Game of the Week: Business as usual as Bartram Trail hammers Creekside

RB Laython Biddle, QB Riley Trujillo lead romp over Knights in district clash

Bartram Trail Bears biting their way to another win against Creekside Knights, 59-27, during week 8's Game of the Week.

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – Bartram Trail went into victory formation with two minutes left Friday night and began taking knees. That’s when it was finally done.

Not just the game against host Creekside, but the scoring. The Bears’ onslaught included scoring drives on every possession until they hit the knee. It was the way to end another Bartram blowout chapter in the neighborhood rivalry.

The Bears showcased every facet of their well-rounded game. Laython Biddle had 198 rushing yards and three scores by halftime, Riley Trujillo finished with 323 yards passing and four touchdowns and the defense hounded the Knights quarterbacks throughout in a 59-27 romp in the News4JAX Game of the Week.

Not only does it leave Bartram Trail (7-0, 2-0) with its 14th victory in 15 all-time matchups with Creekside (5-2, 1-2) — the 13th time the Bears have won by double-digits — but it keeps the team in line for the District 3-4S title with games against Gainesville Buchholz and Oakleaf ahead on the schedule.

Or, as it’s known at Bartram Trail, business as usual.

“We came out and executed,” said Biddle, who tore off scoring runs of 31, 3 and 88 yards. “It was a rivalry game, and we came in here and knew what we wanted to do. We did it, and we play every game like that. We expect to do that.

“It was all business. Get on the bus, came over here, played the game. Now we’re going home. All business.”

Bears coach Darrell Sutherland said he liked the business approach but didn’t want to siphon all the fun out of the game for his players. He need not worry. It’s difficult not to have fun when a team amasses 577 yards before it trots out the victory formation.

The defense also was in on the fun. While high-scoring Creekside did put up 27 points, it was more than 16 points below the Knights’ average and only the second time this season they failed to crack 37 points.

Bartram Trail was able to contain Creekside’s runners from breaking big gains, and the defense racked up six sacks. Arion Stith had a pair of sacks and another tackle for loss and Davis Houk, Shane Armstrong, Zeke Cromwell and Jack George were in on sacks as well.

Any time the Knights, ranked fourth in the Super 10, began to close in on the Bears, second in the Super 10, Bartram Trail responded. Creekside ripped off a three-play quick strike drive with Wilson Edwards hitting Ashton Reynolds from 38 yards to close to within 24-14 with 1 minute, 23 seconds left in the first half.

So on the next offensive play, it was Biddle up the middle for 88 yards.

“They had answers for what we were going to do on defense,” Knights coach Sean McIntyre said. “We made adjustments and then they made adjustments on that. It was a cat-and-mouse game and we could never get our paws on them.

“That run before the half was a back-breaker. They did a good job answering all night, every single time we tried to get something going.”

If that didn’t deflate Creekside, the opening of the second half could have taken the wind out of the Knights’ sails. Sharif Denson made a brilliant interception on the second play of the second half. Four plays later, Trujillo connected with Taylor Rhodes for a 25-yard score in the corner of the end zone and a 38-14 advantage.

Thus began the Trujillo portion of the game. Biddle carried only three times for five yards in the second half with the defense keyed on him, but Trujillo sliced through Creekside with cool precision.

“We were just trying to take what we were given,” Sutherland said. “They’re a very well-coached football team, and they’re not going to give us anything. We just had to counterpunch.

“It’s going to take guys doing all the little things. That’s what we preach: Carry out fakes, make blocks downfield. Guys being unselfish.”

It’s easier with players like Trujillo. He failed to connect on only five of his 27 passes, spread the ball to 10 different receivers and helped pull big games from Rhodes, with six catches for 136 yards and a pair of scores, and Jack Cremen, who had three catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including a tip-toe down-the-sideline 54-yard touchdown reception for the Bears’ third score.

“We were going to execute the offense to the best of our ability,” said Trujillo, who had 195 yards passing and three scores in the second half. “We have great running backs, a great line, great receivers. I know my guys, one-on-one, they’re going to win. I’ll take my guys anytime, one on one.”

While Creekside is out of the chase for the district title, the playoffs are not out of reach. They entered the night as the fourth-ranked team in Region 1-4S. The region’s four district winners make the postseason and then the next four ranked teams are in as at-large.

That places more importance on games ahead against Fleming Island, Ponte Vedra and Atlantic Coast, particularly since Ponte Vedra entered the weekend ranked seventh in the region.

As for Bartram Trail, the Bears seem headed for a showdown with Buchholz for district — and possibly region — supremacy. But good luck getting the players to treat it as anything other than another game.

His team had just handed its neighborhood rival a beating and asserted itself as the team to beat in district and region play, but, similar to Biddle, Trujillo was all business.

“It was fun,” Trujillo said. “They’re a great team. It was a great game. Just got to take it one game at a time. Same with the district — one at a time.”

Bartram Trail 59, Creekside 37

Bartram Trail, 14, 17, 14, 14 — 59

Creekside, 7, 7, 7, 6 — 27

BT – Laython Biddle 31 run (Liam Padron kick)

C – Wilson Edwards 19 run (Ronald Daragjati kick)

BT – Biddle 3 run (Padron kick)

BT – Jack Cremen 54 pass from Riley Trujillo (Padron kick)

BT – Padron 43 FG

C – Ashton Reynolds 38 pass from Edwards (Daragjati kick)

BT – Biddle 88 run (Padron kick)

BT – Taylor Rhodes 25 pass from Trujillo (Padron kick)

C – Edwards 2 run (Daragjati kick)

BT – Cremen 36 pass from Trujillo (Padron kick)

BT – Rhodes 22 pass from Trujillo (Padron kick)

C – Hampton Riedl 9 pass from Sean Ashenfelder (pass failed)

BT – Shaun McElroy 4 run (Christian Marmo kick)

Category: BT — C

First downs: 24 — 20

Rushes-yards: 37-240 — 42-150

Passing: 323 — 190

Comp-Att-Int: 22-27-0 — 14-28-2

Fumbles-lost: 0-0 — 0-0

Penalties-Yards: 0-0 — 0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — BT: Biddle 16-203, McElroy 7-21, William Bryant 3-19, Trujillo 6-10, Arthur Lewis 1-5, Team 4-(-18). C: Nicky Williams 18-85, Ashenfelder 8-32, Edwards 14-26, Jacob Akel 0-5, Danny Approbato 2-2.

PASSING — BT: Trujillo 22-27-0-323. C: Edwards 8-19-0-131, Ashenfelder 3-6-0-47, Daragjati 1-1-0-12.

RECEIVING — BT: Rhodes 6-136, Cremen 3-96, Nico Weiss 4-39, Lewis 2-14, Francis Pirrung 1-12, Julian Porter 2-11, Joey Davoli 1-7, Jacob Kallner 1-6, Bryant 1-2, Biddle 1-0. C: Reynolds 2-50, Brendan McMillian 5-47, Andrew Kelley 1-42, Riedl 2-39, Eros Taufer 1-10, Williams 1-2.