Having combined to win seven UIL football state titles since 2005, Friday night’s game between Euless Trinity and Allen wasn’t a typical first-round playoff matchup.
It felt more like a state quarterfinal, in which the two have met three times before.
Allen rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Trinity 34-25 in a Class 6A Division I bi-district game at Eagle Stadium.
Michael Ewton kicked a 20-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 27-25 lead with 9:41 left, and quarterback Mitchell Jonke ran in from 5 yards out with 1:50 remaining to clinch the victory.
Allen (11-0) advances to play Belton, a 38-30 winner over South Grand Prairie, in the area round. The Eagles have won 68 of their past 69 games.
After Trinity started the game at its own 1-yard line and punted, Allen drove 60 yards on nine plays capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jonke to Tevyn Stevenson for a 7-0 lead with 7:39 left in the first quarter.
The Trojans punted on their next two possessions and Allen took advantage with a 26-yard field goal by Ewton to increase its lead to 10-0 with 4:06 left in the quarter.
Trinity finally got going with a 94-yard drive on 12 plays that ate up more than five minutes. Courage Keihn scored on a 5-yard run to make it 10-7 with 7:07 in the first half.
Allen went up 17-7 with a 3-yard touchdown run by Brock Sturges for a 17-7 lead 1:40 before halftime.
Trinity responded when Noah Wineteer and Samuela Leota hooked up for a 4-yard touchdown pass to get within 17-13 with 17 seconds left before the break. Laki Ellis hit Keihn for 37 yards on the first play of the drive to the Allen 16.
Allen’s Taj Bickham started the third quarter by scoring on a 92-yard kickoff return to give the Eagles a 24-13 lead, but Keihn scored touchdowns on runs of 15 and 9 yards to put Trinity up 25-24 with 11:55 to play.
Trinity (7-4) finished with 355 yards to Allen’s 296. Keihn had 26 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns.