It has been 21 years since Hurst L.D. Bell has beaten Euless Trinity in football.
Make that 22.
Bell put up a fight in the first half before Trinity wore the Blue Raiders down in a 42-7 thumping on Thursday night in the District 3-6A opener for both schools at Pennington Field.
“This crossed off two of our goals for the season,” said Trinity coach Chris Jensen. “We want to win our first game of the season to get off to a good start, to win our first district game, beat Bell, and win our first playoff game.
“We go in to it every year saying, ‘just win by one’. That’s our motto.”
Trinity (5-0, 1-0 District 3-6A) forced Bell (2-3, 0-1) to punt on each of the Blue Raiders’ first two possessions and capitalized both times.
The Trojans took seven minutes off the first quarter clock with a 15-play, 89-yard drive. Jason Vaomotou capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run to give Trinity a 7-0 lead with 37 ticks left in the opening quarter.
After a three and out by Bell, Trinity was on the move again. Ollie Gordon picked up 42 of the 65 yards on the drive including the final 27 as he tight roped down the right sideline to give the Trojans a 14-0 lead with 9:05 left in the second.
Bell’s ensuing drive was its best of the first half. It started at the Blue Raiders’ 30 and stalled at the Trinity 13, but a 30-yard field goal was missed.
Two plays later, however, Trinity fumbled the ball back to Bell. The Blue Raiders took over at the Trojans’ 26 and scored on a Christian Gadison 5-yard run five plays later.
Trinity still led 14-7 with 1:29 left before halftime after the Bell score, but the Trojans weren’t done.
Trinity quarterback Marcus Ervin narrowly missed being sacked before finding tight end Xzavior Kautai wide open for a 27-yard gain down to the Bell 25. Two plays later Ervin hit Vaomotou on a wheel route from 26 yards out and Trinity led 21-7 with 30 seconds left in the half.
“I think it’s just about persistence and to keep going,” said Trinity running back A.J. Barnett, who led all rushers with 91 yards on 13 carries. “We have ups and downs like any other team, but like our head coach tells us, all we need to do is focus. At halftime we were really focused and knew we had to come back out and finish the job.”
After the half Trinity’s defense clamped down on the Blue Raiders allowing only three first downs while the offense controlled the clock behind its big, physical offensive line.
“We didn’t take them lightly, but overall I think we did well,” said Barnett. “I want to give a shout out to my o-line. The hogs, the hogs, you’ve gotta love them.”
The Trojans picked up 388 rushing yards behind linemen Corbin Inman, Lotu Asaeli, Dakari Fantroy, Mina Hanna, Apolo Toutai, and tight end Osvaldo Salas.
Five different Trojans scored the six Trinity touchdowns with Vaomotou the only one with two scores. Four players picked up 69 yards or more rushing.
Barnett scored on a 2-yard run to give Trinity a 35-7 lead with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Zechariah Moore (3-yard run) and Valentino Foni (56) also had second-half scores for Trinity.
“It’s a team effort and nobody is more important than anyone else,” said Barnett. “We split the ball around with multiple backs and multiple receivers and I think our oc (offensive coordinator) does a great job with trying to get everybody a look.”
The win gives Trinity a 35-14-2 record against Bell in the 51 meetings between the bitter rivals.