Euless Trinity hangs on to knock off Union
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Sunday, September 09, 2012
9/09/12 at 12:52 AM
BEDFORD, Texas – Union’s last five football games have gone to the wire. Saturday’s at Euless Trinity was proof positive that not even Oklahoma’s No. 1 team can win them all.
The Redskins gave themselves a chance to rally from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but a fumbled punt foiled the comeback and Trinity escaped with a 21-18 win in a battle of high school football powerhouses from two states.
“We felt like turnovers and penalties would be a big issue and one too many mistakes got stacked up on us and we couldn’t overcome it,” Union coach Kirk Fridrich said.
Trailing 21-10 on Homer Babcock’s 2-yard run with 5:09 left, the Redskins raced 62 yards and cut the deficit to a field goal on Hunter Atyia’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hall and conversion pass to Carson Meier with 3:16 left.
With three timeouts to spend, the Redskins forced a punt with 1:40 left, but free safety Chase Dahlquist fumbled at the Union 40 and Trinity’s Tupe Saunoa recovered and the Trojans ran out the clock.
Fridrich said no one was blaming Dahlquist because there was plenty of blame to go around. Justin Silmon’s fumble early in the fourth quarter led indirectly to the Babcock's touchdown.
Although the Redskins made a marvelous stand, holding Trinity inches from the goal line on third and fourth down, they were forced to punt from deep in their territory and the Trojans scored on the next possession.
Union was also penalized five times for 50 yards.
“I think we’ll look at the film and think of what could have been because we left too many points out on the field,” Fridrich said.
But Fridrich was proud of how his players held up against a team ranked No. 8 in Texas’ largest classification (5A) by the Associated Press – one with an offensive line averaging more than 300 pounds per man.
“Trinity’s got a great football team and the thing I’ll take away from this is that I know we were tested physically. We’ll look at the film and see where the mistakes were, and I know we’ll learn from it,” he said.
An estimated 8,000 watched the second interstate clash of the day at Trinity’s home stadium. DeSoto outscored Jenks 46-27 earlier in the day.
Union won its final three playoffs games in 2011 by a single point on the way to a fourth straight Class 6A state, and won last week’s season opener against arch-rival Jenks with a tiebreaking touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve playing some great football teams and you can’t win ‘em all,” said Atyia, who passed for 102 yards and rushed for 41 more against Trinity. “Our offense has gotta get rolling. We got it started tonight, but we started too late.”
The Redskins (1-1) host rival Broken Arrow next Friday. Trinity, which opened with a 31-24 loss at nationally ranked Bellevue, Wash., improved to 1-1. The Trojans play DeSoto next Saturday in the Big Lots High School Football Showcase.
First Downs 15 14
Rushing Yards 25-93 46-217
Passing Yards 102 102
Passes 15-31-0 8-17-0
Punts 4-40.5 3-33.3
Fumbles 2-2 1-1
Yards Penalized 5-50 5-48
EULESS TRINITY 21, UNION 18
Union 7 3 0 8 -- 18
Trinity 7 7 0 7 -- 21
T: Hawkins 23 run (Martinez kick)
U: Silmon 11 run (Butler kick)
T: Gonzales 22 run (Martinez kick)
U: FG, Butler 21
T: Babcock 2 run (Martinez kick)
U: Hall 11 pass from Atyia (Meier pass from Atyia)