ARLINGTON – All that Allen wanted was one more chance to possess the ball.
Trailing by four points with less than one minute remaining in the ballgame, the Eagles' defense appeared to have Euless Trinity junior tailback Ollie Gordon bottled up short of the first down.
That would have forced a turnover on downs and allowed Allen the opportunity to drive down the field for a potential game-winning touchdown and keep its undefeated season alive.
But, on a night in which Gordon rushed for 451 yards on 49 carries with six touchdowns, a great second effort by the Trojan running back allowed him to surge forward for the first down.
Gordon’s fourth-down run helped the Trojans to run out the clock on a 49-45 victory, ending the Eagles' season in the Class 6A Division 1 Region 1 semifinals on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
“We had him stopped, just didn’t get it finished,” said Terry Gambill, Allen head coach. “You’ve got to give Trinity credit. They came out on top tonight. They have a great program, great tradition. I’m very, very proud of our football team and our effort tonight. It was just a great battle.”
Euless Trinity (11-1) passed for just 22 yards against Allen (10-1) – a week after senior quarterback Valentino Foni threw for 311 yards in an area round game against Midland Lee -- but the Trojans rushed for 526 yards on 62 attempts, an average of 8.48 yards per tote.
Allen’s season ends in the third round of the playoffs. Euless Trinity will draw Southlake Carroll (10-1) in the quarterfinals, set for 11 a.m. Jan. 2 back at Globe Life Park.
Gordon’s big night on the ground was countered with a great performance from Eagles senior quarterback General Booty.
Booty completed his first 13 passes, on his way to finishing 32-of-42 passes through the air with four touchdowns to go along with 66 rushing yards on 12 carries.
However, it was two second-half interceptions by Booty that proved costly – none more so than the one that Trinity junior defensive back Jacob Schaeffer hauled in on a sideline pass intended for Oklahoma State pledge Bryson Green with 2:44 left in the game.
Trinity's offense proceeded to run out the remaining time on the clock, including Gordon's game-sealing fourth-down run.
The interception came less than a minute after Gordon rushed for his sixth touchdown – a 2-yard burst – for a 49-45 Trinity lead.
“He’s a very strong, physical runner,” Gambill said. “We just couldn’t finish it.”
Allen came out of the gates firing with Booty leading the charge. The Eagles struck first on a nine-yard touchdown run from Hawaii pledge Jordan Johnson for a 7-0 Allen lead with 7:53 left in the first quarter. Booty went five-for-five through the air for 44 yards on that drive.
Gordon had touchdown runs of 2 and 37 yards in the first half, but the Eagles always had an answer.
Allen never trailed in the first half, and in fact, appeared to be in command after Blaine Green caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Booty give the Eagles a 24-13 lead with 3:11 remaining until intermission.
All four of Booty’s touchdown passes were caught by the Green brothers, Blaine and Bryson – both Oklahoma State signees. Blaine caught six passes for 84 yards, while Bryson finished with 49 yards on a team-high seven receptions. Johnson carried 12 times for 62 yards in his final game in an Eagle uniform.
“I thought that we were doing a lot of great things early in the ballgame,” Gambill said. “I thought that (Booty) played up to his expectation.”
Trinity responded with 22 third-quarter points to take a 35-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Gordon accounted for all three Trojan scores with runs of 29, 4 and 23 yards, the last of which came within 33 seconds of each other late in the third quarter. An interception by Trojan senior linebacker Sateki Wolfgramm set up the third touchdown run of the quarter for Gordon.
The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter. Allen’s final lead came on a 100-yard kickoff return by Johnson with 5:54 left in the ballgame. His big play on special teams put the Eagles on top 45-42.
Gordon punctuated his big night when he burst from the 2-yard line with 3:33 left in the game to put Trinity ahead for good.
Gambill said that he was proud of how his team navigated through an unprecedented season -- one in which the Eagles overcame a 28-day layoff between games in October due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 to finish undefeated in District 5-6A play, then went three rounds deep in the playoffs.
"I'm very proud because we won several championships," he said. "We were picked second in Dave Campbell's (Texas Football). We overcame a lot of things, and I'm proud of our football program and what we did and what we accomplished this year."