ARLINGTON -- Familiarity breeds competition.
At least that is true for Euless Trinity and Allen. Saturday, the two teams met for the second consecutive year in a Class 5A Division I area-round game at Cowboys Stadium. And again, Trinity escaped with a close win -- this one 28-21.
Allen (11-1) had a chance to tie late in the game, but with 2:04 left on the clock, Trinity defenders Chris Fonokalafi and Safari Bolden stuffed Eagles quarterback Alec Morris on fourth down at the goal line. Trinity (12-0) ran out the clock to win another classic game against Allen.
"I was thinking we were going to stop them [on fourth down]," Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. "I really did. I saw the quarterback take off and run, and I was hoping someone would see him and leave coverage to come make the play. It was a hard-nosed, great tackle."
Last season, Trinity held off a late Eagles charge to win 37-35. Saturday, Trinity had to fend off another Allen surge. The Trojans started the day with a dominant running game to take a 19-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.
Trinity running back Joel Kimpela, who led the Trojans with 356 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries, and quarterback Matt Hawkins both had rushing touchdowns, and kicker Austin Lopez made two field goals before Allen converted its second first down.
"My offensive line just opened it up, man," Kimpela said. "I'm so blessed to have them."
But Allen answered with a three-play scoring drive of three consecutive passes from Morris to Andrew Martinez, the last a 28-yard TD. Then the Eagles scored on a 75-yard interception return by Alex Miller on Trinity's first possession of the third quarter.
Kimpela broke a 45-yard TD run on the Trojans' next possession to regain the momentum.
"We just had to stick with the game plan," Kimpela said.
Lopez added another field goal, and Allen scored on a 12-yard run to make the score 28-21.
Allen's last-chance drive started on its 27 with 6:11 left. The Eagles made it to the Trinity 2 in 12 plays, but Morris came up short on Allen's final offensive play.
Kimpela, who had left the game with a right ankle injury in the third quarter, returned to pick up 57 yards in the final minutes to end the game.
With the win, Trinity moves on to the regional round to play Arlington Martin on Saturday at Pennington Field.
Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760