For those that are unfamiliar with the 7-on-7 format, the tournament is a non-contact event, showcasing skill players. Teams begin on the opponents 40-yard line and are given four downs to reach the 25. From the 25-yard line they are once again given four downs to move the ball 15-yards for a first down. Once at or inside the 10-yard line, teams have four sets of downs to convert a score. Offensive scoring is the same as in a regular game, however, points after conversion are similar to a 2-point conversion, but only count as one point. Interceptions are worth three points.
Some of the high schools that participated in the event were Trinity, Male, St. X, Lexington Catholic, Bullitt East, Manual and Fern Creek. Male, St. X, Ballard, Manual, Lexington Catholic and Prestonsburg all entered multiple teams.
The event kicked off at 11:00 a.m. in pool play, which brought some impressive matchups early in the day, such as Male facing Fern Creek and its 6'7 receiver Mario Urrita. However, the most interesting first round game was between Trinity and Evansville Reitz. While many, including myself, expected Trinity to cruise to the championship game, it took an overtime win over Reitz for the Shamrocks to open the day with a win.
Following its scare by Reitz, Trinity and quarterback Brian Brohm quickly found their rhythm and seemingly rolled through the remainder of their pool play, defeating both Central and Ballard.
As pool play concluded around 4:00 p.m., there was one minor surprise as Oldham County upended Male to advance the round of eight. The remaining teams that made it through to the final eight were Trinity, St. X, Anderson County, Bullitt East, Lexington Catholic, Prestonsburg and Meade County.
When play resumed on the Cardinals practice fields, Trinity, Prestonsburg, Lexington Catholic and Bullitt East proved to much for their opponents as they moved on to the final four.
As Lexington Catholic and Bullitt East traded scores, Trinity's Brohm appeared to be in his comfort zone as he continually connected with his receivers, including a number of long distance touchdowns. Trinity had little trouble defeating Anderson County and did so convincingly.
The championship game had Trinity squaring off against Lexington Catholic. Lexington Catholic's game plan was obvious from the outset, as they consistently threw short yardage routes, allowing the clock to run, keeping Trinity's high-powered offense off the field. With just a minute left in the first half, the game was knotted up at 7-7. Brohm then effectively drove the Shamrocks downfield for a touchdown with less than 15 seconds remaining. The point after conversion failed and Trinity led 13-7 at the break.
Brohm proved to be too much for Lexington Catholic's defenders in the second half as Trinity was able to develop some breathing room, eventually building a lead of 27-13. Lexington Catholic added a late score to pull within eight at 27-19. Trinity then effectively ran out the clock and ended the day as the 2003 U of L 7-on-7 Champions.
Brohm completed 21 of 25 pass attempts for 165-yards and four touchdowns in the final game.