<
>

Eul. Trinity slips past Coppell in playoff thriller

SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- Euless Trinity took its only lead of the game as time expired.

Trinity's running game ran behind Coppell's passing game for literally all 48 minutes Friday, but while Coppell kicked field goals, Trinity scored touchdowns.

The Trojans finally caught up when running back Tevin Williams trickled into the end zone on a toss to the left with zeros on the clock to give Trinity a thrilling 41-40 win at an over-capacity Dragon Stadium.

"There hasn't been any game like this one," Trinity head coach Steve Lineweaver said.

Trinity (14-0) advances to the state semifinals against Saturday's winner between DeSoto and Round Rock Stony Point.

Trinity fans stormed the field after Williams' touchdown while the teary-eyed Trojans exploded off the sidelines, throwing helmets and shoulder pads into the air. Coppell's players and fans stood motionless, attempting to process the upset that got away.

"We haven't had a game like this since last year," Trinity quarterback Brandon Carter said. "We're thankful for Coppell playing their hearts out. We needed that for the next game."

Coppell (13-1) took a 40-35 lead with 4:03 left in the game after Nick Jordan's fourth field goal. Trinity answered with a 12-play, 70-yard game-winning scoring drive that included a fourth-down conversion at the Coppell 26-yard line.

The drive was a microcosm for Trinity's offensive performance. It ran the ball behind its massive offensive line and Coppell couldn't do anything about it.

Trinity totaled 410 rushing yards behind Williams (152 yards, two touchdowns), running back Terrence Tusan (77 yards, one touchdown) and quarterback Brandon Carter (156 yards, two total touchdowns).

But Trinity's defense didn't have an answer for Coppell either in a game that went without a single punt.

Coppell quarterback Joe Minden torched Trinity's stalwart defense for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Receivers Tyler Landis and Nate Hruby both broke the century mark with 117 and 149 yards, respectively, and both scored touchdowns.

Coppell took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, turning two early Trinity fumbles, including one on a squib kickoff, into 10 points.

"Man, they had us going there," Lineweaver said. "[I] about screwed this game up early the way I had my kickoff return aligned."

From that point on, both teams scored on every drive. The difference was Coppell had to settle for field goals too many times while Trinity scored all touchdowns.

"There was a lot of talk about they were going to expose our secondary and score all these points, but when it was crunch time, our defense stepped up and held them to a lot of field goals," Williams said. "This game goes to the defense."

Coppell led, 30-21, at halftime and maintained a nine- to two-point lead for much of the second half.

The Cowboys almost put the game away late in the fourth quarter when Coppell bled Trinity on a 12-play drive that stalled when Minden couldn't connect with Cameron Smith in the corner of the end zone on third-and-goal from the 15.

It held Coppell's lead to just one score instead of two. Trinity's running game had just enough time to take the win.

"We knew this was going to be a dog fight, but we got a saying: If it's close at halftime, we're going to win," Williams said.