Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Euless Trinity's disciplined win over Mansfield sets up showdown with Southlake Carroll
RICHLAND HILLS — Mansfield coach Jeff Hulme had no trouble finding a comparison to Euless Trinity after Trinity powered its way to a 28-7 Class 5A Division I area-round playoff victory before approximately 8,000 at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex.
“They’re big, they’re physical and they’re disciplined,” Hulme said. “They’re a lot like Katy. They can run the ball, beat you with play-action and play great defense. That’s why Trinity has the name it has.”
Trinity (10-2) advanced to a regional quarterfinal for the sixth consecutive season. It will face Southlake Carroll at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Birdville.
The last time Trinity lost before the third round was the 2007 showdown with Carroll before nearly 50,000 at Texas Stadium in an area-round matchup.
Having guided Mansfield (7-5) to five playoff wins in his five seasons, Hulme was facing Trinity for the first time after coaching against perennial Houston-area power Katy three times while at Fort Bend Clements.
Trinity led 14-0 before Mansfield had a chance to run a play from scrimmage. On its opening possession, Trinity drove 66 yards on eight plays and scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by senior Matt Hawkins.
Trinity went ahead 14-0 when junior Turner Woolley caught a fumble in the air on the kickoff and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown. Trinity reserve junior running back Isaac Ellsworth caused the fumble to pop up several feet with a hard-hitting tackle.
“I was proud of our kids holding it at 14 points until about five minutes left in the half,” Hulme said. “We were in a hole, but 14 points isn’t too much. Then Trinity hit us with some big plays again.”
Running back Homer Babcock’s 5-yard TD run capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive to give Trinity a 21-0 lead. Trinity completed only two passes on the drive, both to 5-8 senior receiver Ray Bolden for a combined 37 yards. Trinity led 28-0 after tight end Jason Reese caught a 40-yard touchdown pass. A 6-4, 220-pound Arizona State commit, Reese had two catches for 76 yards.
“Jason had some big catches for us,” Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. “He was a wide receiver last year, and we made him into a tight end. He’s been learning that most of the season, but now we can use him at both. Hitting those long passes to him make a huge difference.”
Trinity had 53 rushes for 261 yards and dominated time of possession with nearly 30 minutes to Mansfield’s 19.
Trinity’s defense, led by senior linebacker Tupe Saunoa and senior end Gaius Vaenuku, held Mansfield to 93 yards rushing and 88 passing. Mansfield finally scored with two minutes left on Lance Evans’ 27-yard touchdown pass from Lane Meyer.