The Trenton Bulldogs, headed into the late stages of the second quarter of Friday night’s Grand River Conference game with the Polo Panthers, trailed 12-3 with the Panthers driving for a potential third first-half score.
Needing a play to flip momentum, senior safety Gabe Novak stepped forward to change momentum in a remarkable individual effort as 45 seconds remained on the clock. Tom Johnson had the call on KGOZ 101.7 FM:
The successful PAT cut Polo’s halftime lead to 12-10, but with a surge of momentum, Trenton came out of the locker room with renewed enthusiasm. The Bulldogs controlled the second half with a grinding run game and suffocating defense, outscoring Polo 20-0 after the break in a 30-12 triumph from C.F. Russell Stadium.
Polo opened the scoring on a three-yard Gilbert run midway through the first quarter, before a Mascorro 27 yard field goal for Trenton sliced the lead to 6-3 after one. A 16-yard scoring run by Tommy Ross of Polo boosted the lead to 12-3 just 12 seconds into the second quarter.
The third quarter saw Trenton surge to the lead, as a 3-yard scoring run by Novak giving the Bulldogs a 16-12 with 5:46 to go in the third quarter. The Bulldogs added breathing room just over two minutes into the fourth quarter on a 26 yard scamper by Novak:
Brayden Hughs had a 15 yard touchdown run to finish the scoring with 4:53 left in the game.
The result leaves Polo and Trenton tied for second place in the GRC, one game behind Milan. The Wildcats were impressive in a 55-7 win at Milan. Milan will play at Polo on Friday, October 13th.
Trenton’s improved second half play on Friday night included the Bulldogs ability to avoid the penalty bug. After being penalized eight times in the first half, three of those 15 yard walk-offs, the Bulldogs only were penalized four times in the second half.
Novak had a career night on both sides of the football, with three interceptions defensively, and 29 carries for 233 yards offensively. Hughs had 73 yards rushing and Mason Rongey 65 yards on the ground for Trenton.
The high school football scoreboard for Friday, September 29, 2023:
Trenton 30, Polo 12
Milan 55, Gallatin 7
South Harrison 28, Putnam County 8
Maysville 46, Fayette 20
North Platte 30, Mid-Buchanan 26
East Buchanan 48, West Platte 13
Penney 14, Lathrop 0
Gateway 34, Lawson 27
Savannah 34, Cameron 0
Chillicothe 79, Lafayette 38
Maryville 42, Benton 8
Smithville 28, Raytown South 12
Kearney 42, Ruskin 12
Hannibal 53, Kirksville 0
Fort Osage 49, St. Joseph Central 7
St. James Academy 34, St. Pius X 17
Richmond 48, Carrollton 12
Knob Noster 20, Lexington 0
Lafayette County 39, Holden 14
Brookfield 34, Macon 0
Monroe City 36, Palmyra 34
Centralia 39, Clark County 14
South Shelby 69, Highland 6
Marceline 66, Salisbury 30
Westran 38, Scotland County 7
Albany 72, Princeton 26
St. Joseph Christian 78, Pattonsburg 70
Worth County 70, Stanberry 0
King City 50, North Andrew 14
East Atchison 52, Stewartsville/Osborn 0
South Holt 77, Platte Valley 22
Mound City 48, DeKalb 22
Braymer 74, Schuyler County 56
North Shelby 64, Slater 24
Bishop LeBlond 82, KC East Christian 34
Knox County 52, Paris 44
Norborne/Hardin-Central 50, Southwest Livingston 28
St. Paul Lutheran 67, Santa Fe 6
Orrick 50, Sweet Springs 30