Euless Trinity continued its dominance over rival Hurst L.D. Bell with a 27-9 victory Thursday night at Pennington Field.
The win gave the Trojans (5-2 overall) 15 straight victories over the Blue Raiders dating to 1998 and left Trinity alone atop the District 6-5A standings at 4-0.
After trailing L.D. Bell (6-1, 3-1) at the half for the second consecutive season, the Trojans outscored the Blue Raiders 24-0 after the break, thanks to a dominating defense and three rushing touchdowns by quarterback Matt Hawkins.
"Coming out in the second half our offensive line just bore down," Hawkins said. "In the locker room we just made a pact to get after it. We made a couple changes at the half, but to be honest we just stuck to our bread and butter and just kept pounding the rock."
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L.D. Bell took a 9-3 lead into halftime after quarterback Colson Romano escaped a free Trinity rusher and found Ryan Newsome alone in the end zone. But the Blue Raiders were held to 50 yards and just a pair of first downs in the second half.
The Trojans forced three turnovers, led by linebacker Inoke Ngalo, who picked off a pass and recovered a fumble.
"Really we just came out in the second half, saw some opportunities, made some plays and we took it," Ngalo said. "That's Trinity football."
After retaking the lead on a 21-yard touchdown run by Hawkins with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Trinity forced the Blue Raiders into their third straight three-and-out. The L.D. Bell punter, who was backed up to his own goal line, fumbled the snap before being enveloped by a host of Trojans, setting up a first-and-goal at the 2 for Trinity.
Hawkins punched it in on the next play to extend Trinity's lead to 20-9 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
"We were real close in the first half, but we got those turnovers in the second half and it really made the difference," Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. "Our defense just played lock-down defense in the second half and they won us the game."
The victory extended Trinity's district winning streak to 49 games dating to 2005.
"It was a real emotional game and it was just an honor to keep the legacy of Trinity football going," Ngalo said. "I grew up wanting to play Bell since I was a little kid. I'm happy I got that chance, and it's a dream come true."