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September 6, 2010
Stunner: Trinity pounds Shiloh, 80-26
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He shrugged off the attempted tackle just past the dare-we-say Texas-sized hole in the middle of the line of scrimmage.
Then Sivad Boykin, a backup running back on Euless (Texas) Trinity easily outraced the Springdale (Ark.) Shiloh Christian secondary for a 58-yard touchdown run.
The separation between Texas and Arkansas high school football - heck, maybe even Texas and the rest of the country - has never appeared so big.
The touchdown came just minutes into the third quarter, but it already was the eighth of the game for Trinity. It gave them a 60-26 lead in what became an 80-26 victory in the opening game of the Texas version of the Herbstreit Football Series in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"What Trinity was able to do in that game was beyond impressive," RivalsHigh senior analyst Dallas Jackson said. "I think what it showed the nation is that physical, disciplined football is nearly impossible to beat. Trinity isn't flashy - they are insanely physical and equally well coached."
The biggest question: How much will Trinity - which started the weekend No. 5 in the RivalsHigh Top 100 - move up?
After all, this was supposed to be one of the best games in Texas all season. A true test for Trinity.
It wasn't. From the beginning.
Seemingly sensing it was outmanned, a tough and talented Shiloh Christian team attempted an onside kick on the opening kickoff. It didn't work.
Trinity answered with a 7-yard touchdown run by Tevin Williams less than one minute later. Then, after holding Shiloh to a three-and-out, it scored again on a quarterback keeper by Lahi Kautai.
That's the way the first half went, with Trinity scoring six touchdowns and a field goal on eight offensive possessions:
And then the final dagger as the Trinity defense got into the scoring act - a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown by Q'Niko Thomas, with less than a minute remaining in the first half.
And that's all just in the first 24 minutes of play.
Shiloh Christian is a great team and a solid program. It deserved to be ranked No. 30 going into the game.
It was just one week ago that Shiloh knocked off the top team in Arkansas Class 5A - Pine Bluff (Ark.) Watson Chapel - by a 54-22 margin.
It was just overwhelmed on nearly every play in this game. Its defense wasn't big or fast enough. Its fast-paced offense was ground to a halt. Trinity seemingly dominated every play.
The game could be best summed up this way: It was surprising when Trinity didn't rattle off a big gain; surprising when Shiloh Christian did.
"The disparity between the two teams was as wide a margin as the final score," Jackson said. "But what still needs to be noted is that Shiloh is still a very good football team. Its reputation has been tarnished with the loss, but the Saints would still win a state title in many areas of the country - including possibly Texas Class 4A.
"The result speaks more for how good Trinity is than anything it says about Shiloh. I would bet the Trojans do not allow 26 points in the next five weeks combined."
Trinity cleared its bench for the second half, but it only slowed the onslaught. In addition to Boykin's run were touchdowns by Brandon Reeves, on a 39-yard run straight up the middle, and Jeremy Lewis, who hit the outside edge for a score in the fourth quarter. Boykin added a second touchdown run late as well.
Shiloh Christian will recover from this. It will still be a power in Arkansas and still recognized nationally.
Quarterback Kiehl Frazier showed why he's headed to Auburn. His passes looked sharp. He bought time in the backfield and made plays when there weren't any available to him. Garrett Harper had an impressive 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. And Zann Jones caught two long touchdown passes, showcasing his elusiveness and toughness as a receiver as well. But they weren't nearly enough in this one.
The Shiloh Christian players weren't afraid to admit it.
"They're one of the best teams in America and they showed it," Frazier told the Dallas Morning News. "There is no team like that in Arkansas and very few in the whole country. They were doing whatever they wanted."
This day belonged to Trinity. But will the year?
One month ago, before the season even started - before he'd even seen his team at a practice - Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said his team takes a different approach to the season than most.
"We never talk about championships here," Lineweaver told RivalsHigh in early August. "Some teams do and it works for them. For us, we don't. We keep focused on our process."
Maybe it's time to start thinking about championships. Of the national variety.