty, credited to Titan Williams, momentarily pushed the team back. Unfazed, Chase quickly reconnected with Williams for a 15-yard completion, airing out the ball to Paoli’s 27 yard line.

While the West Washington passing game was impressive, it was Paoli’s defense that rose to the occasion. On a pivotal 3rd down play, Trey Minton exhibited exceptional awareness, intercepting Chase’s pass and halting West Washington’s forward momentum. Although the drive showed sparks of potential from West Washington, spanning 44 yards in 6 plays over 2 minutes, it ultimately culminated in a turnover, with Paoli’s defense proving their mettle in crucial moments.

On their second possession, the Paoli Rams leaned heavily on their running game to make steady progress down the field. Starting at their 25-yard line, Trey Minton quickly set the tone with a 13-yard burst. Trey Rominger, a staple in the Rams’ rushing attack, continued to make significant gains, consistently gaining yards and maintaining the drive’s momentum. However, the offense wasn’t solely reliant on Rominger and Minton; Dane Padgett entered the mix with a 14-yard sprint that brought the Rams into West Washington territory.

Though the drive wasn’t without hiccups, as evidenced by a false start penalty against Rominger, they didn’t falter. A key moment came on a 4th and short situation at the West Washington 25, where Rominger rushed for 11 yards, securing another set of downs for Paoli. The first quarter concluded with the Rams threatening to score, positioned at West Washington’s 7-yard line. Paoli maintained an 8-0 lead.

1st Quarter Summary

The first quarter was characterized by Paoli’s dominant ground game and ball possession. With 20 rushes for a total of 131 yards, the Rams established themselves as the formidable force on the ground. Trey Rominger led the charge, recording 75 yards on 11 carries, and notching the only touchdown of the quarter with a 16-yard dash. He was followed by Trey Minton who carved out 29 yards from 4 carries.

On the other side, West Washington’s efforts were less productive, with a total of just 17 rushing yards. Hudson Cress was their standout player, not only racking up 14 rushing yards but also catching a 17-yard pass. However, a key interception halted West Washington’s progress, and it came off the hands of Paoli’s Trey Minton.

Despite West Washington’s limited time with the ball, a mere 2 minutes in comparison to Paoli’s 10 minutes of possession, their defensive efforts were commendable. Jaxson Cambron was particularly active on the field, with a total of 3.5 tackles.

The Rams’ Fletcher Cole made a notable contribution in special teams with a 29-yard kickoff return. Overall, the quarter saw both teams penalized twice for 10 yards, but it was Paoli’s ability to convert on third and fourth downs, as well as their effective ground game, that gave them the edge. Heading into the second quarter, the Rams hold an 8-0 lead over West Washington.

2nd Quarter

Starting the second quarter on the front foot, Paoli Rams were knocking at the door from West Washington’s 7-yard line. Their workhorse, Trey Rominger, continued his impressive form by picking up 6 yards and putting his team just a yard away from increasing their lead.

Yet, a stout West Washington defense, led by Hudson Cress, managed to push Rominger back 2 yards on the next play. The setback was short-lived, as Fletcher Cole came to the rescue for the Rams, rushing in for a 3-yard touchdown. Rominger then sealed the drive by successfully converting a 2-point rush, growing Paoli’s lead to 16-0. The Rams showcased a methodical approach, consuming 7:24 on a 15-play drive that spanned 75 yards.

Receiving the kickoff from Hannon, Grayson McCoy provided West Washington a decent start, returning the ball 14 yards to their 34. The Senators’ drive was energized early on with Hudson Cress surging through for a 17-yard run, taking the ball into Paoli territory.

Despite facing a strong defense, West Washington’s strategy focused on short gains to move the chains, with Cress achieving some success. However, a penalty on Tyler Miller set the team back 5 yards, proving to be a momentum killer.

Although Cress and McCoy attempted to rally the Senators forward, Paoli’s defense tightened, with Cooper Spires and William Baker collaborating to stop McCoy for a loss. Facing a critical 4th and 9 situation, Kenton Chase looked to connect with McCoy, but the pass was expertly deflected by Trey Minton, ending the drive. While West Washington showed potential, moving 40 yards over 11 plays in 5:17, they fell short of reaching scoring distance.

Starting from their own 26-yard line at the 5:30 mark, the Paoli Rams looked poised to continue their offensive onslaught. West Washington, sensing the importance of the drive, quickly called a timeout. Resuming play, the Rams showcased their dynamic ground game once again as Dane Padgett burst through the Senators’ defense for a swift 14-yard gain.

Not to be outdone, Fletcher Cole magnified the momentum with a scintillating 25-yard dash, bringing Paoli deep into West Washington territory. As the Senators scrambled to find answers, they called another timeout, hoping to re-strategize. But Paoli’s diversified attack had another trick up its sleeve. Cole, showing his dual-threat capabilities, fired a pass to Cooper Spires that covered a staggering 33 yards, placing the Rams just 2 yards shy of the end zone.

With West Washington once again halting play to regroup, Trey Rominger took matters into his own hands, bulldozing his way into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown. Dane Padgett sealed the impressive drive with a successful rush on the two-point conversion. Displaying incredible efficiency, Paoli covered 74 yards in just under a minute with 4 plays, taking a commanding 24-0 lead.

Starting at their own 37 following a decent return by Grayson McCoy, the West Washington Senators appeared keen to turn the tide. Kenton Chase initiated the drive with an almost first-down worthy 9-yard run, which showcased the team’s intent to regain lost ground. Hudson Cress continued the forward momentum with a 14-yard dash to the Paoli 40, evoking some optimism amongst West Washington’s ranks.

However, the Senators’ progress began to stall when Grayson McCoy was corralled behind the line by Jaxson Reynolds, resulting in a loss of 6 yards. Trying to recover the lost ground, Kenton Chase managed a 6-yard run on the next play. But just when it seemed the drive could potentially build into something promising, disaster struck for the Senators.

On a 3rd and 10, Chase was once again on the move but was stripped of the ball by Trey Rominger. Jaxson Reynolds, alert and opportunistic for Paoli, pounced on the loose ball, marking a turning point, and potentially snuffing out West Washington’s hopes of a comeback. The drive, lasting only five plays, added a mere three yards and ended on a sour note for the Senators.

Starting their drive deep in Senator territory, the Paoli Rams looked set to further capitalize on their already commanding lead. The ever-reliable Trey Rominger began the drive with a strong 8-yard run, demonstrating the Rams’ intention to maintain their offensive pressure.

Trey Minton took over on the subsequent play, slashing through for a hard-fought 5 yards, achieving another Paoli first down in the process, with both plays seeing Grayson McCoy making the defensive stop for West Washington.

However, just when Paoli seemed poised to add more points to the board, the game took an unexpected twist. On the next play, Rominger was stripped of the ball due to a timely intervention by Gavin Hunt’s helmet of West Washington. This defensive play halted Paoli’s momentum, ending their drive after only three plays and 17 yards. It was a much-needed break for the Senators, hinting at the unpredictable nature of the game.

Beginning their drive from the 23-yard line, the West Washington Senators hoped to capitalize on their defensive success from the previous possession. However, Paoli’s defense had other plans.

Hudson Cress, attempting to spark a fire in the Senators’ ground game, could only manage a mere 3 yards over two carries against a stingy Paoli defense led by Trey Rominger and Oscar Lewellyn. The situation grew more challenging on third down, as Grayson McCoy was met and stopped by Lewellyn and Dane Padgett, resulting in a loss of a yard.

Recognizing the importance of the moment, Paoli took two timeouts, strategically aiming to get the ball back with sufficient time on the clock. Forced into a punting situation, Kenton Chase booted a solid 43-yard punt to Fletcher Cole of Paoli to return it for a short gain of 3 yards. The Senators’ drive concluded without much progress, covering just 2 yards in 3 plays, and lasting under a minute.

With a mere minute remaining in the first half, the Paoli Rams commenced their drive from the 35-yard line, showing intentions of squeezing in a final score before halftime. Dane Padgett set the pace with a dynamic 19-yard rush, swiftly advancing into West Washington territory. Trey Minton contributed a 4-yard rush. A short-lived advance by Trey Rominger of 3 yards was overshadowed by the subsequent drama: an incomplete pass from Fletcher Cole to Cooper Spires saw West Washington’s Clark Nance penalized for pass interference, gifting Paoli 16 precious yards.

But just when the Rams seemed poised to capitalize, they were plagued by self-inflicted errors. Consecutive penalties—a holding call against Cole and a personal foul on Spires—set them back a whopping 22 yards. An attempt to recover some ground saw Cole rush for 10 yards. However, despite their initial progress, time wasn’t on the Rams’ side. The clock ran out, marking the end of their drive and closing the first half without any addition to the score.

Halftime Recap

As the first half drew to a close, the Paoli Rams had firmly established their dominance, leading the game 24-0 over the West Washington Senators. Amassing an impressive 265 total yards, their offensive machine was in full gear, leaving the Senators often scrambling for answers.

Trey Rominger was undoubtedly the star of the half for Paoli. With two touchdown runs, including a 16-yard sprint, he was a consistent thorn in the side of West Washington’s defense. He wasn’t alone in his efforts. Dane Padgett showcased his explosive agility with a standout 19-yard run, while Fletcher Cole managed to keep the Senator’s defense guessing with his dual-threat capabilities. On the receiving end, Cooper Spires made his presence felt with a 33-yard catch, the longest in the game so far.

On the defensive front, Paoli showcased a monster presence on the field. Trey Rominger, not just an offensive dynamo, also led the Rams’ defensive efforts at the half, with an impressive total of 5.5 tackles, including a tackle for a loss, underscoring his versatility and all-around game. Jaxson Reynolds and William Baker also played pivotal roles, both contributing with 3 tackles each.

Reynolds showcased his knack for turning the tide by recovering a crucial fumble. But it was Trey Minton’s interception in the first quarter that truly emphasized Paoli’s defensive dominance, setting the tone early on. Collectively, these defensive stalwarts formed a formidable wall, effectively putting a lid on the Senators’ offensive aspirations throughout the first half.

West Washington, despite their setbacks, showed moments of grit and resilience. Hudson Cress emerged as their primary weapon, garnering 59 yards on ten attempts. Defensively, Grayson McCoy was everywhere, leading with six total tackles, closely followed by Jaxson Cambron, who had five. Yet, as the teams retreated for the halftime break, the Senators knew they had a mountain to climb in the second half, while the Rams looked forward to maintaining their commanding momentum.

3rd Quarter

Kicking off the second half, West Washington received the ball with the intent to turn their fortunes around. Beginning at midfield, thanks to a Paoli muffed onside kick attempt, they were in an advantageous position.

Quarterback Kenton Chase initiated the drive, making a quick pass attempt to Jaxson Cambron, only to find it deflected by Paoli’s vigilant Jaxson Reynolds. Kenton scrambled for a 6-yard gain on the next play, showing a keen sense of the field. Hudson Cress, the Senators’ leading rusher, made his presence felt by carving out a 19-yard run, taking the ball to the Paoli 25.

However, Paoli’s defense continued to exert pressure. While Kenton struggled with two incomplete passes, the ever-reliable Cress faced resistance as well, especially from the omnipresent Trey Rominger, who marked a loss of 7 yards on one of his attempts. Yet, the Senators kept their drive alive with Cress securing another first down.

But despite their persistent effort, West Washington’s 11-play, 40-yard drive was shut down at the Paoli 10-yard line on a 4 and 9 attempt.

Taking possession at the 07:48 mark in the 3rd, Paoli showcased a relentless running game. It started with Trey Rominger dashing for 9 yards, hinting at what would become a pattern. The drives also featured other contributors, with Trey Minton securing a 7-yard rush to earn a first down, followed by Cole Fletcher’s energetic 8-yard dash. Dane Padgett, not to be outdone, secured an impressive 11-yard gain, further solidifying Paoli’s momentum.

After Rominger’s 12-yard sprint into West Washington territory, the opposition called for a timeout. Overcoming a series of challenges, including a false start penalty, Paoli’s offense found their rhythm again, with Fletcher Cole securing an essential first down on a 3rd and 5 situation taking his team deeper into the opponent’s zone.

Concluding the masterful drive, Rominger’s was up again as he charged through for an 18-yard touchdown rush, leaving the scoreline at a daunting 32-0 in favor of Paoli after a successful conversion attempt. This 12-play, 90-yard drive, lasting a substantial 6:16.

3rd Quarter Recap

At the end of the third quarter, Paoli’s on-field supremacy was mirrored by the numbers on the stat sheet. Holding a commanding 32-0 lead, they had successfully imposed their brand of football on West Washington.

One of the most telling aspects of this contest was the time of possession. Paoli, with a slight edge in the third quarter at 06:16 against West Washington’s 05:44, had essentially dictated the game’s rhythm and tempo. Their extended ball control over the entirety of the match, a total of 22:12 compared to West Washington’s 13:48, underscored their ability to control proceedings and keep their adversaries on the back foot.

On the offensive front, Paoli’s ground assault was nothing short of relentless. Trey Rominger emerged as a juggernaut, amassing a staggering 162 yards over 23 carries, translating to an impressive average of 7.0 yards per touch. But it wasn’t a one-man show. With crucial contributions from Padgett, Fletcher, and Minton, Paoli bulldozed their way to 337 yards over 45 carries.

On the flip side, West Washington’s offensive endeavors, though spirited, lacked the same bite. Hudson Cress remained their beacon of hope, registering 80 yards from 15 carries. However, their total rushing yardage stood at a relatively modest 106 yards from 29 attempts.

The aerial game wasn’t the highlight for either side, but West Washington’s Kenton Chase managed to complete 3 of his 10 passing attempts, amassing 36 yards. Paoli’s solitary completion, courtesy of Cole Fletcher, resulted in 33 yards, illustrating their ground-and-pound strategy.

4th Quarter

As the teams regrouped for the final quarter, the narrative was clear. Paoli’s multifaceted rushing attack and time of possession dominance placed them firmly in the driver’s seat, while West Washington, despite their valiant efforts, were down big.

Paoli continued to stamp their authority on the game. Beginning their drive deep in their own territory at their 13. Trey Rominger set the tone immediately with an 8-yard dash, hinting that this drive was not going to be any different from the earlier displays of Paoli’s relentless ground game.

Dane Padgett further emphasized Paoli’s intent with a commanding 20-yard sprint, marking the first significant gain of the drive.

Despite a brief slowdown with Trey Minton gaining only a yard, Rominger, true to form, promptly restored the momentum with an 8-yard rush. Yet, it was Cole Fletcher who provided the finishing touch to what was another dominant drive. Breaking through the West Washington defensive lines, he sprinted a massive 43 yards, planting the ball in the end zone and elevating Paoli’s scoreline to an insurmountable 39-0 after a successful kick by Jareth Nunez.

Covering 87 yards in just 6 plays and running 3:42 off the clock, Paoli reinforced their status as the dominant force in the contest. West Washington, despite their best efforts, found themselves unable to stem the onslaught.

The final drive of the game saw West Washington trying to salvage some pride. Starting from their 31-yard line at 08:05, their intent was clear as they opened with a passing play. Kenton Chase aimed for Titan Williams, but the pass went incomplete under tight coverage from Spires Cooper.

With their passing game stifled, they turned to their trusted runner, Hudson Cress. He carved out a respectable 6 yards, followed by another short gain of 3 yards. On a critical 4th down with just a yard needed, Hudson managed to push through for the first down.

The drive, however, faced a setback. Grayson McCoy managed a noteworthy 15-yard rush only for it to be nullified by a holding penalty against Titan Williams. Despite the setback, Kenton Chase, displaying resilience, sprinted for 8 yards into Paoli territory.

West Washington’s struggles continued with a series of incomplete passes, and even when they tried to penetrate Paoli’s defenses with the run, they found it hard going. Hudson Cress did manage to find a few gaps, but it wasn’t enough. The drive reached a climax on the Paoli 31. Faced with a 4th and 6 situation, Kenton Chase tried to connect with Tyler Miller but came up short.

This 12-play drive, which covered 32 yards and chewed up 8:05 of the clock, encapsulated West Washington’s night. Despite moments of promise, they faced a Paoli defense that was up to the task, ensuring the game ended with West Washington unable to break their duck on the scoreboard.

Box Score

Key Highlights

Team Statistics

  • PAOLI outperformed WEST WASHINGTON in First Downs with 24 vs. 11.
  • PAOLI dominated in Net Yards Rushing with 424 yards on 51 attempts, averaging 8.3 yards per rush and scoring 5 rushing touchdowns.
  • WEST WASHINGTON struggled in passing, completing only 3 out of 15 attempts with one interception.
  • PAOLI had a significant edge in Total Offense Yards, with 457 yards compared to WEST WASHINGTON’s 177 yards.
  • Both teams had a Fumble with one each being lost.
  • PAOLI was efficient in the Red-Zone, scoring on all 4 of their chances.
  • PAOLI scored 8 points off turnovers.

Top Players

WEST WASHINGTON

  • HUDSON CRESS: Rushed for 103 yards on 20 attempts and had 21 yards from 2 receptions.
  • KENTON CHASE: Had a net rushing of 31 yards from 9 attempts and passed for 36 yards with 3 completions out of 15 attempts (1 interception).
  • GRAYSON MCCOY: Was the leading tackler with 6.5 tackles.

PAOLI

  • TREY ROMINGER: Impressive performance with a net rush of 185 yards on 26 attempts, scoring 3 touchdowns, and leading in defense with 6.5 tackles, including 2 for loss.
  • FLETCHER COLE: Rushed for 107 yards, 2 touchdowns on 9 attempts, and completed a pass for 33 yards.
  • DANE PADGETT: Contributed 86 yards rushing on 8 attempts.
  • TREY MINTON: Had an interception return of 10 yards.

Paoli’s Next Up: Eastern Greene Thunderbirds

Eastern Greene's James Lewis
Eastern Greene’s James Lewis

Coming off a commanding victory over West Washington with a scoreline of 39-0, the Paoli Rams are carrying an impressive momentum into their next game. This undefeated streak is a testament to the team’s hard work, skill, and dedication. As they prepare to host Eastern Greene at Cook Field, there’s an aura of optimism and determination in the Rams camp.

Eastern Greene, with a respectable 3-2 record, recently showcased their offensive prowess in a 35-8 win over Clarksville. Their performance this season has been commendable, but their upcoming clash against Paoli will be one of their most challenging games yet. The historical data tilts heavily in favor of the Rams. Over the last 35 years, Paoli has an undefeated 7-0 record against Eastern Greene. This includes a dominant 48-13 victory just last year. Such a track record undeniably gives Paoli a psychological edge heading into the game.

A deep dive into the stats further accentuates Paoli’s dominance. Coach Neil Dittmer, in his 4th year, has carved out a strong 25-12 record, underlining the team’s consistent high performance. The Sagarin ratings too speak volumes. Paoli stands at 59.21, ranking 109th overall and 10th in 2A. In contrast, Eastern is rated at 37.89, positioned at 214th overall and 25th in 1A.

While Eastern Greene shouldn’t be underestimated, especially after their recent win, the numbers and history are hard to ignore. The Paoli Rams have both the form and the historical advantage. If they maintain their current momentum and approach the game with the same tenacity and focus as they have so far, it’s reasonable to predict another win for them.

Given all factors, a likely outcome might mirror the prediction: Paoli coming out on top with a score of around 38-14. However, as always in sports, it’s essential for the Rams not to rest on their laurels and to approach the game with the respect and intensity it deserves.

Following their victory over West Washington, where the Rams showcased an ironclad defense and an offense that seemed unstoppable, Paoli will be riding a wave of confidence. The 39-0 scoreline against West Washington shows their on-field prowess, their synergy as a team, and Coach Neil Dittmer’s strategic mind.

As the dust settles from the win, the Rams set their sights on Eastern Greene. The upcoming matchup offers a fresh set of challenges, but Paoli’s recent form and history against the Thunderbirds suggests they’re well-prepared to face them. Football, with its unpredictability, ensures that every game is a new chapter. Yet, if Paoli’s performance against West Washington is any indicator, fans can look forward to another riveting display of football in the game against Eastern Greene.

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