November 19, 2011

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to and follow him on Twitter.

It's easy to rattle off the things that Euless (Texas) Trinity football program is not.

It is not out to score style points.

It is not interested in spread offenses.

It is not obsessed with how it stacks up to the rest of the state or the rest of the country.

It is not, quite frankly, concerned about what anyone else thinks.

But following its 28-21 victory over Allen (Texas) High before nearly 40,000 folks in Cowboys Stadium Saturday afternoon, it is very clear just what Trinity is:

A team that should always be considered a threat to win a Texas Class 5A Division I state title.

The No. 20-ranked Trojans held off Allen with a key fourth-down stop on its goal line with just over two minutes to play in their second-round game for the victory.

And while the final drive and final score may paint a picture of a hard fought game in which Trinity held on to the bitter end, the real story is that Trinity dominated from the beginning and scored plenty of substance points - the more meaningful cousin of style points - by advancing the playoffs.

The Trojans controlled the clock: Possessing the ball 29 minutes to 19.

They controlled the pace of play: Their 24 first downs were in chunks and hard-fought yards.

They scored on the majority of their possessions: Three field goals, three touchdowns, one missed field goal, one interception and one punt was the drive chart.

They controlled the Allen offense: Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris was just 12-of-25 for 194 yards passing while Missouri-turned-Arkansas commit Jonathan Williams was contained to 51 yards rushing on 12 attempts.

The Eagles had just 10 first downs all game and punted five times.

Trinity was as dominant in a seven-point win as Allen was fortunate for it only to be beaten by seven.

The driving force for Trinity was senior running back Joel Kimpela. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder was hard to stop from the first series of the game to the last.

After opening the game with a 49-yard field goal by Austin Lopez and forcing an Allen punt, it was the legs of Kimpela that got the Trojans going.

The Eagles' punt was downed on the 1 yard line and the momentum was in the balance.

Kimpela had runs of 13, 18, and 50 to move the ball to the Allen 4 before another Lopez field goal extended the lead to 6-0.

By the end of the first quarter, Kimpela had 105 yards rushing and Trinity had a 6-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Kimpela and junior quarterback Matt Hawkins did more damage.

Hawkins, who is listed at 5-foot-8 and 189 pounds, capped a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive with a 20-yard run on a play-action quarterback counter to extend the lead to 12-0.

Following the third Allen three-and-out of the half, Kimpela scored on a 5-yard run to cap a seven-play, 68-yard drive and pushed the lead to 19-0.

At halftime, Trinity lead 19-7.

It had run 47 plays of which five were passes and Kimpela had 182 yards rushing.

Allen had just 28 plays.

But that is when it got a little more interesting.

On its first possession of the second half, Trinity threw an interception.

A 70-yard return by Alex Miller cut the lead to 19-14.

It was Hawkins first interception of the year. And it was also the last time Trinity would throw the ball on the evening.

Trinity scored on its next possession. A 55-yard run by Kimpela stretched the lead back to 25-14. The Trojans forced a three-and-out and scored on a 47-yard Lopez field goal to get the lead to 28-14.

The drive saw Kimpela leave the game with an injury that would keep him out until the final possession of the game.

Following an Allen touchdown by Williams, Trinity took possession of the ball nearing the end of the third quarter.

A personal foul penalty, its fourth of the third quarter, pushed the ball to its 12 yard line.

On fourth-and-1 from its 21, Trinity executed a fake punt that gained 4 yards. It would convert on another fourth down play on the drive before punting to Allen.

The Riverboat-style of play calling from head coach Steve Lineweaver may have made the field just long enough for Trinity to hold on.

Allen took over on its own 27 and drove for a first-and-goal in the waning moments of the game.

On a fourth-and-goal from the 8, Morris scrambled toward the end zone. He was met by a Trojan defender who made the stop on the 1.

Kimpela returned to the game and broke a 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage which was all but a nail in the coffin.

Kimpela ended with 346 yards rushing on 31 carries.

Hawkins added 106 yards on the ground.

And the 40,000 in attendance left with the knowledge that Trinity was the same team it had entering it:

A team that is a threat to win a state and national title every year.

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