SOUTHLAKE - Can you say instant classic? What about "Game of the Year"?
Throughout the years Texas high school football has held its share of playoff classics. Friday night, the new kid on the block, The Coppell Cowboys (13-1), got in on the action slugging away at the defending Class 5A Division I champs, The Trinity Trojans (14-0).
The Trojans, who trailed until the final play of the game, survived the slugfest, 41-40, leaving the sold out stadium in bedlam and the Trojan Nation surviving the toughest 5A region in the state to advance of the State Semifinals.
The game, which was televised live in the DFW market, lived up to the hype and gave the sold-out crowd of 12,600, television audience, and media pundits everything they could ask for and more.
With only three ticks left on the clock, no timeouts, facing a third and goal from the Coppell 2-yard line, Steve Lineweaver's troops showed why they are considered one of the elite of programs in the state.
The Trojans' Tevin Williams took the toss sweep from Brandon Carter and squeezed into the left side of the end zone behind the blocks of fullback, Serge Nseka, and Justin Martin.
The astonished crowd witnessed the Trojans final drive, starting with 4:03 in the game, go 70 yards and culminated with the final play as time ran out. Trinity's Brandon Carter, who rushed for 149 yards, seemed the likely candidate to get the ball but it was Williams with the call and score.
Williams finished the night with 21 carries totaling 151 yards and two touchdowns. Trinity only attempted 7 passes for the night with one attempt in the second half. Carter was 4 out of 5 for 79 yards and Trinity rushed 53 times for 407 yards for the night.
From the start of the game the Cowboys looked like they had Trinity's number behind the arm of quarterback Joe Minden. Minden scorched the Trojan's secondary for 369 yards with 25 completions out of 35 attempts to receivers Nate Hruby, Kyle Echerd, and Tyler Landis.
Coppell stunned Trinity by driving the field ending up with a 33-yard Nick Jordan field goal on the opening possession of the game. Then on the ensuing kickoff the Cowboys recovered the muffed kick and after Cam McDaniel scored from four yards out with less than four minutes gone in the game Coppell jumped out early with a 10-0 start.
On the next series the Trojans were inside Coppell's 30 when they fumbled. The Cowboys took the opportunity and drove the field again ending in a Jordan 31-yard field goal taking a 13-0 lead to end the first quarter.
Trinity sustained some drives in the second quarter with running scores from Terrence Tusan, Brandon Carter, and a touchdown pass from Carter to Nila Kasitati.
Minden countered with touchdown throws to Hruby and Landis, Jordan kicked another field goal and the Trojans trailed at halftime 30-21.
With no punts in the game, it seemed Coppell would answer every Trinity call with a score and oust the champs including the Cowboys' final drive of the night.
After a Serge Nseka 5-yard touchdown for Trinity the Cowboys were still leading 37-35 with 9:49 to go in the game. The Cowboys started their drive at the Coppell 25 after the Trojan kickoff and marched down the field having a first-and-goal at the Trinity 7-yard line.
Trinity stopped Coppell on two consecutive plays, then after a false start and an incomplete pass, Coppell was faced with 4th-and-goal on the 15. Jordan hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 40-35 Cowboys with 4:03 left setting up the wild finish.
Trinity will play the winner of the Region II-5A final between DeSoto and Round Rock Stony Point in the state semifinals.
COPPELL 13 17 7 3 40
TRINITY 0 21 7 13 41
COPPELL - Nick Jordan 33 FG
COPPELL - Cam McDaniel 2 run (Nick Jordan kick)
COPPELL - Jordan 31 FG
TRINITY - Terrence Tusan 3 run (Tyler Orwig kick)
COPPELL - Jordan 33 FG
TRINITY - Brandon Carter 1 run (Orwig kick)
COPPELL - Tyler Landis 13 pass from Joe Minden (Jordan kick)
TRINITY - Nila Kasitati 12 pass from Carter (Orwig kick)
COPPELL - Nate Hruby 69 pass from Minden (Jordan kick)
TRNITYI - Tevin Williams 1 run (Orwig kick)
COPPELL - Minden 3 run (Jordan kick)
TRINITY - Serge Nseka 5 run (Orwig kick)
COPPELL -Jordan 32 FG
TRINITY -Williams 2 run (No try)