By Steve Gunn
NORTON SHORES – New quarterback, same Mona Shores Sailors.
That’s because he’s replacing All-State quarterback Tyree Jackson, a four-year starter who took the Sailors from rags to riches and earned a football scholarship to the University of Buffalo.
Trovinger, a senior who backed up Jackson last year, passed his first test with flying colors, leading Mona Shores to a 55-0 thrashing of Holland West Ottawa in the season opener at Sailor Stadium.
He completed 5 of 6 passes for 83 yards, including two touchdown throws. He rushed for 107 yards on 10 carries, including a 60-yard touchdown burst in the second quarter.
Overall he looked in complete control, which says a lot about a quarterback getting his first start in front of a packed crowd of anxious fans.
“I was nervous when I woke up, but after that I settled in, watched some film and knew I was going to be all right,” said Trovinger, who credited the Sailor offensive line for giving him plenty of time to execute. “I knew what I could do and I feel I proved a lot of things to a lot of people.
“We have a great team. I think we’re going to be better than last year. We know what to expect out of Mona Shores football. We know what we have to do and we know what’s at the end of the road.”
Koziak was impressed with his new signal caller.
“I thought he was great,” the coach said. “We don’t have an easy offense to run and I thought he was spot on tonight. Tyree was great, but Tyler is Tyler, he sort of had something to prove tonight and he did a great job.”
Of course Trovinger’s job was made much easier by the presence of a talented supporting cast, including senior returnees Hunter Broersma, Kobe Burse and Darece Roberson.
Broersma, a senior slotback, opened the scoring in the first quarter on an 18-yard run after taking a pitch from Trovinger. He also had an electrifying 91-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Burse, a senior wideout, took a 17-yard screen pass from Trovinger and scored a touchdown in the first quarter. He also returned a fumble eight yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Roberson, a senior slotback, took a screen pass from Trovinger and turned it into a 39-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He also had a 48-yard punt return and an interception.
Running back Dom Shermeta, who is replacing graduated standout DeOntay Moffett, also had a big game. He totaled 81 yards on nine rushes, including a 19-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter.
The Sailors’ final touchdown came on a four-yard run by Marcus Collins in the fourth quarter.
The Sailors looked every bit as good as they were last season, when they won the O-K Black Conference title and advanced all the way to the Division 2 state finals.
They had a 385-144 edge in total offense, including a 302-61 edge in total rushing.
The Sailors led 14-0 after one quarter and 41-0 after halftime. The second half went mercifully fast, due to a running clock.
Leading the stifling defensive effort were Shermeta with seven tackles Christian Boyd with four.
“We will have to play more games to see, but we definitely have the capacity to be better than last year,” Koziak said. “We definitely have more weapons.
“But we’re not the hunter anymore, we’re the hunted. That’s something new this year that the kids will have to adjust to. They did look in midseason form tonight, but we’ll have to continue to get better every week.”