Each time Euless Trinity clears a roadblock in its path toward a possible fourth state title in six years, another comes along.
But nobody said defending the Class 5A Division I state title would be easy.
Coming off a 41-40 frying pan against Coppell in a Region I final it never led until the final play, Trinity (14-0) now must face 14-0 Round Rock Stony Point in a state semifinal rematch Saturday at 4 p.m. at Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco.
The winner advances to the state final Dec. 18 at Cowboys Stadium against the Pearland-San Antonio Stevens semifinal winner.
Stony Point, the Region II champion for the third straight year, has outscored its opponents 619-229 and been involved in only one game decided by less than 13 points, a 16-13 win over Leander on Oct. 14. The Tigers are coming off a 72-point performance against DeSoto last week.
Trinity boasts a 27-game winning streak and has outscored opponents 669-205. But after breezing through the regular season, the playoffs have been a little too close -- and dramatic -- for comfort.
Before last week's scare from Coppell, the Trojans had to squirm past Allen, 37-35, in the second round of the playoffs. In between, Arlington Martin played Trinity to a 14-14 tie at halftime before wearing down in the fourth quarter and falling, 42-21.
Stony Point, which fielded a varsity team for the first time in 2000, has developed into the top Class 5A power in Central Texas.
Running back Sam Kelley rushes for 147 yards per game and seldom is caught in the open field. Stony Point alternated quarterbacks when Trinity defeated the Tigers 35-28 in the semifinals last year. Coach Craig Chessher stuck with the system until an injury ended the season for Gus Barrera, the better runner of the timeshare.
Aaryn Sharp, the better thrower, has taken over full time, and the Tigers haven't missed a beat. Stony Point's average margin of victory in the playoffs is 27 points.
Sharp and his receivers might be encouraged knowing that Trinity has allowed six touchdowns and 828 yards through the air in its last three games.
Senior lineman Inoke Paipa leads Trinity in tackles with eight per game. Versatile Oklahoma pledge Brandon Carter is the team's most dangerous offensive player. As a wide receiver against Stony Point last season, Carter had touchdown catches of 10, 64 and 75 yards. He is often used as a runner and passer.
Terrence Tusan and Tevin Williams share the running back load behind a big offensive line for the ground-oriented Trojans.
Sophomore linebacker Marcos Curry is Stony Point's leading tackler with nine per game, and Brian Jaquet has intercepted seven passes.
Coach Steve Lineweaver's daring fake punt call from the Trinity 19-yard line was the key play in last years victory. Stony Point had crept to within seven points with four minutes to go when Trojans ran run out of punt formation for 34 yards.
In the 2008 state semifinal, Allen edged Stony Point 23-21 on the way to its state title.
Trinity captured state titles in 2005 and 2007 in addition to last year. The Trojans are 19-1 in playoff games in the last four seasons.