ARLINGTON, Texas – An hour before kickoff of the Euless Trinity-Pearland game Saturday night, the concourse on the home side of Cowboys Stadium was packed. Fans in Trinity garb were in a line that wasn’t moving, waiting for a door to open like a swarm of shoppers at a predawn Black Friday sale.
Unlike the shoppers, the Trinity fans had already made their purchases. But with their tickets in hand, they couldn’t find a place to sit. Not in the lower parts of the stands, anyway.
“They won’t let us in,” said one fan in the concourse crush, “until some more people leave.”
That was the problem. Thousands of fans were at the day’s first two games, and many of them stayed around for the powerhouse finale. A crowd of 43,321 watched as Pearland held off defending champion Trinity 28-24 in the Class 5A Division I final.
The crowd, which was near the state-record attendance of 49,953 that was set in 1977, saw a wild finish as the nation’s No. 1-ranked school in the USA Today Super 25 lost.
On fourth down and with the clock running to less than 10 seconds, Trinity quarterback Lahi Kautai lofted a pass toward Brandon Carter, who last year caught the winning touchdown in Trinity’s overtime win over Austin Westlake. This time the Trinity star couldn’t pull the pass down.
It was a painful ending to a 28-game win streak for the Trojans. It was a painful day for all three Dallas-area teams, as Denton Guyer lost to Cibolo Steele 24-21 in the 5A Division II final and Denton Ryan lost to Austin Lake Travis 27-7 in the 4A Division I title game.