They look like linebackers. They wear linebacker numbers. They carry the linebacker name.
Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and Josiah Trotter are top linebackers for the St. Joseph’s Prep football team. They walk tall in the footsteps of their father, former Eagles' star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.
But in St. Joseph Prep’s imposing 38-14 win over La Salle on Saturday night, the Trotter brothers made an impact on offense as well.
Lining up as twin fullbacks in the Hawks' “heavy” formation, the Trotter helped clear the way for four rushing touchdowns in the statement victory in a Philadelphia Catholic League at Cardinal O’Hara.
“They opened up the holes for me every time, running right behind them,” said St. Joseph’s Prep senior Noble House, who scored three first-half touchdowns on three one-yard runs.
The linebacker-heavy offensive alignment was just another aspect of St. Joseph’s dominating performance in the clash of arch-rivals on the Hawks' Senior Night.
St. Joseph’s Prep (2-0) built a 38-0 halftime lead against a La Salle team that entered the game with a 3-0 record, including victories over PIAA Class 6A powers Delaware Valley and Downingtown East.
But the Hawks opened the game with a 40-yard completion from Kyle McCord to Marvin Harrison Jr. and never looked back in scoring five touchdowns and a field goal in six first-half possessions.
“They came out with great energy,” St. Joseph’s Prep coach Tim Roken said of his players. “We honored our seniors, and we made sure we finished. Overall, great performance by our guys.”
The first half was a clinic. McCord, an Ohio State recruit, was 11-for-17 passing for 235 yards and a touchdown, all in the first 24 minutes. Senior wide receiver Malik Cooper, a Temple recruit, caught three passes for 113 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown.
One area of concern for the Hawks is the health status of Harrison, an Ohio State recruit as a wide receiver. He left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the first quarter.
Junior Blaine Bunch added 84 rushing yards and a touchdown for St. Joseph’s Prep, which is scheduled to meet Bishop Sycamore of Columbus, Ohio, Saturday at Bensalem. The victory was the Hawks' 31st in a row against PCL opponents, dating to the start of the 2016 season.
St. Joseph’s Prep also has beaten La Salle, its top league rival, nine times in a row.
Josiah Trotter, a sophomore, registered two sacks. Senior lineman Nick Yagodich and senior safety Julian Talley, a Penn recruit, also made big plays for the St. Joseph’s Prep defense, which pitched a shutout before La Salle scored a pair of late touchdowns against the Hawks' reserves.
The Trotter brothers also made their presence felt on offense, clearing the way for House to power into the end zone and earn his first game ball.
“We’ve run that set in the past with different linebackers," Roken said. "These two brothers, playing together on the defensive side of the ball, we wanted to give them an opportunity on the offensive side of the ball.”
La Salle 0 0 0 14 -- 14
St. Joseph’s Prep 17 21 0 0 -- 38
S: Noble House 1 run (Antonmio Chadha kick
S: House 1 run (Chadha kick)
S: Chadha 21 FG
S: House 1 run (Chadha kick)
S: Malik Cooper 56 pass from Kyle McCord (Chadha kick)
S: Blaine Bunch 11 run (Chadha kick)
L: Gavin Daly 13 run (Santiago Sturla kick)
L: Henry Nole 45 pass from Daly (Sturla kick)