Football: Goal-line stand sparks Trinity in bi-district win over Marcus
ARLINGTON — Throughout the season, Marcus’ football team overcame the odds and plenty of adversity just to qualify for the playoffs following an 0-4 start.
On Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, the Marauders gave Euless Trinity all they could handle for two quarters before a pair of events swung the game in the Trojans’ favor resulting in a 24-6 victory.
“We played as hard as we could,” said Bryan Erwin, Marcus head coach. “Our kids battled and fought. Defensively, we gave them everything we had. It was a ball game for a while.”
Marcus trailed, 3-0, in the final two minutes of the first half and was on the move before settling for a punt. But rather than enter the half down just three, Trinity strung together three consecutive completions, including a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Hawkins to receiver Jason Reese to lead at the break, 10-0.
In the second half, Marcus opened with an onside kick which it recovered and set itself up with a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
However, the Trinity defense rose to the occasion and got the stop it needed, preserving its 10-point advantage.
“We hated giving up that touchdown at the end of the half,” Erwin said. “That one hurt, but it was still a ball game. We come out the second half and got the ball down to the 1-foot line. If we could have punched it in right there, it’s going to be a doozey of a finish and we really believed we could have won the football game. Our kids just believed and fought hard. I’m very proud of them.”
It appeared Marcus may have crossed the goal-line on a couple of attempts but each time the ball was spotted just short. The Marauders also ran a reverse-pass on first down from the 12-yard line that just missed putting six on the board before picking up a first down.
On its first five possessions, the Marauders had drives of seven plays, four plays, 12 plays, seven plays and eight plays but were unable to produce any points.
“We had a few trick plays and those are kind of feel things,” Erwin said. “You don’t know exactly when you’re going to do it but you definitely don’t want to leave them on the bus and take them back home with you if you have a chance to use them.”
On the Trojans’ ensuing possession, it was Trinity that dialed up the trickery as receiver Ray Bolden found Reese on a reverse-pass, this time for a 62-yard touchdown to give Trinity a commanding 17-0 lead.
“They hit us on a couple of trick plays,” Erwin said. “We were trying to stop the run and we lost a few guys in the coverage.”
Marcus fumbled its following possession and eventually fell behind, 24-0.
The Marauders didn’t get on the board until 46 seconds remained when quarterback Ryan Vaughn found Ryan Everett for a 2-yard scoring pass.
Vaughn, who entered the season third on Marcus’ depth chart, was forced into the role midway through the season following a pair of knee injuries to quarterbacks Cole Erwin and Cade Erwin. Vaughn finished the contest 14-of-26 for 179 yards and a score.
The Marauders struggled to get a running game that had been hitting on all cylinders during the final stretch of the regular season going, finishing with just 32 yards on 29 attempts. Mark Demery led the squad with 22 yards on six attempts, while Josh Glenn — who carried for the first time all season — had Marcus’ lone run of 10 yards or more.
“Josh is really fast,” Erwin said. “We pulled him up three weeks ago and he got sick and he ended up not playing. It took him a couple weeks to get over that and it never came to fruition. But we knew if we could get him a few touches with his speed, he could maybe make something happen. He has special speed and it was the plan to get him some touches.”
Now the Marauders will regroup and hope to get healthy by the time spring practice rolls around.
“This is an extremely tough football team and our guys responded through the adversity that we had throughout the season,” Erwin said. “I think our play speaks for itself. I think if you got a chance to watch us you know the kind of heart and character our kids played with. The guts and the courage and character we played with just to get here was incredible.”