SOUTHLAKE, Texas –
Coppell might not want to remember Friday's game, but for everyone involved, it was unforgettable.
Defending Class 5A Division I champion Trinity (Euless, Texas)
, after trailing the entire game, took its first lead the only time it mattered:
With no time on the clock.
Tevin Williams scored on a 2-yard sweep to the left on the final play of the game, giving Trinity a 41-40 victory over Coppell
in the 5A Division I Region I final at Dragon Stadium.
"I knew I was going to get those two yards," said Williams, a senior who missed the playoffs last year with a knee injury. "If I had to run through somebody, I was going to do it."
Trinity (14-0) usually runs over people, but its defense had tread marks on it after taking on Coppell (13-1), which scored on all eight of its possessions.
Coppell had four touchdowns, four field goals and didn't punt once. It didn't turn over the ball, recovered a Trinity fumble and fell on a kickoff return that Trinity muffed. For most of the game, Coppell seemed destined for a spot in the state semifinals against the winner of Round Rock Stony Point and DeSoto.
But Coppell did everything it needed to win except one thing:
Score a touchdown on its final drive.
Coppell had a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line, but Trinity stopped two plays for three yards in losses, and after a false-start penalty, Trinity faced a third-and-goal at the 15. Quarterback Joe Minden, a star throughout the game, overthrew an open Cameron Smth in the end zone, and Nick Jordan hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 40-35 with 4:03 left.
That gave Trinity the opening it needed to win its 27th straight game in a matchup that featured the Dallas-area's top two defenses. Despite that, a defensive battle was out of the question by halftime.
Trinity piled up 300 yards of offense and 21 points in the first two quarters against a defense that was allowing 9.3 points per game. But Coppell was even better in the first half.
Trinity helped out early by fumbling a kickoff that Coppell turned into a 16-yard touchdown drive capped by Cam McDaniel's 2-yard run. Trinity lost a fumble on its next possession, and Coppell drove for a field goal to take a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Trinity scored touchdowns on its next three drives, the second of which was set up by a 57-yard run by Brandon Carter. But as Trinity's offense was grabbing at the momentum, its defense couldn't get a hold on Coppell receivers.
On one play, Coppell's Nate Hruby caught a pass on a crossing pattern and fought off two tacklers before getting away for a 48-yard gain. And the biggest play of the first half came when Minden threw 10 yards downfield to Hruby, who beat the Trinity secondary to the right sideline and streaked for a 69-yard touchdown to give Coppell a 30-21 lead with 1:06 left in the half.
It was Coppell's sixth straight scoring drive of the half, and its seventh drive was an impressive 13-play, 70-yarder than ate up six minutes of the third quarter and gave Coppell a 37-28 lead. But Trinity, nearly as unstoppable most of the night, closed the gap to two points yet again on a 5-yard run by Serge Nseka with 9:14 left.
And after holding Coppell to a field goal, Trinity drove 70 yards for the game-winner. With three seconds left and Trinity two yards from the winning touchdown, the Trojans called a timeout. Carter, the team's star quarterback/receiver who rushed for 149 yards, passed for 79 and caught one pass for 24, seemed the likely candidate to get the ball.
But this time it was Williams' turn, and in the huddle, Carter told his fellow senior what to do.
"I told him to get to the pylon," said Carter, an Oklahoma commit.
Williams did, and after the game, he smiled through tears.
"This was the craziest game I've ever played in," he said.