Euless Trinity captures first-ever win over Southlake Carroll to advance

Posted Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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There was going to be no stopping Southlake Carroll’s offense Friday in the 5A Division I regional at AT&T Stadium.

Carroll did exactly what it has done repeatedly this season — putting up 557 yards of offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play.

One timely defensive play, however, made all the difference for Euless Trinity in the Trojans’ 42-38 win — the first over Carroll in school history.

Trailing by four, the Dragons (11-2) had driven deep into Trinity territory. With 5:41 left, quarterback Ryan Agnew threw a safe pass into the left flat, where the ball was caught and advanced. But in came the helmet of Trinity senior linebacker Turner Woolley, and the ball popped loose.

“Coach just told me to play more aggressive so they couldn’t get yards, and I kind of just made the tackle and that happened,” Woolley said.

Six-foot, 283-pound defensive lineman Hafoka Olie made a fully extended dive onto the loose ball — the only turnover of a game that had six lead changes, five in the second half.

“When I saw that ball there, it was like a dream when I got it,” Olie said. “You’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do for your team.”

With a power rushing offense that had gained 446 yards on the ground Friday, Trinity was able to run out the clock.

“The offense still had to go to work,” Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. “We had to eat some clock. They’re good on defense, so we had work to do. We couldn’t celebrate and think it was over.”

The Trojans burned 5 minutes, 6 seconds off the clock on a 12-play drive that ended with a turnover on downs and left Carroll only 19 seconds to score from deep in its own territory.

Three snaps later, the Trojans (11-2) rushed the field to celebrate a historic win.

Isaac Ellsworth led Trinity with 244 yards rushing on 18 carries, with touchdown runs of 43, 70 and 51 yards. Ja’Ron Wilson had 118 yards rushing.

A 24-yard touchdown pass from Trinity quarterback Christian Hammack to Will Taylor overcame Carroll’s 38-35 lead. Carroll led 21-7 early and 24-21 at halftime.

Trinity had faced Carroll twice before, both times in the playoffs, and lost both games, including a 16-7 loss last year in the regional round of the 5A Division I playoffs.

The Trojans appeared to make significant second-half adjustments to control the Dragons’ explosive offense, led by Agnew’s 437 yards passing. But Lineweaver and defensive players alike said the only changes were mental.

It came down to trusting the scheme and remembering whom they play for this season — Polo Manukainiu, Gaius “Keio” Vaenuku and Andrew “Lolo” Uhatafe — the two former Trojans and a Euless Junior High student killed in a car accident before the season began.

“Halftime, we didn’t make any adjustments,” Olie said. “We just thought of our three fallen angels, just thought about that and remembered who we were doing it for, that that’s all we did.”

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Trinity finally beats Carroll

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