Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Euless Trinity’s goal-line stand leads to 99-yard TD drive in 24-6 win over Flower Mound Marcus in bidistrict playoffs
Ensuing 99-yard drive capped by 62-yard score off flea-flicker
ARLINGTON — Euless Trinity, using a goal-line stand on fourth-and-inches followed by a 99-yard touchdown drive, defeated Flower Mound Marcus, 24-6, in a Class 5A Division I Region I playoff at Cowboys Stadium.
Trinity (9-2) advanced to play Mansfield (7-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Birdville.
Trinity took a 17-0 lead when tight end Jason Reese hauled in a pass from receiver Ray Bolden and went 62 yards on a reverse flea-flicker in the third quarter. Trinity’s drive started on its 1-yard line following a Marcus drive to start the second half.
“That was the ballgame,” Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. “We get backed up and our defense, which is a cast of thousands, makes some big plays. The big thing getting off the goal line is getting that first first down. That gives you some room.”
Trinity held a slim 10-0 lead at halftime. The 6-5 Reese, an Arizona State commit, scored on a 38-yard pass from senior quarterback Matt Hawkins. Trinity’s only other points came from a 28-yard field goal by Jose Martinez.
Known for its defensive power, Trinity’s goal-line unit features, among others, Eddie Ngungutau at 6-1, 302 pounds; Gaius Vaenuku (6-5, 264) and Samiuela Tevi (6-5, 270). A perennial state contender, Trinity has made several memorable stands during its playoff runs.
“A lot of it is taking a risk on the snap count,” Vaenuku said. “You can’t jump [off-sides], but you have to be confident. It really helps in situations like that that we’ve played teams like DeSoto and Bellevue [Wash.], programs as good as anyone. I have props for Marcus, too. They played with a lot of heart and I like that.”
Marcus (4-7) made its sixth consecutive playoff appearance despite an injury-plagued season, with senior Ryan Vaughn moving to quarterback from linebacker.
Marcus recovered an onside kick to start the second half and had a first-and-goal at the 2 but couldn’t score.
With its 17-0 lead, Trinity scored its final touchdown on a 3-yard run by junior running back Kenneth Gonzales. Typically run-oriented Trinity used two reverse passes by Bolden and gained more yards passing than rushing, 171-164.
“People don’t think we practice passing, but we do,” Lineweaver said. “I think we started a little tight.
“It’s the first game of the playoffs. We have to do a better job to get the players to loosen up. We started with too much caution.”