The double pass had the Euless Trinity secondary beat. The De La Salle wide receiver slipped about five yards behind the coverage.
But the gadget play had one flaw. It was way overthrown. Instead of his debut as the Trojans new head coach being soured by a fast one on national television, Chris Jensen only had one thought.
“Well, I think we’re supposed to win this one,” he said. “It was credibility right off the bat. It’s not that you worry about what the fans and media think. But it is important to get off to a good start. This win took the weight off the staff and the kids.”
The Trojans upset then the nation’s No. 1 team, 26-21. Now, it’s same ol’ same ol’ Trinity. The Trojans (3-0) play another highly decorated non-district game against Galena Park North Shore at Baylor’s McLane Stadium Friday night in Waco.
This is the program that the retired Steve Lineweaver built. This is the program that Jensen advances in his own image. The 48-year-old is going through his first stint as a head coach after standing next to Lineweaver for the last 22 years between Commerce and Trinity. It’s a pressure cooker of a job. He accepts that.
However, the biggest mistake Jensen could make is to emulate everything that Lineweaver did. That’s not fair to himself. That’s not fair to the players. That’s not fair to the rest of the coaching staff.
Jensen had to find his own voice. What he also had was the full support of the rest of the Trojan coaches. Several of them wanted Jensen to go for the position because they wanted to keep everything unified.
“There were some great candidates and Steve did the right thing by staying out of it because he wanted the process to be fair,” Jensen said. “There was a part of me that wondered if I really wanted this thing. But when I had the backing of the staff, it was a no-brainer.”
There were no formalities. Jensen had to fight to win this. But he didn’t want to win the interview. He wanted the committee to know that he would be the man on the sideline whom it interviewed.
When a coordinator moves to the lead chair, there are major changes. The first was hiring Jeryl Brixey as his offensive coordinator. Brixey came from Lewisville but previously spent time at Katy. Katy and Trinity carry the same mindset when playing football.
There’s also a learning curve that Jensen is still experiencing. It could be as big as handling the non-district schedule or convincing a player to switch positions to as ancillary as remembering to set up a chain crew for a freshmen football game. He doesn’t have to serve as the campus athletics coordinator. That position still belongs to girls basketball coach Sue Cannon.
Winning will cure a lot of ails. It sustains a healthy environment. So when Trinity took the field against De La Salle as an underdog, it was a rare role to play. The Trojans found a way.
“It’s all still relatively new,” Jensen said. “But it’s the same people just a different layout. If we can hang in there for another year, then I think everything will settle in a little more.”
Through the first three weeks of the 2015 season, we are 23-12. We’re at 65.7 percent. That’s still not where we want to be. However, it’s not bad either, considering we had no idea what we were walking into with the Week 3 picks. This is the bye week for several programs in our area including Carroll, Justin Northwest, Northwest Byron Nelson, Keller, Keller Central, Keller Fossil Ridge and Keller Timber Creek. However, not everybody is idle. You can thank these odd-numbered districts for that. We still have selections to make.
Last week: 9-4
Colleyville Heritage (2-1) at Arlington Bowie (0-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Wilemon Field, Arlington: This isn’t the same Bowie program we have seen in previous years. The Vols don’t throw it well. The Panthers do. There seems to be some momentum building with CHHS.
Prediction: Colleyville Heritage 34, Arlington Bowie 21
Fort Worth Arlington Heights (2-0) at Grapevine (2-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: A great win for the Mustangs last week at Weatherford. The Yellow Jackets are probably one of the last two great teams on their schedule. Grapevine was embarrassed in this game last year, 60-14. We’re taking a leap of faith with Randy Jackson’s team.
Prediction: Grapevine 31, FW Arlington Heights 27
Abilene (3-0) at Hurst L.D. Bell (0-3); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Pennington Field, Bedford: The Blue Raiders have scored only seven points in their last two games. Abilene has scored at least 35 in all three games. Bell coach Steve Glaze knows he has a big job in front him. The Blue Raiders are going to have a problem stopping Eagle running back Abrom Smith.
Prediction: Abilene 42, L.D. Bell 13
Euless Trinity (3-0) vs. Galena Park North Shore (1-2); 7:00 p.m. Friday, McLane Stadium, Waco: The aforementioned Trojans may not be dynamic. But they’re consistent. North Shore has to feel snake-bitten. It has lost its last two games by a total of six points. This will be tight.
Prediction: Euless Trinity 27, Galena Park North Shore 20
Midlothian (1-2) at Haltom (1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Stadium, Haltom City: I’d really like to pick the Buffalos here. But they just don’t seem to have a lot of things working offensively. Midlothian just picked up its first win last week. The Panthers make it two in a row.
Prediction: Midlothian 20, Haltom 10
Richland (0-3) at Grand Prairie (2-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Gopher-Warrior Bowl, Grand Prairie: The Rebels defense is really leaking. It’s allowed at least 30 points through its first three games. Following a rough start to Haltom, the Gophers have found a little momentum.
Prediction: Grand Prairie 34, Richland 31
Abilene Wylie (2-1) at Birdville (0-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts and Athletics Complex, North Richland Hills: There are lots of defensive problems with the Hawks. They can’t keep teams out of the end zone. Wylie is a Class 4A team but very solid year after year. I think they can sneak out with a win.
Prediction: Abilene Wylie 33, Birdville 24