ARLINGTON -- Euless Trinity showed a flair for the dramatic in its playoff opener Saturday afternoon.
A third-quarter goal-line stand followed by a 99-yard touchdown drive propelled the Trojans past Flower Mound Marcus 24-6 in a Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff game at Cowboys Stadium. Trinity (9-2) will face Mansfield (7-4) in the area round.
"We've been needing these big plays in big games," Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said.
Marcus (4-7) was the team making big plays to start the second half. The Marauders, who trailed 10-0 at the half, recovered an onside kick at midfield to start the third quarter.
"Just not what we wanted to do," Lineweaver said. "That was great execution by them. The kicker looked for sure like he was kicking it deep."
The first play of the ensuing drive went for 38 yards on a pass from Marcus quarterback Ryan Vaughn to Logan Sepanek. Vaughn's 5-yard pass to Wyatt Verret on third-and-4 gave Marcus first-and-goal at the 1.
But the next three plays netted minus-1, 1, and zero yards. The Trojans stopped Vaughn's run short of the goal line on fourth down. Trinity's offense responded to the momentum swing with a nine-play drive.
The biggest play was from the Trinity 38. Quarterback Matt Hawkins pitched the ball to receiver Ray Bolden, who threw downfield to Jason Reese. The 6-foot-5 tight end took the pass 62 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
Reese, who finished with 108 yards on three catches and two touchdowns, also gave the Trojans a spark late in the first half with a 38-yard touchdown grab with 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
A Marcus punt had given Trinity possession at its own 23 with 1:01 to go in the first half. Hawkins led the Trojans downfield with completions of 24 and 15 yards to Bolden to move into Marcus territory. On first down from the Marauders 38, Hawkins capped the three-play, 77-yard drive with a throw to Reese over the middle for the score.
"We run that two-minute drill every week in practice," Lineweaver said. "We haven't done it much in a game."
Marcus began the fourth quarter in Trinity territory looking to cut into the 17-0 lead. But John Maumalanga sacked Vaughn on fourth down to end the threat.
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